The battle for Europe’s last virgin forests: screening and panel discussion

Deforestation in the Piatra Craiului National Park Romania, 2014

Photo credits: Egyed UFO Zoltan/ Agent Green. Protest against the clear cutting deforestation in the Piatra Craiului National Park Romania, 2014

The Romanian Cultural Centre in London (RCC) in collaboration with Environmental and Social Change (ESC) invite you to an evening of special screenings, photography and discussions about Europe’s last virgin forests threatened by intensive logging. Come join the debate and the quest for a sustainable future.

Romania is home to Europe’s largest pristine forest. In 2002, Austrian company Holzindustrie Schweighofer opened here its first wood processing factory. Today it dominates Romania’s timber processing sector, operating 4 factories, with the fifth planned to be opened later this year. Earlier this spring, environmental campaigners and investigative journalists exposed the company’s officials accepting illegally logged wood with the complicity of corrupt local authorities.

This tragic fact brought people onto the streets in several cities in Romania and the Diaspora, and reopened a series of debates on the social, political, economic and ecological implications of intensive logging, faulty legislation and the paramount importance of trees to life itself.

The evening will start with the screening of a selection of videos showing evidence of illegal logging, corruption, imminent ecological disasters as well as violence against environmental campaigners. The projection will be followed by a panel discussion (and Q&A) addressing the current situation of illegal logging in Romania, its causes and implications, while placing it into the larger frames of European legislation, international environmental protection, ecology, global versus local, etc. Special guest speaker: Gabi Paun (Agent Green).

A “Before and After” photography exhibition documenting deforestation in several parts of Romania will accompany the event.

Gabi Paun is a biologist and an environmental campaigner, founder of Agent Green, a non-profit NGO campaigning for the preservation of biodiversity in Romania. Agent Green investigates and exposes environmental crimes while also promoting solutions for a common welfare. Their recent strategic exposures brought to light conclusive evidence on how poor local forest governance can make place for big international market players to systematically abuse production forests and even national parks.

Andrew Simms is an author, analyst and campaigner. He co-founded the New Weather Institute, works for Global Witness and is a fellow of the New Economics Foundation. His books include The New Economics, Tescopoly, Ecological Debt, and Cancel the Apocalypse: The New Path to prosperity. He tweets at @andrewsimms_uk

Event details:

Date
8th July 2015

Time
7:00 – 9:30 pm

Location
RCC: Manchester Square, 18 Fitzhardinge Street, London W1H 6EQ

Price
Free. Please book a place at bookings@romanianculturalcentre.org

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