Human activity harming natural landscape, WWF finds
Hundreds of thousands of hectares of forestland and other natural vegetation in Greece was converted to farmland between 1987 and 2007, according to a study by conservation group WWF Hellas, which also found that construction and development destroyed another 33,000 hectares of natural expanses.
Farmland increased by 500,000 hectares over the 20 years while the country’s forests dwindled by 130,000 hectares, according to the study, which did not assess the impact of the catastrophic forest fires of summer 2007.
The blazes, in which 84 people were killed, razed an estimated 200,000 hectares of land.
“What we saw between 1987 and 2007 was an increase in man-made expanses of land such as agricultural tracts and settlements to the detriment of natural vegetation,” said the head of WWF Hellas, Dimitris Karavellas.