SPAW: Ten proposals for forest protection


The “Decalogue” of proposals for the protection of forests and the management of crises that arise, especially during the summer months, was presented by the president of SPAY (Association for the Protection and Development of Ymittos) and the mayor of Elliniko-Argyroupolis Giannis Konstantatos, in the forum organized by topic “The Decalogue of salvation of our forests – Local Government at the heart of Civil Protection”.

Mr. Konstantatos, after welcoming the speakers, referred to the experience of the municipalities on crisis management, to the effort they make for the protection of forests and immediately afterwards presented the “Decalogue” of actions and proposals, around prevention, safety , protection, management, reforestation, clearing, shielding and equipment of forests, submitted by SPAY.

The ten proposals are reviewed as follows:

1. Volunteering: Organization and support through the Local Government.

2. Change of legislative content of forest management with provision for the responsibilities of the local government and introduction of new technologies in the battle of prevention.

3. Funding: Establishment of an independent Code of Civil Protection in the budget of the municipalities and participation of the Associations in the financing programs.

4. Local government prevention organization with decisive responsibility.

5. Crisis Management Centers in the 332 municipalities of the country.

6. Establishment of Forest Police for forest supervision.

7. National Register of Beekeeping from the first hive and control of grazing.

8. National Register of mature forest studies.

9. New methods of forest restoration – European Bank for Good Practice.

10. Creation of Municipal Associations in all mountainous areas.

Regarding the field of volunteering, Mr. Konstantatos reminded that during the tenure of Takis Theodorikakos at the Ministry of Interior, the funding was included 1.5 years ago in the “Antonis Tritsis” program and now, during the tenure of Mr. Petsas, it continues to be promoted, stressing how important this is for the “soul of the local government”, as he characterized the volunteers, while he also referred to outdated laws that need to be modernized, so that other problems do not arise, such as in cooperation with the forest authorities.

In their positions, the mayors expressed their satisfaction for the organization and the actions of SPAY, their support in the promotion of these ten points and referred to the individual issues.

The mayor of Agia Paraskevi, Vassilis Zorbas, stressed that “Ymittos is the biggest asset of our municipality”, referring to the encroachments that are taking place, saying that “no government since 1974 has touched encroachers and villas” and pointed out that “tree planting after a fire they must be done after two years, because they must first see how nature reacts “.

The mayor of Varis-Voulas-Vouliagmeni, Grigoris Konstandellos, stressed, among other things: “I feel that what we experienced in the summer with the fires left a wound and we are still looking for what was wrong and how to organize. The problem of multi-competence continues to exist. “Do we know what was wrong with this lalapa not happening again?”

The mayor of Byron, Grigoris Katopodis: “The initiative of the forum is very useful. The climate crisis is here and we experienced it with ‘Medea’ and the fires. The SPAY listens to the problems and we have a duty to do everything to protect the forests. Where is the Presidential Decree for Hymettus? “When will the announcements for the forest department of Ymittos be implemented?” He also referred to the issue of maintenance of PPC cables and fire zones, while he asked SPAY to have the findings of the fire department for the fires.

The mayor of Zografou, Vassilis Thodas, said: “The local authorities, young and old, are ready to change the wrong texts. Congratulations to SPAY, that this summer we avoided the difficulties. We need to save forests from climate change. Hymettus must be protected in every way “. He added: “The number of visitors to Hymettus has increased in the last two years. We in Zografou have the largest front in Ymittos, but we do not have direct access “.

The mayor of Ilioupolis and vice-president of SPAY George Hatzidakis pointed out: “SPAY and the Local Government do not replace the central state. The amounts we receive as municipalities for Civil Protection are small. So prevention can not be done properly, if the funds are not increased. We want to offer more to our volunteers and we do not have “. He also stressed that the delay is long in the field of repairing the damage and that the forestry office needs to be strengthened.

The mayor of Kropia, Dimitris Kiousis, referred mainly to the issue of the Presidential Decree, saying, among other things: We have submitted proposals for the problems around Hymettus “.

The mayor of Paiania, Isidoros Madis, described SPAY as a “model link”, raised the issue of high voltage pylons and PPC cables that must be undergrounded and added: “The west side of Ymittos and the east side must become one, that is, there is an interconnection “.

The mayor of Papagou-Cholargos Elias Apostolopoulos spoke about the shortcomings: “We are called to implement many issues without staff. We have two or three people as a municipality and others have fewer. We end up betting on the philanthropy of these people. So in addition to financial resources, we also need human resources. ” He also touched on the issue of the Goudi Metropolitan Park and added: “Ymittos must be open to the citizen, to increase traffic in environmentally friendly ways.”

The mayor of Kaisariani, Christos Voskopoulos, referred to the peculiarity of his city, which connects the urban landscape directly with the mountain and pointed out: “Municipalities have the immediacy to solve problems such as fire, but do not have the money and the staff. We have to look at the pathogens. The mountain is protected by law and the state should take care to legislate for the mountain “.

Invited by SPAY to the forum were also three mayors from the affected areas of the August fires, who stood particularly in solidarity shown by the municipalities of Attica with the help they sent and thanked for it.

The mayor of Limni-Mantoudi-Agia Anna, George Tsapourniotis, stressed, among other things: “SPAY is a model of the Association and what was presented today is impressive. However, what led to the need to establish the SPAY? The chronic inadequacy of the state to manage the forest, to have proper prevention, proper crisis management and proper rehabilitation. Our lives were endangered in order to save our fellow citizens, without having the appropriate support from the state. In Northern Evia all people live from the forest. After the first relief measures, we are now at a low level and if the announcements are not made soon, desertification will begin. To have a proper organization so that we do not experience this again “.

The mayor of Ancient Olympia, George Georgopoulos, said: “Recently, the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited our region and launched a digital application, with which one can see Ancient Olympia as it was and as it is today. The application was called ‘Common Place’, because Ancient Olympia is a common place for the whole world. This place is not ours, it is global. So this place burned down twice in 14 years. So much attention has been paid to us all these years. Then the archeological site burned down, fortunately now it did not burn down. But from 2007 until the fire in Mati and from Mati until today, passed governments, ministers, general secretaries of Civil Protection, fire chiefs, foresters and no one bent over the fire of 2007, to see what happened, what did not happen, what it must be done”.

Finally, the mayor of Gortynia Efstathios Koulis said: “Our municipality was tested hard, we were in despair many times. The costs are high and the losses are significant. This ‘Decalogue’ presented today is very important. I will focus on the issue of coordination, because what we experienced with coordination was tragic and definitely needs to be improved. And I also think it is important to establish a forest police. ”

Present at the forum were the Minister of Interior, Makis Voridis (as representative of the Prime Minister), the Deputy Minister of Interior, Stelios Petsas, the Minister of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, Christos Stylianidis, the Minister of Citizen Protection, Takis Theodorikofis, the Minister Lebanon, the Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy George Amyras, the mayors of the 11 municipalities that make up the SPAY (Agia Paraskevi, Papagou-Holargou, Zografou, Kaisariani, Vyrona, Ilioupolis, Argyroupolis-Ellinikou, Vlyarou, Vlyarou, Vlyarou, Vlyarou ), the governor of Attica George Patoulis, mayors of other areas, but also of the municipalities affected by fires last summer, as well as the mayor of Athens Costas Bakogiannis, MPs and representatives of the parties, representatives of the bodies, the fire brigade, etc.


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