A few weeks ago, the Polish government announced the release of an update to its management plan for the Białowieża forest in eastern Poland – parts of which are protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a Natura 2000 site, and a national park – and authorised new logging operations in the area for the first time since 2016.
According to the authorities, the updated plan proves the country’s intent to comply with the 2018 judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU in Commission v Poland (C-441/17), which had found it in breach of the Habitats and Birds Directives. Some experts and advocacy groups, on the other hand, argue that the announcement merely represents the new chapter of an ongoing controversy over Poland’s violation of European environmental law.
I have shared some reflections on the plan, its relationship with the ruling of the Court of Justice of the EU, and the recent letter of notice addressed to Poland by the European Commission on the blog of the Jean Monnet Module in European and International Environmental Law (EIEL), which is hosted by the University of Siena and co-funded by an Erasmus+ grant until 2023.
You can find my comment here.
Photo credits: Bialowieża National Park (detail), by Mariusz Cieszewski, CC BY-NC 2.0.