WWF-Romania and Carrefour join forces to protect 21,000 hectares of forests
During the partnership, a total of 21,000 hectares of forest will be evaluated, with the aim of identifying virgin forests and then obtaining protection status for them. Virgin forests are the last forest ecosystems where nature remains in its pure form, without being significantly impacted by human intervention. Virgin forests shelter trees of all ages and, under the crowns of the giants aged over 500 years, more than 10,000 species of wildlife, from unicellular organisms, mushrooms, plants, insects to familiar animals such as boars, stags, chamois, wolves, lynxes, owls, and brown bears. If virgin forests disappear, a natural evolution of several thousands of years will be lost. Not only will we lose the living lesson preserved in nature’s laboratories, but also part of the cultural identity of local communities in Romania.
Magor Csibi, Director WWF-Romania, commented: “With this partnership, WWF-Romania pursues multiple conservation objectives. In addition to a very straightforward involvement of Carrefour Romania in protecting the last virgin forests in the country, we will together generate positive changes in the company's business practices to ensure sustainability in key areas. Improving the environmental performance of the retail sector is a prevailing WWF objective, pursued through annual checks and by proposing concrete solutions. Last but not least, we want to develop a dialogue with Carrefour customers and run together various information campaigns to encourage more responsible consumption and increased emphasis on nature”.
Forests, along with water streams and wildlife, are the main priorities of WWF-Romania. In order to protect forests, in 2012, WWF created the legal framework to protect virgin forests by a ministerial order setting out identification criteria for these forests. Between 2013 and 2016, over 100,000 ha of potential virgin forests were evaluated. In 2016, the National Virgin Forest Catalogue was created as the last step necessary to guarantee the protection of these forests. Over the last five years, WWF has identified 30,000 ha of virgin forests of which 9,200 hectares have already been included by authorities into the catalogue.
At the same time, Carrefour maintained a continuous long-term commitment to developing a sustainable business, addressing several action lines: protecting the environment through recycling activities and afforestation sessions, saving energy, preserving biodiversity – by encouraging responsible consumption, optimising transport and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.