Six Romanian rangers have now lost their lives in recent years, two of them in the last month.
Forest ranger Liviu Pop was shot dead in Maramures, Romania last week responding to a tip-off about illegal logging. This follows the recent axe murder of ranger Raducu Gorcioaia near an illegal logging site in Pascani. Six Romanian rangers have now lost their lives in recent years, two of them in the last month.
"These events are unfortunately one of the results of lack of credibility and collapse of the social status of the forester in Romania. Forest rangers are ill-equipped by the State and often must provide their own transport, gear and firearm. They are expected to cover huge territories on a low salary in desperately poor communities, creating a complex phenomenon ripe for corruption. And when corruption does occasionally occur, the government’s refusal to condemn such behaviour only reduces the social status and trust in the service even more.” says Ionut Sorin Banciu, of WWF.
Romania is home to more than half of Europe's last remaining old-growth and primeval forests — valuable ecosystems that are habitats to endangered brown bears, wolves and lynx as well as many other flora and fauna. These areas also provide valuable ecosystem services to the local populations, and are a nature-based solution to help mitigate climate change and drought.