The Ministry of Environment said this week that it backs the Together for the Green Belt (Împreună pentru Centura Verde) civic platform – a project of the Alex Gavan Foundation aimed at saving Bucharest’s surrounding forests, which would be the first step in the creation of a green belt around the city.
The initiative was joined by dozens of non-profits, civic groups and public figures. It includes a draft law amending the Forest Code so as to safeguard the forests in Ilfov county and a public petition asking the politicians and authorities to take action.
“Environmental protection cannot have a political color. Initiatives by environmental activists that bring added value to local communities need full support from everyone. The social role of forests around big cities is undeniable. We need to make these green spaces available to the citizens, and it is the duty of the authorities to make these forests usable and useful for the community,” environment minister Tanczos Barna said after a meeting with local environmentalist and high altitude climber Alex Gavan.
In turn, Gavan announced: “The Ministry of the Environment and minister Tanczos Barna support the draft law of the civic platform Together for the Green Belt, which aims to protect the forests of Ilfov and create the Bucharest-Ilfov green belt.”
The bill to protect the forests around Bucharest was introduced on April 12. Currently in the early stage of its legislative process, it needs to pass the Parliament vote and be signed into law by president Klaus Iohannis to come into force. After a favourable start, it still awaits a final opinion from the Senate’s legal committee, as debates were postponed this week due to an initial negative report from the Environment Ministry.
Alex Gavan initiated the civic platform alongside Florin Stoican – president of the Kogayon and Vacaresti Natural Park associations. Further details are available here.