Poland insists Bialowieza logging lawful, EU court warns of fines

Poland reacted coolly to a warning that it may incur fines for continuing to log in the Bialowieza forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site, asserting on Tuesday that its actions were lawful, Reuters reports. The Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice said on Monday that Poland would be fined €100,000 ($117,360.00) a day if it did not stop large-scale logging in the ancient forest, which straddles the border between Poland and Belarus. Environment Minister Jan Szyszko did not clarify whether Poland planned to halt logging in order to avoid the fine, saying only: “We fulfill the tribunal’s recommendations 100 percent.” The court reiterated its July stance that Poland must stop the logging immediately pending a final ruling in a case that the EU’s Brussels-based executive brought before the tribunal.