In the latest months there has been a snowball effect civil initiative to reject the new Forest Act. Specialists have been directing attention to the jeopardy of the current Forest Act for some years. Scientists from the University of Tartu and Estonian Land University share the viewpoint that Estonia should not carry on the former forest policy as it is climate hostile, non-transparent and is utilizing the forest resource out of future assets. Unfortunately the Ministry of Environment, who is inclining towards the forest industry, is ignoring the facts and is pushing through new amendments to the Forest Act, allowing to even increase clear cut areas, decrease the threshold value of the rotation age and simplify issuing of cutting permits.
In early December, a public letter was delivered to the President, the Parliament and Ministries, in which 101 writers, artists, musicians, scientists and film producers expressed their deep concerns at the threats from ongoing forest policy, demanding rejection of the new Forest Act and participation of environmental organizations in formation of the state forest policy.
The petition “Let us stop the destruction of Estonia's forests by industrialists!” gathered remarkable 7006 signatures (5000 was expected). ENT team members have supported the petition among others. On December 16, a picket was carried out in front of the Ministry of Environment, which protested against the official state forestry policy, that is concentrating more on forestry than protection of the environment, as was declared by the protesters. Further the protesters were moving to Toompea Hill to hand the petition over to Parliament. It is too early to assess what will be happening but we will keep you posted in our following newsletters.