Greece government is taking no time to turn back its barren forests into green as it pledged to replant thousands of acres (hectares) of devastated forests on July 3.
A major fire that was sparked by an early summer in the country has devastated more than half of the Mount Parnitha National Park, just outside Athens, and the lush Pelion forests in central Greece last month.
The fire that had spread to a vast forest area became controllable in four days. Prior to this Athens was badly hit by forest fires in July 1995 which had destroyed 15,000 acres of parklands that was home to thousands of varieties of plants and animal species including the endangered, native red deer.
Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said:
Not one piece of forestland will be lost. The forest will be protected. It will be reborn. We will not tolerate past phenomena where we saw villas sprouting in what was once forestland.
Government is keen to replant the forests as it has come under severe criticism by opposition party and environmental groups. They have accused the government that it has failed to prevent the fires from spreading and also that it will be converted into concrete jungle by the developers.
Government’s pledge to replant the forests has come in order to make environmental groups, opposition party and citizens assure that this time plantation is really going to happen. To ensure the same it is taking aerial photographs and publishing them widely so that the everyone remains informed about the plantation.
Despite this the citizens are not convinced that lawmakers will keep their promises and to protest they have planned a rally that will be centered around parliament. The rally is scheduled for July 8 and its main agenda will be to pressurize government for replanting the destroyed forests.