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Romania’s recovery plan to finance pasture afforestation

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Pastureland has been included in the category of agricultural land eligible for afforestation using funds from the recovery plan, according to an emergency decree issued by the Romanian government on Thursday, which “rectifies” parliament’s earlier removal of pastureland as an eligible category.

This comes after an earlier parliament decision had removed pastures from the list of eligible categories for afforestation under the recovery plan (PNRR).

“We rectified this injustice. Approximately 2,300 hectares of pasture, which were awaiting this legislative amendment, will now be eligible for afforestation once the emergency ordinance is published in the Official Journal,” Environment Minister Mircea Fechet said.

Fechet emphasised the advantages of converting arable land, degraded areas, and other land types into forests.

Both natural and legal persons, as well as administrative-territorial units, can participate in this initiative and utilise funds allocated in the PNRR.

“We provide funding up to €7,600 per hectare for the actual planting, €1,700 per hectare for the technical project, and cover the first six years of maintenance for these crops, up to a maximum amount of €15,000”, Fechet explained.

Fechet also stated that authorities will pay “the premium for green certificates”, amounting to €456 for each hectare of newly established forest, for 20 years.

Romania has approximately seven million hectares of forests, covering 29% of the country’s surface, significantly lower than the EU average of over 40%.

The issue of illegal logging in Romania has gained attention at the EU level.

Earlier this year, a European Parliament’s Petitions Committee (PETI) delegation visited various regions in Romania affected by illegal deforestation.

This came after the European Commission had launched an infringement procedure due to illegal logging, for which the Commission had deemed Bucharest’s response unsatisfactory.

(Cătălina Mihai Euractiv.ro)

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