Lack of personnel is seriously hampering the work of the forestry department and endangering the forests, the department announced on Thursday.
A failure to upgrade research and education programmes has left the country without adequate means to implement modern and effective approaches to the management and protection of forests, the department said in a made on the occasion of International Forest Day.
Current staffing levels are worse than in 2016, when the fires of Soleas and Argakas destroyed huge forested areas, the department warned.
“The existing staff is working hard and, as we have seen again last summer, has reached its limits. The department needs to return to conditions of acceptable staffing to carry out its work safely and effectively.”
The closure of the college forestry in Prodromos and the failure to establish a relevant department at the University of Technology (Tepak) have exacerbated the problem.
In their announcement, the forestry department called on the government, the parties, the House, the media and society as a whole to address and resolve these serious problems “before it is too late”.
“Let us not be satisfied again with useless words. Let us act in time for the future of our children.”