The Commission warns us for the second time in four years about illegal cuts.– when will our governments understand that forests and the forestry sector are a matter of national security?– when will they understand that addressing illegal cuts must be made with a package of anti-corruption measures based on a thorough analysis of the phenomenon, from the vulnerability of forestry personnel to corruption to the contribution of the sector to the financing of election campaigns?– how is it possible for state authorities to responsible for forests to argue that the number of illegal cuts is less than 200,000 cubic meters annually, knowing that other state authorities (National Institute of Statistics, Ministry of Energy) had publicly made public since ten years ago that in this country consume as much firewood as wood is officially harvested from Romania's forests (16-17 million cubic meters)?– why instead of turning the use of firewood as a renewable energy source and investing in more efficient combustion systems , in the development of responsible local communities, we throw ourselves to investments in methane gas and stimulate the consumption of wood biomass by industrial users?– why does it not worry anyone, apart from a few magistrates, that we have an efficiency ridiculous act finding forestry offences and offences: annually, between 6% and 26% of the collection of fines from forestry offences; several dozen convictions (10 -11%!) for over 100,000 checks annually, i.e.
for millions of hours of control per country; without penalties for cases with hundreds and thousands of cubic meters – Argeş, Borşa, Cluj. And then why further suppress sanctions if they still don't apply? Hence the failure to prosecute 60% of cases, justified by the lack of social danger of the crime. Despite numerous examples of penalising those who call 112 (Forest Radar – STS), the frequency of calls shows that from October 2014 a truck out of four or one truck out of five is classified as illegal, "classification as a result of registration of that transport in the database of the prevention programme for illegal cuts'. That's 20-25% of the wood transported. In the last 24 hours there has only been a single shipment reported illegally, but there have been days with 10-20 shipments: does it say somewhere about the number of trucks seized annually?! Miracles can't be done in a month, but anything is better than the present situation! The Commission's warning must be an opportunity for total paradigm shift:1. transition from regulation and bureaucracy to accountability and obligation to result;2. operationalization of the National Forestry Council for the implementation of deontological standards and internal management control standards, as guarantor of public policies with a long-term vision;3. stopping illegal cuts at the source, i.e. in the woods! Nothing leaves the forest without the ranger or forestry engineer being up to date;4. the sale of only the wood mass, measured correctly after cutting the trees. Now an estimated volume is sold (about as much as is appreciated in the forest) and forces the trader to find after cutting the shaft exactly the same estimated volume;5. digitization of forestry information, informed satellite image control, electronic traceability of transported wood material;6. the transition from the 'negotiation' of the forestry offence in the courts on the basis of 'injury' to the penalty of the forestry offence regardless of 'injury': theft of wood is theft, regardless of value;5. integrated and in spirit of dialogue of the phenomenon of illegal cuts as a social, environmental and corruption problem, which has been completely lacking in recent years. Digitizing the forest resource estimate in the coming years will produce a revolution – satellites will know much better and faster than forest engineers as much volume as volume has been removed in a year from any forest. However, we will see if the public authorities are interested in this kind of information: for the time being, not even the contract for financing cycle three of the national forest inventory is not signed.* Material by Laura Bouriaud, member of PLUS Suceava