Europe

EU warns Poland: Stop widespread logging in primeval forest

  • FILE - In this Feb. 2005 file photo, a herd of bison, Europe's largest land mammal, gather in the centuries-old Bialowieza Forest in Poland, Europe's last primeval forest that is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The European Union asked Poland on Thursday, April 27, 2017, to stop massive logging in one of Europe’s last remaining primeval forests, warning it might take Poland to the European Court of Justice if it doesn’t reverse course. (AP Photo/Michal Kosc, File) POLAND OUT

    FILE - In this Feb. 2005 file photo, a herd of bison, Europe's largest land mammal, gather in the centuries-old Bialowieza Forest in Poland, Europe's last primeval forest that is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The European Union asked Poland on Thursday, April 27, 2017, to stop massive logging in one of Europe’s last remaining primeval forests, warning it might take Poland to the European Court of Justice if it doesn’t reverse course. (AP Photo/Michal Kosc, File) POLAND OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Aug, 2006 file photo, the gate to the Bialowieza National Park is pictured, a strictly protected part of the much larger Bialowieza Forest, in eastern Poland. The European Union asked Poland on Thursday, April 27, 2017, to stop massive logging in one of Europe’s last remaining primeval forests, warning it might take Poland to the European Court of Justice if it doesn’t reverse course. (AP Photo/Ferruccio Gera, File)

    FILE - In this Aug, 2006 file photo, the gate to the Bialowieza National Park is pictured, a strictly protected part of the much larger Bialowieza Forest, in eastern Poland. The European Union asked Poland on Thursday, April 27, 2017, to stop massive logging in one of Europe’s last remaining primeval forests, warning it might take Poland to the European Court of Justice if it doesn’t reverse course. (AP Photo/Ferruccio Gera, File)  (The Associated Press)

The European Union has asked Poland to stop massive logging in one of Europe's last remaining primeval forests, warning it might take Poland to the European Court of Justice if it doesn't reverse course.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, said Thursday it has given Poland "a final warning" to stop the large-scale felling of trees in the Bialowieza Forest. The commission said Warsaw now has a month to react, rather than the customary two-month deadline, due to the threat of "serious irreparable damage" to the lowland forest.

Poland's government last year decided to increase logging in the forest threefold. The previous level had been considered sustainable. So far thousands of trees, some more than 100 years old, have been cut down.