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Greece’s gov’t decides immediate measures for Evros, Parnitha forests

Greece’s government has decided immediate measures in the Evros region, in the North-East of the country, as well as on Mount Parnitha, in North-West of Athens,  following extensive destruction by the forest fires that have been burning for almost two weeks.

The government has declared that all areas burned in recent wildfires will be reforested and also agreed on measures to prevent erosion and flooding. Food and water should be left in the forests for the wildlife in the next period.

Among the top priorities is the cleaning of the streams in the affected areas, which is a responsibility of the regional authorities.

The measures were decided on Tuesday during a meeting with several ministers, chaired by prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Government sources told media that in order to implement the projects, it was decided to activate the new institution of the “restoration sponsors” along with the help provided by forestry cooperatives.

The execution of erosion and flood control works is a necessary measure especially, as in recent years, due to the climate crisis, storms and consequently floods and flash floods have multiplied.

Specifically, the execution of erosion and flood control works is a necessary measure especially, as in recent years, due to the climate crisis, storms and consequently floods have multiplied.

Government sources told daily kathimerini that the trunks of burnt trees will be used for logjams and other technical works, while the cleaning of streams will be carried out under the responsibility of the districts. There are also plans to create concrete dams in the streams to hold back the debris and slow down the flow of water.

Speaking to state broadcaster ERT on Wednesday morning, professor of natural disaster management at the University of Athens Efthymios Lekkas said the projects to be done are not a political but a scientific issue, and should be treated as such.

It is highly interesting to point out that all the measures decided and announced by the New Democracy government are practically in force in the institutional framework (since Evia fires 2021) for the burnt forests, including the reforestation, the concession of the restoration and management of the forest lands to private individuals, anti-flood and -erosion projects as well as compensations to people affected by the fires.

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