Forest trees in Chios
The forests are a natural resource of incalculable value for man. Their protection and preservation is a duty, obligation and priority of every society and every citizen individually. They are a renewable natural resource with inexhaustible potential for the environmental, economic, social and cultural development of a place. Forest benefits are the immediate (and easily perceived) ones (mainly economic), which are related to the forest products and their derivatives, the recreational way out and the aesthetic pleasure that the forest offers. There are also the indirect benefits as the most important, because the forest affects the oxygen cycle (factorizing it), the carbon dioxide cycle (by photosynthesis) and helps to determine the climate, to ensure biodiversity, as well as and in soil formation.
However, forests are vulnerable to environmental conditions, with the result that they are destroyed by fires (lightning, drought). Also, human activities are destructive to forests. Man, usually, burns a forest because he plans to build a hotel. Man infects a forest, because he dumps large amounts of rubbish/litter there. Man destroys a forest, because he does not clean it. Man destroys a burned forest area, because he does not reforest it.
Forest fires are an ancient phenomenon. They have been occurring, however, with a catastrophic frequency and intensity for the last 30 years. In our country, the climatic conditions that prevail in combination with its intense relief, favor their rapid spread.
In fact, if we take into account that the environmental conditions are forecast for the coming decades even worse (increase in temperature, drought and vegetation), then the problem of forest fires in our country is expected to become more acute.
Historically, the forest areas of Chios have suffered a lot of damage, mainly due to drought. In the last 40 years (1981-2021) there have been 10 forest fires on the island, which have destroyed significant parts of the local forests. Given the benefits of forests for humans, the protection of forests is of paramount importance. The forest must be protected from any kind of destruction, natural or technical.
Information and prevention play an extremely important role in forest protection. Finally, the contribution of volunteer groups and individuals is crucial for the protection of forests.