Romania's president says a new law allowing the logging of small woods could lead to "uncontrolled deforestation" in the country, posing a national security threat.

President Klaus Iohannis said Monday that the proposed legislation could lead to the logging of as much as a million hectares. Romania has 6.6 million hectares (16.3 million acres) of forest, home to brown bears and wolves.

Thousands of Romanians have recently staged protests against illegal deforestation, accusing political parties of allowing the logging of swathes of woodland by failing to impose sufficient controls.

Reacting to the protests, the government said Saturday it would temporarily ban the export of wood.

Iohannis said deforestation would be on the agenda of the country's next national security meeting. He said illegal deforestation was "a threat to national security."