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EUObserver: Romania must plant trees to avoid desertification

Miercuri, 18 iulie 2007, 0:00

While Romania's economy is constantly growing, the new factories, supermarkets and residential areas make the water consumption grow exponentially, and no legal limitations are in force, in order to regulate the lack of balance.
Even more, desertification threatens extended areas, affecting agriculture and causing more pollution for the existing water resources, the online publication comments on Wednesday.

The comment, signed by UK resident in Romania Rupert Wolfe Murray, shows that the water provisioning for Romania was never as unstable as it is today, despite the heavy rains tat became a rule in between the drought periods. The water sources are regressing and increasingly polluted, especially near the big cities, where huge waste dumps are growing everyday.

One example in the article is the Glina waste dump "which has the size of a small city". The author notes that very few cities in Romania benefit from waste recycling systems and the problem doesn't seem to be a priority on any agenda.

"Since joining the EU in January this year, little progress has been made on any of these issues - although Structural Funds for environmental projects should become available from 2008.

One effect of EU membership has been the dramatic increase in the purchase of agricultural land by foreign investors, but these plots tend to be too small and scattered to justify modern farming and they are allowed to go fallow.

At the same time, increasing numbers of Romanian peasants (about a third of the population) are giving up farming the land completely and more land is being left to the elements", the article reads.

The solution suggested by the consultant is a massive tree planting campaign, designed to protect vulnerable land from excessive heat and soak some of the massive rains before they produce floods.

"Romania has a relatively good forestry management system and large parts of mountain area are covered in pine and mixed hardwoods.
But there is increasing demand for timber from industry, a very lucrative export market, and more trees urgently need to be planted", the author comments, drawing the attention towards the fact that tree planting only occurs in mountain-side areas and on hills, not in the plains.

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