The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) has pledged to plant 400,000 trees and shrubs in the forest area that has been used for the installation of the pipeline in Northern Greece. In a statement, TAP said it will proceed with the full replacement and reinstatement of the forest area.
According to the statement, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (ΤΑΡ) AG will plant ca. 400,000 trees and shrubs, in the context of its reforestation initiative already taking place across the three Northern Greek regions traversed by the pipeline.
According to the Decision on the Approval of Environmental Terms for TAP (article 5.3.11), it is provided that the entire forest area used during the clearing and grading of the Right of Way in order to install the pipeline will be replaced. This is also the case for the 4-metre corridor on either side of the pipeline, where –according to applicable legislation and for safety reasons– it is not possible to replant deep-rooted vegetation. Therefore, TAP reforests and restores an exact even area of land elsewhere – as per the recommendations of local forestry services.
For that purpose, suitable varieties of trees have been selected for reforestation due to their contribution to the development and protections of forests, such as poplar (ca. 18,700 items); black, Scots and Calabrian pine (210,000, 13,400 and 56,000 items, respectively); cypress (18,000), as well as approximately 75,000 broad-leaved and 7,400 oleander shrubs. The features of these species include –among others– creating and supporting forests, restoring deteriorated areas, and protecting areas exposed to overgrazing.
Regarding the full reinstatement of forest land, the process involves a series of preliminary activities (pre-studies and final studies of landscape restoration and reforestation), actual forestation and reforestation activities (as per relevant studies) in the Right of Way and/or the areas suggested by each competent forestry authority, as well as the monitoring of the forestation and reforestation after works are concluded.
TAP is implementing reforestation in two stages.
- The first phase, until 2017, included the drafting and approval of the final reforestation studies for all affected areas, the purchase of trees and shrubs to be planted, and the conduct of actual reforestation work in the areas recommended by the local forestry services of Alexandroupolis, Soufli, Rodopi and Serres.
- The second phase is being implemented this year (2018) and pertains to the monitoring, maintenance and management of the reforestation works that took place in the first stage, and the application of same procedure for the remaining affected areas (Kavala, Kilkis, Langadas, Thessaloniki, Naoussa, Edessa, Kozani, Florina, and Kastoria). Maintenance includes activities such as watering, fertilising, trimming and tending to the leader of the plant, replacing trees and shrubs in case of unsatisfactory development, and fencing maintenance.
TAP respects the Greek land hosting the pipeline in its entirety, before the beginning of construction, during construction works, and after the land has been returned.
*for the accompanying photos: The “Chloe” area is located in the Rodopi Regional Unit of the Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Region. It belongs to the local and municipal unit of Kechros of the Arriana Municipality. The area was suggested by the local forestry authorities as the most suitable for reforestation, and TAP met said request.
TAP will transport natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan to Europe. The 878km long pipeline will connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Turkish-Greek border at Kipoi, cross Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Southern Italy.
TAP’s routing can facilitate gas supply to several South Eastern European countries, including Bulgaria, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and others. TAP’s landfall in Italy provides multiple opportunities for further transport of Caspian natural gas to some of the largest European markets such as Germany, France, the UK, Switzerland and Austria.