Romania’s president has called for the “the torture, trafficking or killing” of wild animals to be punished.
In a statement made on UN World Wildlife Day, Klaus Iohannis warned the abuse of wildlife or trafficking “further exposes us… to various viruses”
“Such practices increase the risk of a pandemic such as Covid-19,” which has had a devastating effect on people’s lives around the world, he said.
World Wildlife Day has been celebrated since it was designated by the UN in 2013 and the theme this year is ‘Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet.’
Romania has a rich biodiversity, forests and wildlife, and thousands of animal species and wild plants, many of which have disappeared in Western Europe which live in forests that cover about 35% of the country, the president noted.
Bears, wolves, bison, deer, lynx and fox roam wild in the forests.
“However, these forests have come under threat in recent decades, and wildlife habitats have been destroyed forcing animals to seek food in towns,” the president said.
“Forests are part of our natural heritage, protect biodiversity and are crucial to combating climate change,” he said.
“Humanity is engaged in a race against the clock to find solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while trees offer a simple, safe and very cheap way of capturing and storing carbon dioxide, Mr. Iohannis said Wednesday.
He called for Romania’s forests to be properly managed and wildlife to be conserved.
We must do more than “protection, because it is necessary to help nature regenerate, ” the president said.
Romanian law punishes any form of capture or killing of animals in the areas, interfering or destroying their habitat, or disrupting them during the reproduction, hibernation or migration season.
A film of four men who made fun of baby bear cubs after plucking them from their lair in a forested area in central Romania generated outrage in Romania after it was posted on social media.