Thousands of Romanians marched in the capital Bucharest and other cities on Sunday in protest against widespread illegal logging, which is believed to be behind the deaths of two forest workers in the past two months. In downtown Bucharest, an estimated 4,000 people marched toward the water and forest ministry, according to local TV stations, banging drums and chanting “Our forest is not your commodity,” and “Thieves.”
The Silva trade union federation says six foresters have been killed in recent years while another 650 forest workers were beaten, attacked with axes or knives or even shot at after catching illegal loggers in the act.
Romania, which is home to some of Europe’s last remaining virgin forests and diverse wildlife, is losing an estimated three to nine hectares of forest per hour due to illegal logging, Greenpeace studies have shown.
Smaller marches took place in other Romanian cities on Sunday, with protesters carrying signs which said “Climate emergency” and “Save the forest.”