The government’s decision to relaunch the forestry college must be swiftly adhered to, a representative of the forestry department workers said on Friday.

The call to action came after a meeting between Giorgos Georgiou, of the independent union of Cyprus’ public employees forestry branch (Asdyk), and head of the House environment committee, Charalambos Theopemptou.

Georgiou emphasised that previous governments made similar decisions, but nothing was ever done.

He further warned that a lot of hard work must be carried out, such as upgrading the college facilities and hiring qualified academic staff.

Georgiou said that the forestry college played a vital role as an academic institution in the forestry and environmental sectors.

It can continue to provide those services if it is upgraded and transitions into a university school.

For his part, Theopemptou said that the government should speed up the implementation of the decision and therefore reopen the college.

He said that the committee will keep a close eye on the matter.

The trade union said earlier this month that the college in the mountains is to reopen to provide training to staff, with hopes that this will become a springboard for more developments in the future.

Indeed, it hopes that the forestry college could be upgraded into a higher educational facility with the ultimate goal of being integrated with the Cyprus University of Technology (Tepak).

The college, they added, could expand its curriculum on offer to include the management of the natural environment and forest ecosystems.

Reestablishing the forestry college, which once drew students from neighbouring countries, would greatly boost the forestry department’s abilities and reinvigorate the local communities, the union said.