Experts urge better prevention as fires kill people and animals in Greece

Director of Greek wildlife shelter tells The National of growing struggles year on year due to rising temperatures

By Lemma Shehadi
Sep 02, 2023

A leading wildlife rescue organisation in Greece has urged the government to introduce more effective measures to protect the country’s fragile ecosystem from rising temperatures and wildfires.

“These long, hot and dry summers will be the new constant in our lives,” said Maria Ganoti, director of the NGO Anima Wild, which operates the main first aid station and shelter for wildlife in Greece.

“We as citizens and the state need to realise this and try to adjust to be ahead of the problem, instead of running after it and trying to rescue what is left,” she added.

As she spoke to The National, Ms Ganoti was preparing a team of volunteers to go to Dadia National Park in north-eastern Greece, where the summer’s worst wildfires had been raging.

The fire, which is now in its second week, is the largest on record in Europe, according to the European Commission.

Continue reading at

Experts blame poor govt preparation for Greek fires’ devastation

Mitsotakis had sharp words for “certain scientists” but the National Observatory of Athens was having none of that, hitting back in a statement issued Friday.

While the Greek government has been quick to blame global warming for the summer’s devastating wildfires, some experts argue that poor planning is at least as much to blame.

The European Commission has said that the blaze in the Dadia national park, which has been burning for two weeks now, is the largest on record in Europe.

Read also:
MoD confirms 'parallel' US-UK nuclear warhead replacement programme after it was first reported in the US

That and other deadly fires across Greece were expected to consume more than 150,000 hectares (370,600 acres) of land, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told parliament this week.

And the flames have so far claimed 26 lives.

“Is the climate crisis the alibi for everything?” said Mitsotakis. “No, it is not an alibi — but it is part of the interpretation,” he insisted.

Climate change is a theme the government has touched on repeatedly in the context of the wildfires but, as Mitsotakis appeared to at least implicitly acknowledge, it is not the whole story.

This year’s fires are certainly stronger than those of previous years because of climate change, said Alexandros Dimitrakopoulos, head of Forest Protection and the Wildland Fire Science Lab at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Continue reading at

Also read

Fire: 935.000 hectares burned – New satellite image of the disaster

We remind our readers that publication of articles on our site does not mean that we agree with what is written. Our policy is to publish anything which we consider of interest, so as to assist our readers  in forming their opinions. Sometimes we even publish articles with which we totally disagree, since we believe it is important for our readers to be informed on as wide a spectrum of views as possible.