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Episode 33 - Gabriel Paun, Part 2


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

"Dealing with people when investigating and exposing things in Romania can put you in a very dangerous situation. I’ve been kidnapped and beaten -- there were several murder attempts against me in the past years…"

"I’m taking [from the workshop] simple tools with me, which I heard about before, but I never saw them at work. I like very much some of the things I have seen, but I think the biggest factor of positive change is opening peoples’ minds, those people living with the bears."

"Two years ago, we got the trophy hunting ban. But there was revenge by the hunting districts, instigated by the trophy hunting industry… That is a big problem…"

"Right now, we are turning away from forests with native species, with small openings and long production cycles, to a more intensive logging, replacing native species with monocultures. So, all the bad things that western Europe did in the past, and here in the U.S. in some parts."

"I’m terribly concerned about inbreeding, because when you have so few left, it’s like a Russian roulette if they will survive or not. They have too few lands and too few individuals in the populations. When you’re telling me there is not more than 1,000 bears in Yellowstone and around, that’s close to nothing. We are on the edge."



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