In order to provide firewood for the winter, the government is planning to sell the protected lands of the national parks. Hungary is preparing for severe winter gas shortages and is on the lookout for alternative solutions.
The government has officially decided that it will take the radical step of cutting down trees to ensure an adequate supply of firewood for the upcoming winter. Viktor Orbán said in his radio interview last Friday that the government obliged the forest farms to prepare plans to increase firewood production. – reports Portfolio. In addition, Gergely Gulyás also spoke about the forest farms on Saturday and their aim to increase timber harvest. “State farms provide 55 percent of the total supply. This quantity will not only cover the necessary amount for social programmes but will also provide wood for those who plan to purchase it.” – said the minister. The government dramatically increases the supply of wood that can be cut. For example, it also lifted the ban on clearcutting in natural state forests while taking into consideration the importance of landscape protection.
“At first, we didn’t want to believe it, we thought it might be just a misunderstanding when we heard the news that they wanted to sell the lands of the national parks as well” – said Katalin Rodics, research biologist at Greenpeace Hungary. As Népszava reports, she and his colleagues were utterly shocked by the fact that the idea came from the Minister of Agriculture. However, they hope that the ministry’s proposal will not go through. For instance, it is possible to graze only under strict regulations on the protected grasslands that belong to the national parks. She believes it is irresponsible to subordinate the preservation of species to economic interests.
According to Katalin Rodics, Hungary should do its utmost to protect its national parks. These lands make up only 5 percent of the country’s territory and only 10 percent of its total protected areas. Moreover, the EU currently reserves a large sum of money for the protection of biological diversity. The biologist asserts that the government should also consider this factor. However, she believes that instead of preserving the nature, Hungary is systematically destroying it.
Source: portfolio.hu, népszava.hu