WWF: Hu­man ac­tiv­ity is harm­ing nat­u­ral land­scape

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

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. Fi­nally some good news re­gard­ing peo­ple’s real fi­nances, in­stead of the usual as­sort­ment of cold macroe­co­nomic fig­ures. Re­cent data in­di­cat­ing a de­cline in prices are, no doubt, a very wel­come devel­op­ment. Af­ter all, at some point, prices in Greece had to fol­low the trend of salaries and rents, which have dropped con­sid­er­ably since the debt cri­sis hit the coun­try. How­ever, a fur­ther slide in con­sumer prices is nec­es­sary so as to re­flect the new eco­nomic re­al­ity. The only way to achieve this is by strength­en­ing com­pe­ti­tion in the Greek mar­ket and not by hav­ing the state in­tro­duce out­moded mar­ket reg­u­la­tions. In­tro­duc­ing struc­tural re­forms to fur­ther lib­er­al­ize the mar­ket must be a key pri­or­ity for the con­ser­va­tive-led government in the coming weeks.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.