The Public Forests, covering about one third of the Polish territory, are part of the national wealth belonging to all citizens. According to the research from Global Deal for Nature, the forests play a key role in stopping the climate crisis. After strong protests related to massive tree cutting in the Białowieża Forest in 2017, and many reports of forest devastation across Poland, we see that an increasing number of Poles wants to play part in making decisions regarding environmental protections. According to the Supreme Audit Office’s opinion from 2015 there are no means to control the actions of the State Forests agency, which, in many cases, leaves citizens helpless in the face of lawless actions and acts of natural environment devastation.
We would like to address these problems by crafting an amendment to the Forest Act that would follow our diagnosis, environmental protection requirements and the European environmental law. We will conduct panel discussions about the direction and methods for managing forests and we will invite foresters, citizens of big cities, employees of the forest and lumber industries, environmentalists, scientists, and representatives of NGOs. During the panels we will diagnose the most pressing needs with the invited groups, and we will talk about the examples of public’s engagement in the decision-making process in different countries around the world. Together, we will draft our postulates for the amendment for the Forest Act. We will conduct a nationwide campaign to promote our conclusions and postulates. We will begin the legislative process and lobbying efforts, engaging Parliament members, Ministry of the Environment, and the General Directorate of the State Forests to see our recommendations included in the final passage of the law.