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Forests and Forest Maps: Fostering public dialogue on a pressing issue.

Aiming to foster public dialogue on the pressing issue of forest maps, Elliniki Etaireia’s Council for the Institutional Framework (STHEP) organized on the initiative of the Board member Irene Molfessi, on 25 May 2017, an evening conference on ‘Forest Maps: Resolution or Deterioration of the Lack of Forest Protection - Observations - Proposals’. The event was welcomed by the Alternate Minister of the Environment Mr Sokratis Famelos, who praised the initiative of the Elliniki Etaireia. The evening was very successful, attended by more than 170 participants - ELLET members, State Councilors, public servants, and professionals.

Councilor of State Maria Karamanof discussed the jurisprudence of the State Council on forestry and forest protection, highlighting the pressing issues and the delicate balance of forest ecosystems. Forester Christos Karachristos showcased critical and problematic aspects of the forest map drafting process under the legislation. The Agronomist and Surveying Engineer Michalis Antoniadis discussed issues related to settlement boundaries and forestry legislation, emphasising residential densities. The lawyer Dimos Nikopoulos presented a rich array of arguments, concluding with a presentation of areas of conflict between the forest maps under preparation and forest legislation.

Following up on the conference, Elliniki Etaireia decided to appeal to the Council of State, asking for the annulment of a law permitting substantial illicit changes to forest maps using the process of ‘correcting obvious errors’ at various stages of their drafting, as it results in violations of the constitutional obligation of the State for the drafting of a Forest Registry and the protection of forests and wooded areas.
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