NEWS

Parnitha reforesting inadequate

Efforts to reforest Mount Parnitha, burned in last August’s catastrophic fires, have been inadequate, according to forestry experts who fear that firefighting measures this year may also prove ineffective. «The reforestation initiative was a pilot program carried out in response to public pressure,» the local forest ranger, Ioannis Ziaziaris, said following a visit to the site by members of Parliament’s environmental protection committee. According to officials in charge of reforestation, some 57,000 trees have been planted as opposed to the promised 120,000. Nearly 400,000 more trees are to be planted over the next few years. Visiting politicians expressed concerns about the readiness of the national fire service to avert a similar disaster this year. «We are worried about the measures that have been taken,» the committee’s president, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said. Local authorities said that the area is being patrolled and that studies for clearing flammable materials from forest roads had been ratified, although funding has yet to be approved.