The Battle for Europe’s Last Virgin Forests: Screening and Panel Discussion

8th July 2015

8th July 2015
7:00 - 9:30 pm
RCC: Manchester Square, 18 Fitzhardinge Street, London W1H 6EQ
Free. Book a place at bookings@
The Battle for Europe’s Last Virgin Forests: Screening and Panel Discussion
Exhibition, screening, and panel discussion with environmental campaigner 
Gabi Paun (Agent Green) and author & campaigner Andrew Simms (Global Witness)  followed by Q&A

This is a paper-handout free event. Access the electronic version HERE.
The Romanian Cultural Centre in London (RCC) in collaboration with Environmental and Social Change (ESC) invite you to an evening of special screenings, photography and discussions about Europe’s last virgin forests threatened by intensive logging. Come join the debate and the quest for a sustainable future.
Romania is home to Europe’s largest pristine forest. In 2002, Austrian company Holzindustrie Schweighofer opened here its first wood processing factory. Today it dominates Romania’s timber processing sector, operating 4 factories, with the fifth planned to be opened later this year.
Earlier this spring, environmental activists and investigative journalists exposed the company’s officials accepting illegally logged wood with the complicity of corrupt local authorities. This tragic fact brought people onto the streets in several cities in Romania and the Diaspora, and reopened a series of debates on the social, political, economic and ecological implications of intensive logging, faulty legislation and the paramount importance of trees to life itself.
The evening will start with the screening of a selection of videos showing evidence of illegal logging, corruption, imminent ecological disasters as well as violence against environmental activists. The projection will be followed by a panel discussion (and Q&A) addressing the current situation of illegal logging in Romania, its causes and implications, while placing it into the larger frames of European legislation, international environmental protection, ecology, global versus local, etc. Special guest speaker: Gabi Paun (Agent Green).
“Before and After” photography exhibition documenting deforestation in several parts of Romania will accompany the event.

Gabi Paun is a biologist and an environmental campaigner, founder of Agent Green, a non-profit NGO campaigning for the preservation of biodiversity in Romania. Agent Green investigates and exposes environmental crimes while also promoting solutions for a common welfare. Their recent strategic exposures brought to light conclusive evidence on how poor local forest governance can make place for big international market players to systematically abuse production forests and even national parks.

Andrew Simms is an author, campaigner, political economist, analyst and a fellow of the New Economics Foundation. He co-founded the UK’s first think-tank cooperative, the New Weather Institute, and works with the environmental investigation organisation Global Witness. Described by New Scientist magazine as ‘a master at joined-up progressive thinking,’ he was co-author of the groundbreaking Green New Deal report. His books include Ecological Debt: Global Warming and the Wealth of Nations (2005), Tescopoly (2007), The New Economics: A Bigger Picture (2009) and Cancel the Apocalypse: The New Path to Prosperity (2013). 
Environmental and Social Change (ESC) is a London-based group of Romanians who are campaigning to change our current environmental and social boundaries.
They aim to stop abusive projects which can destroy the environment and the communities that depend on it. ESC’s work is focused on raising awareness of social and environmental issues and creating sustainable change by making people responsible for their local actions at a global level.

The evening will end with a reception sponsored by Deli Twist

Photo credits: Egyed UFO Zoltan/ Agent Green
Protest against the clear cutting deforestation in the Piatra Craiului National Park
Romania, 2014

Follow us for Romanian news, events and culture

Connect on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, or sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter

Receive updates on Romanian news, culture and events across the UK

Sign up to the newsletter