In Estonia, the most active nesting time for birds and especially forest birds begins mid-March and lasts until the end of August.
This is why we support the Environmental Board’s call for holding the logging peace during that highly sensitive time. The Estonian Chancellor of Justice (constitutional overview office) has also confirmed that killing birds and destroying their nests is indeed illegal and that the state shares responsibility in avoiding it.
The Estonian Forest Aid, the Estonian Society of Animal Protection, the animal rights organisation Loomus, The Estonian Ornithological Society which gathers our leading bird protection experts, the Estonian Animal Protection Association, the Estonian Wildlife Center, the Lohusalu Nature Society, the Tartu Students’ Conservation Club, Climate Save Estonia, the Centre for Applied Ecology, the Latvian Ornithological Society, the Lithuanian forest protection movement Gyvas Miškas and the US-based Partnership for Policy Integrity which develops and promotes science-based policy solutions wish in a public address to the Estonian Ministry of the Environment for the Minister to use his proper right (Forest Act § 40 sc 10: https://www.riigiteataja.ee/akt/MS) to issue a regulation to limit felling on the period of breeding of birds and beasts, to avoid the unnecessary deaths of the forest-dwellers.
Avifauna and fauna in general are an important part of our ecosystems whose constant damaging and destruction will create great changes and instability in our living environment. This is why everyone with a conscience and a care for our nature and biodiversity halt most forestry procedures for the spring-summer period, and also the more major improvement works or hay-mowing, to avoid disturbing birds and small beasts or causing the loss of their offspring.
We expect the Ministry of the Environment to carry out its primary purpose –– assuring the protection of the environment and its biodiversity.
Why should a bird peace be kept?
Estonia is a some time home for 229 bird species, of whom over a hundred are forest birds. On one hectare, approximately 3 to 4 pairs of birds nest, in natural or old forests around 11 pairs of birds per hectare.
Disturbing birds and destroying their nests during nesting period accelerates the extinction process of the species already in danger and damages the viability of other species as well.
Protection of our birds is not only a local issue, but a global one, for a large part of the nesting birds which suffer under the absence of the bird peace are wandering birds and their accidents during nesting have an effect on the entire world’s biodiversity.
The greatest threats to forest avifauna are the changes in climate, old forest loss, lack of protection at private forests and the spring-summer logging activities.
Spring-summer logging and other improvement works also affect a large number of other forest animals, who’ll fail to bring up their young or whose offspring will perish during forest works.
Avoiding logging on the spring-summer period will also help to halt the spread of root rot at spruce and pine forests, and the quality of wood cut during wintertime is also higher and winter works have a much more tolerable effect on the soil.
Help us spread the word on the need to keep the bird peace!
Write us (email@example.com), if you wish we’d send you the information materials for sharing, or print a moderate amount yourselves and put them up on the information boards of your home region for the spring-summer period:
Laws which support the bird peace
- Forest Act (§ 2, general purpose)
- § 42 sc 1 p 2. Obligations of owner in forest management
- (1) The forest owner must: 2) manage and permit their forest to be managed only in such a way which does not endanger the forest as an ecosystem or damage the gene pool, forest soil or water regime, and the conditions for forest regeneration and reforestation to an extent larger than permitted by legislation, which does not allow wind damages or the spread of fungus diseases or pests and which is in accordance with the principles of the sustainable use of forest, and protect the forest against the deterioration of site conditions
- Nature Protection Act § 55. Killing, damaging or disturbing specimens
- 61) In the event of wild birds, it is prohibited to:
- 1) intentionally destroy or damage their nests and eggs or eliminate their nests, except in the events provided for in clauses (3) 2)-5) of this section on the basis of a permit issued by the Environmental Board;
- [2) to intentionally disturb them during nesting and brood rearing, except in the event specified in clause (3) 1) of this section when the Environmental Board must be notified of disturbing not later than one working day after the disturbing, except in the events provided for in clauses (3) 2)-5) of this section on the basis of a permit issued by the Environmental Board and except in the event provided for in subsection 58 (7) of this Act.
- The Constitution (§ 5)
- The natural wealth and resources of Estonia are national riches which must be used sustainably.
- The Birds Directive, according to which:
- a large part of the species which naturally reside in the European territories of the member states are declining in numbers, in some cases rapidly;
- this sort of reduction in numbers is a major threat to protection of the environment, foremost for unbalancing the biological equilibrium
- the bird species naturally present on the European territory of the member states are mostly migratory birds, those species form a shared heritage and efficient bird protection is generally an environmental problem spreading several states, which comes with a common responsibility
- The European Economic Community’s environmental policy and its program for environmental protection call to adapt special measures for the protection of birds; said measures have to be appropriate for various factors which affect the numbers of birds, primarily destruction and pollution of their habitats, also capturing of killing of birds by humans and the accompanying trade
More reading on logging and birds:
- AN ASSESSMENT OF THE LEGALITY OF SPRING-SUMMER LOGGING BY THE ESTONIAN CONSTITUTIONAL OVERVIEW OFFICE
- A FREE-FORM ESSAY BY THE GENERAL PROGRAM COORDINATOR OF ESTONIAN FOREST AID ON THE MATTER OF BIRDS
- “SPRING: THE TIME FOR BREEDING OR THE TIME FOR LOGGING” BY VIESTURS KERUS
- “CRIME AGAINST NESTING WILD BIRDS” BY ALAN STEWART
More reading on general Estonian forestry problems:
- AN OVERVIEW OF RECENT ESTONIAN FORESTRY HISTORY, 1900-2019
- 3/29/2017, LINDA-MARI VÄLI, POLITICAL CRITIQUE: CITIZENS CONFRONT ESTONIAN STATE OVER EXCESSIVE DE-FORESTATION
- EARLY 2017, LINDA-MARI VÄLI, URBAN.EE: HYPOCRISY IN ESTONIAN FORESTRY POLICY – PREACHING SUSTAINABILITY, PRACTICING INDUSTRY
- 10/20/2017, RACHEL FRITTS, MONGABAY.COM: ESTONIA’S TREES: VALUED RESOURCE OR SQUANDERED SECOND CHANCE?
- 1/16/2018, ARTHUR NESLEN, CLIMATE HOME NEWS: LOGGING SURGE THREATENS A QUARTER OF ESTONIA’S FOREST, WARN CONSERVATIONISTS
- 1/23/2018, ARTHUR NESLEN, CLIMATE HOME NEWS: FOREST WATCHDOG CALLS FOR PROTECTION OF ESTONIA’S PAGAN HERITAGE
- 3/12/2018, WILDERNESS SOCIETY: CITY FIGHTS AGAINST PULP MILL THREATENING ESTONIAN FORESTS
- 7/10/2018, NICOLE GERARD, FERN’S BLOG: PEOPLE POWER – ESTONIANS SHOW HOW TO BRING ABOUT CHANGE
- 3/05/2019, THE BALTIC COURSE: ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS FILE LAWSUIT IN EU COURT AGAINST RENEWABLE ENERGY DIRECTIVE
- 5/20/2019, THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY: ESTONIANS CAMPAIGN TO HALT SPRING-SUMMER LOGGING
- JUNE 2019, FERN’S RAPORT: EU FORESTS OF HOPE
Peace for birds is supported by the following organisations: