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RIS: The Environment and Prevention in Focus for 2022

RIS: The Environment and Prevention in Focus for 2022

The RIS policies for next year will be centered on prevention and adaptation to climate change.

As it has been reported, the clearing of the forests and the firefighting work of the forests are moving forward immediately with the financing of 50 millions euros from the Recovery Fund to improve fire protection. George Amyras (Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy), states in APE–MPE that “Prevention and sustainable management are key” and that we work closely with all relevant ministries to protect the environment, ecosystems and species. “Every effort to preserve biodiversity and protect it is a small victory against the climate crisis.”

National Reforestation Plan

Concerning climate change mitigation, the National Reforestation Plan is underway to restore 200.000 acres in many degraded forests in Greece. The plan involves planting 20 million trees, local Greek varieties, of slow burning trees. This project, which is estimated to cost 200 million euros, envisages pilot-reforestation in Parnitha (Perama), Rodopi and Kozani.

Rehabilitation of Forest Areas

The restoration of burned forest areas continues at the same time. Meanwhile, the Contractor for Restoration and Reforestation is being established to help with the rehabilitation of areas that have been destroyed by fire and are now declared reforestable. (Funds the preparation of the study and implementation of the projects. According to RIS, all anticorrosion works in northern Evia were completed in record time. Now, the flood defenses have been implemented.

Forest Maps

The posting of Forest Maps has been completed for the entire Greek territory, except for areas that affect city plans and settlements. In fact, the Technical Council of Forests accepted the unanimous opinion that areas that once had an agricultural character but lost their rural character due to abandonment asphalt or the development of phryganic foliage,

Olympus

The mythical Olympus mountain became a National Park when the Presidential Decree was issued. The protected zones, land uses and permissible activities have been identified. A tripartite Committee of OFYPEKA, RIS, and Ministry of Culture has been established to oversee the management of the Candidate File for the inclusion of Olympus as a World Heritage Site on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites List.

The Organization for Natural Environment and Climate Change was established. It will manage the country’s protected areas and implement actions for biodiversity conservation and climate change response. The Organization has integrated the first seven Protected Areas Management Bodies.

Special Environmental Studies

The Special Environmental Studies in the regions of eastern Crete (Macedonia), and the southern Peloponnese (Southeastern Greece) are currently under consultation. The project will establish a clear framework to allow for the institutionalization and demarcation in 446 Natura 2000 sites of protected areas. It will also establish conditions and restrictions regarding land use and the exercise of activities that offer multiple benefits for the country’s development and protection of its natural environment.

National strategy for biodiversity

Digital Red Book will keep track of and evaluate the conservation statuses of more than 10.000 animal species and 7.000 plants, which are all found in Greece.

Wildlife protection initiatives

To reduce the mortality of birds of importance, it is important to control the illegal use poisoned baits.

Implementation of action plans to protect brown bear, Mediterranean seal, and dolphin species.

Construction of special passages in order to prevent animals from being killed by passing vehicles

Insulating pylons and markings on the energy transmission networks within Natura 2000 areas are measures to reduce bird mortality.

The creation of a network of feeding areas to birds of prey.

The causes of declining honey bee populations.

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John Hallwas

Geoparks

The Ministry of Environment and Energy and OFYPEKA have joined forces to provide financial support and protection for six Greek UNESCO World Geoparks. They also promote their actions and use financial tools in order to fulfill the obligations arising out of international recognition of Geoparks.

These areas include Vikos-Aoos with a portion of the National Park of North Pindos. There are unique alpine environments of Tymfi & Smolikas. There are also the Towers of Astraka and Vikos-Aoos with exceptional geoarchaeological value.

The Island of Lesvos, home to the Petrified Forest. The Psiloritis region in Crete. The Helmos-Vouraikos National Park is an important example of the active, tectonic uplift of the northern Peloponnese. It includes the Vouraikos Gorge, the cobblestone formations of the Great Cave and Cave of the Lakes, as well as the springs of Stygos.

The Sitia area, with its magnificent palaces, caves, and gorges that document the recent rise in Crete, and the amazing palaeontological discoveries of Pleistocene and Dinosaurs, is also worth a visit. Finally, the unique beauty and environmental value that Kozani-Grevena Geopark offers.

Ecotourism

The Ministry of Environment and Energy, diANEOsis, the Ministry of Tourism and the Organization for Natural Environment and Climate Change signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the preparation of the National Strategic Plan for Organization and Development of Tourism within the Natura 2000 Network. They are highlighted. The Recovery Fund will create a network of hiking trails throughout the country, restore terraces (dry stone), and build and upgrade museums for the natural history and culture of Greece. It will also digitize collections and create a national system. Monitoring of species, habitats, and protected areas with a budget of EUR 100 millions.

Wildlife Hospital

With the support of NGOs that have worked in the field for many years, the creation and operation of Rapentosa’s wild animal hospital is well underway. Dodoni and Thessaloniki are being considered.

SOURCE: RES-EBA

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