Romanian environmental activist ‘Agent Green’ hails court ruling that makes illegal logging harder

Sursa: argesulonline

A Romanian environmental activist has hailed a court ruling against a timber company that contested sanctions for illegal logging.

Wood theft

Gabriel Paun or Agent Green as he is known said the widespread “ «offline» theft of wood which bypasses  the SUMAL 2.0 system was defeated today in court.”

He called it: “a historic and strategic victory.”

The electronic wood tracking system SUMAL 2.0  was introduced earlier this year for Romania to address a European Commission infringement about illegal logging. But there were doubts about its efficiency.

 Logging companies simply transported timber without turning on the application and if nobody checked them, they did multiple illegal transports.


But a court in the central town of Curtea de Argeş on Friday ruled against a company which appealed sanctions it incurred for illegally transporting timber saying the electronic system hadn’t functioned. Authorities confiscated the company’s wood. The ruling can be appealed.

“From this day on, companies that chop wood and transport it won’t be able to defend themselves saying they didn’t have a signal or the application didn’t work” Agent Green said of the ruling, reported.

As many as 80% of sanctions for illegal logging in the richly forested Arges area, are contested in court.


In March, WWF said the system aimed at stopping the illegal logging “is like a cardboard tiger.”

It said it needed a radical overhaul to make it “simple, transparent and efficient.”

Less than 1% of the wood transports are checked when leaving the forest, according to World Wildlife Fund.

Infringement procedure

 WWF-Romania created and launched SUMAL 2.0 which, by video monitoring the wood transports that leave the forest, can help authorities significantly reduce illegal logging by prioritizing and improving the efficiency of their checks.

The tool was to help Romania to address the European Commission infringement relating to the lack of efficient controls on operators transporting wood from the forest.

The European Commission’s decision to launch an infringement procedure underscored deficiencies in the country’s system to combat illegal logging.

It said authorities don’t carry out sufficient and efficient controls when wood is first introduced on the market. Controls are not geographically representative, nor do they follow established prioritization criteria. It recommended that penalties should be efficient, proportional and dissuasive.


Agent Green claims the environment ministry and Forest Guard were complicit “with this method which they tolerated.”

Romanian journalists, environmental activist beaten, stripped while filming a documentary on illegal logging




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