The State Forests have a new head. This is Witold Koss. The Prime Minister recently devoted a lot of time to it at his press conference. However, Poles may know him by sight, because before the elections he was not afraid to speak out loud about the pathologies he saw every day.
The name is unknown, but the face may be familiar. Three months ago, Witold Koss risked his career and came with his forester friends to the election rally of the then opposition to tell them what it was like working in the forests. Now he will be the new director of the State Forests. – It’s a good choice. We really need to get politics out of the forests and we needed a director who would understand this, says Paulina Hennig-Kloska, Minister of Climate and Environment from Third Way. It won’t be easy for him. – A new director enters the Augean stable. Unfortunately, the State Forests are in a huge crisis – emphasizes Marek Józefiak from Greenpeace Polska.
Józef Kubica, a party agitator at the head of an institution with billions of dollars in profits and one-fifth of the country’s area under management, was responsible for the crisis in recent years. – I think that we will manage, that the Polish right wing will now really show its great, great power – he said in March 2023. The current director of the State Forests is a Silesian PiS councilor and activist of Sovereign Poland. Zbigniew Ziobro’s party turned the forests into a party piggy bank from which party events, favorable media and church organizations were financed. – An embarrassing example of what the State Forests have become – says Adam Wajrak, a naturalist and journalist of “Gazeta Wyborcza”.
A different look
The former director had this view on cooperation with defenders of deforested forests. – We show what we do. Various eco-idiots and pseudo-ecologists will not talk us out of this, said Józef Kubica in September 2023. How does the future director view this issue? – We are ready to reach an agreement with environmental non-governmental organizations, because there is more that unites us than divides us – noted Witold Koss on October 7, 2023.
– The expectations towards the new management of the State Forests are obvious and are related primarily to the great need for authentic social control and social supervision over what is happening to our forests – said Donald Tusk. This is already starting to happen. The management of the Ministry of the Environment went to Białowieża. – The State Forests can actually start to communicate differently, treat local communities and non-governmental organizations subjectively and give the perspective that they actually want to protect Polish nature – emphasizes Mikołaj Dorożała, Deputy Minister of Climate and Environment from Poland 2050. A document on stopping logging in the most valuable areas is being prepared. Polish forests. – To actually start implementing what we are talking about so much, i.e. the new forest policy – explains Paulina Hennig-Kloska.
Main photo source: Fakty TVN