Mr Viorel Ghelasa, the State Secretary of forests at the Romanian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, said, "Our forest concept supports economic, ecological and social interests. An area of 32,000 hectares will soon be certified according to the criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The further evolution will depend on market demand and opportunities."
The State Secretary made this statement to WWF at the Summit 'Green Light for Europe' on environment and sustainable development in the Danube Carpathian region in Bucharest today.
"WWF welcomes Romania's decisive step into ecological management of its resources," said Elisabeth Samec of WWF's Danube Carpathian programme. "In a year's time, WWF estimates that up to 120,000 hectares of Romania's forests could be certified. Other countries in the region are moving in the same direction."
Poland currently has more FSC certified forests than any other nation in Eastern Europe with four million hectares certified out of a total forest area of 8.8 million hectares - this is second only to Sweden. FSC is also active in Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia and Ukraine.
Businesses selling timber and wood products are increasingly turning to ecological alternatives. Almost 700 companies, with an annual turnover of US$180 billion, support FSC. They include giants like IKEA, B&Q in the UK, North America's Home Depot, OBI in Germany, and Castorama in France.
FSC has won respect as an independent, non-profit, non-governmental international benchmark for assurance that the products bearing its label have been produced without forest destruction. Over 22 million hectares of forest have been certified in 35 countries, and FSC expects this to increase.
For further information:
Claire Thilo, Danube-Carpathian Communications Manager,e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org