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Episode 32 - Gabriel Paun, Part 1


Gabriel (“Gaby”) Paun is a Romanian environmental and animal welfare activist, with two decades of experience in Romania and other parts of Europe, as well as Africa and Australia. Gaby has a degree in ecology and served as an organizer for Greenpeace before founding the Romanian group, Agent Green, focused on animal welfare, forestry and wildlife issues.

He has enjoyed major success in stopping the spread of genetically modified crops in Romania, exposing illegal logging in the country’s forests, and investigating and exposing the cruelty of the live animal export industry. He also campaigns for protecting the well-being of farm animals and companion animals.

In 2016 Gaby won the prestigious European environmental award, EuroNatur, which was also enjoyed by Nelson Mandela and Mikhail Gorbachev.

PLEASE consider contributing to Agent Green, which is also now expanding work in Romania on coexistence with bears.





INTERVIEW EXCERPTS

"When I look at the bear situation here and in Romania, I can find so many similar issues and problems -- also so much to learn in terms of solutions."

"We [in Romania] have many more bears in a smaller territory. I was a little bit surprised to hear there are so many troubles here with so few bears. I would even say that grizzly bears, I’m not sure if they can survive in such small numbers."

"Romania has more virgin forest than all the rest of Europe together. It’s the primeval forest, it’s the core of biodiversity. That is why we have so many brown bears and wolves and lynx… When you go in one of those forests -- I mean except those trails on the sky left by airplanes -- I can’t say this is year 2018, I can easily say this is 5000 B.C., you don’t see the difference."

"But there are threats… logging, climate change and human persecution. So regardless that we have 6 or 7 times more brown bears that the U.S. has, except Alaska, it is a bigger problem. Now they want to reopen trophy hunting. We basically can never rest in this fight. But as long as we can fight, we have a chance."

"My first year [with Greenpeace], first major battle and victory -- we actually had to deal with an American company who was very powerful in Romania, Monsanto. They spread their genes all over the country, 99 percent of their soy was genetically engineered, and through a high-profile campaign -- you would not believe here in the U.S. -- but we managed to kick them out. Now the country is clean of GMOs."



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