Responding to claims that a decree easing felling undermined climate protection efforts, the agriculture ministry said firewood production remains sustainable in Hungary.
In a statement, Agriculture Minister István Nagy said the measures would not entail clear-cutting, reducing the size of forested areas in Hungary, or harming their condition. The government is working to ensure that people can use firewood instead of gas wherever possible, he said. It has banned the export of firewood from the country and instructed state foresters to increase production, and eased regulations to further facilitate that process. „There will be enough firewood on the market to satisfy demand,” the minister said. Some two million hectares of forests yield some 3.5 million cubic meters of firewood every year when managed sustainably, Nagy said. With the new regulations, “the basic provisions of forestry and environmental protection laws that ensure the expanse and condition of Hungarian forests will not change at all,” he said. Hungary currently runs one of the largest reforestation and tree-planting programmes in Europe, Nagy said. The government has supported the planting of new forests on 44,000 hectares in the past two years, he said.
Photo credit: Facebook/Nagy István