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Cyprus

Govt to continue forest fire fighting measures

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Firefighting efforts during the 2016 Solea fires

The government will continue measures to minimise the damage done by forest fires, Agriculture Minister Maria Panayiotou said on Saturday at a tree planting in Chandria.

She said that deforestation and the uncontrolled use of forests have led to an alarming decline in the number of trees worldwide, causing the climate crisis to worsen and hinder the conditions for forest growth, with increased temperatures, drought and more frequent and larger forest fires destroying vast areas of forest every year.

She added that tree planting is an essential environmental initiative with multiple benefits, affecting the health, economy and wellbeing of all humanity, underlining that trees, as the lungs of the Earth, through photosynthesis, absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, providing offsets to greenhouse gas emissions that lead to global warming, and also provide shelter and food for many species of wildlife, contribute to soil stability and improve air and water quality.

We all have an important role in this effort, each of us in our own way, with the ultimate goal of creating for us and future generations a better, healthier and free from various pollutants natural environment,” Panayiotou said, while making special reference to the tree planting programme ‘Planting for Climate’, which was announced last October by the ministry and successfully implemented by the forestry department for the fifth consecutive year.

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