World Business Council of Sustainable Development suggests that major organisations can play a crucial role in achieving sustainable future by the guidance of Vision 2050. There is a need for a strong organisational change leaving “business as usual” in the past. Unfortunately, even if all of the companies in the world go through the necessary transformation, one of the most important projects in the history of humankind can still collapse. It is government that makes the most important decisions and if those decisions are against environment or sustainable development, it will be just a a matter of time when we will lose our planet . A clear example can be observed today in Poland.
Bialowieza forest, a UNESCO world heritage site, a home for the European bison, the largest mammal on our continent, has recently become a battlefield. One side is taken by „eco-terrorists” from Greenpeace and other ecological organisations, the other side is occupied by the Polish government. The issue is about the government’s decision to log trees in Bialowieza in order to (as it is officially stated) prevent damage caused by a spruce bark beetle infestation. Polish citizens together with international organisations and institutes have started to express their deep concern about Polish Government’s actions. The EU took Poland to court in July, 2017 arguing that the environment minister’s operations were destroying the oldest European existing forest.
What is surprising, Polish government seem to turn a deaf ear to all kinds of requests and demands to stop logging in the Bialowieza forest. Poland’s environment minister Jan Szyszko argues, that he protects the forest from the dangerous insect pests and ensures the safety of tourists. Activity in the ancient forest is continued despite the order from the EU to hold the practice. Members of ecological groups have been arrested by the police and the forest guards for disturbing the work of harvesters. Journalists from private TV Polsat were attacked by loggers, who smashed their tv equipment and took memory cards. The government-owned companies strongly support logging in the forest, because of potential money gains.
Robert Cyglicki, Director of Greenpeace Poland, said:
“The breeding season is a critical moment for the health of bird populations and they need the highest level of peace and security. Destroying the forest near their nests, which is now allowed by the new law, is extraordinarily cruel and is one more reason that we need to show that we will not let this old and fragile ecosystem be cut down for profit.”
But not only birds are in danger in the Polish forests. In September 2017 the Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection gave permission to authorised hunting of 40 bisons from Borecka and Knyszynska forests. It is an invitation for a commercial hunting directed at foreign hunters. An institution established and responsible for protection of environment decides to sentence bisons to death for fun of hunters. Needles to say, that bisons are examples of protected wild fauna species that, according to the Polish law, cannot be objects of hunting.
Each government leads its country, therefore it is the most important player in achieving environmental success. We, people, choose the government that represents us. It is our decision if we want to support the existence of future or rather move towards the end.