Illegal logging of pristine forests in Romania

Two thirds of Europe’s remaining pristine forests are located in Romania. The export of wood from Romania is a very lucrative business, and Romanian authorities have not been able to stop illegal logging even within protected areas.

Documenting illegal logging is very difficult; proving that a specific piece of wood originated from illegal logging even more so. The connections between the Romanian logging industry and the main wood processing companies in Europe are not transparent. Investigative field work was conducted to bring these connections to light and put more pressure on the key players to stop illegal logging.

Various teams were coordinated to work on this project using a variety of investigative methods – analysing satellite images to define target areas, photo- and video-documentation of illegal logging and using technical methods to follow the logged wood.