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Greece Launches Massive Reforestation Program

Greek forest. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Greek Minister of the Environment and Energy Kostis Hatzidakis recently announced the launch of Greece’s largest reforestation campaign.

The reforestation effort would lead to the planting of over 30 million trees over a period of 10 years.

Planting will start in regions that have not witnessed natural regeneration of lost forests, mainly due to forest fires.

The plan, announced in the last days of November, was presented to the Council of Ministers by Hatzidakis and was made possible by the 310 million euros Greece received from the European Union’s Recovery Fund.

The first step of the ambitious campaign–identifying areas where reforestation is most necessary–has already been completed, following research completed by the Department of Forestry and the Natural Environment at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

The next move is for the state to find a workforce to begin planting, which will likely include volunteers, NGOs, and students. Planting will only begin after scientists have thoroughly analyzed and conducted testing of the areas where the new forests will be established.

After the planting of millions of trees on an estimated 50,000 hectares (just over 123,552 acres) is completed, scientists and researchers will conduct studies regarding the progress and health of the newly created forests.

While the entire program is set to be completed in 2030, the Ministry has proposed measures to maintain and protect the forests well past the end of the reforestation effort, ensuring that the forests will remain for future generations.

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