Court greenlights felling of ancient forest in Germany
PR dla Zagranicy
A German court has decided an ancient forest can be felled to allow the controversial expansion of a major coal mine, according to news reports.
Photo: Couleur/pixabay.com/CC0 Creative Commons
Environmental group BUND, which filed a protest, has vowed to appeal the ruling by the court in Cologne.
Activists have argued the mining plans threaten the Hambach forest in western Germany, which is home to endangered species, according to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
It added that the Hambach mine is among the largest open-pit operations in the world.
The decision has shocked environmental activists because the Hambach forest is almost 12,000 years old, Poland’s Wprost weekly news magazine reported.
Fines for Poland?
The ruling came as a top European Union court said last month that Poland may face fines of EUR 100,000 (PLN 423,000) a day if it fails to comply with a ban on logging in the primaeval Białowieża forest.
The European Court of Justice reiterated its July decision that Poland must stop logging immediately, pending its final decision on the European Commission's claims that cutting down trees in the forest violates habitats protection rules.
The Luxembourg-based court gave Warsaw 15 days to notify Brussels about how it planned to comply with the decision.
Warsaw has claimed that logging was necessary to ensure safety in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed forest in Poland's northeast, which is home to the European bison and a number of bird species.
According to Polish Environment Minister Jan Szyszko, a plague of spruce bark beetle has compromised trees, which pose a threat to visitors who enter the forest.
Source: Wprost/Deutsche Welle