According to EU legislation, 10 percent of Europe’s land must be protected from agriculture and other activities by 2030, but protected natural areas in Poland unfortunately exist only on paper. Logging and even commercial hunting, meanwhile, threaten to wipe these last ancient forests off the map. Only 1 percent of Poland is now a National Park, only half of which is protected area. By comparison, even the Netherlands has about 15 percent of protected natural areas.
In the summer of 2022, DRO occupied the Borecka Forest to stop the logging. This was not without danger. They were besieged by 20 masked men, sent at them by the logging company. The activists had secured themselves in the trees with ropes, which the men tried to cut through. DRO was not deterred by this. In response, they barricaded the entrance to a local National Parks headquarters.
In the winter, they first occupied the Romincka Forest near Kaliningrad to block logging machines, and just after that the Bukowa Forest in northwest Poland. In the future, the activists will also hold blockades and occupations in other strategic locations so that the General Environmental Protection Agency and the Ministry of Environment and Climate can no longer ignore them.
The mounting pressure is beginning to bear some fruit. Several political parties have recently promised to protect 20 percent of the most vulnerable areas from logging and commercial hunting. But in a right-wing country like Poland, the election promises of left-wing parties are not nearly enough. DRO’s actions are much needed to protect Europe’s few small remaining old-growth forests from profiteering. Het Actiefonds proudly supports them!