Environmental Organizations: The Ministry of Finance cancels the coastal protection zone

Environmental organizations are signing a joint press release against the government for the recently introduced coastal bill. Here is the press release:

With the express bill, the government is trying to remove the already inadequate minimum protection limit of 30 meters of beach, i.e. the unstructured zone from the coastline, during the climate crisis!

The bill of the Ministry of National Economy and Finance.Terms of use of public property in coastal zones and other provisions” insists on accepting the country’s coasts, river and lake shores and beaches as land for “commercial exploitation”. At the same time, in a world where climate disasters are occurring more and more often, the rest of the European countries (e.g. France, Spain) are fundamentally creating unstructured coastal zones, starting from 100 meters to 250 meters from the shore, to protect their coasts and to recognize their critical contribution to the fight against the climate crisis. demanded. However, Greece, through this bill, is also abolishing the 30 meter minimum, signaling beach demarcation acts that allow construction literally on top of the wave!

Continuing to ignore the valuable protective services offered by a healthy and infrastructure-free coastline is a policy that has failed time and time again, as it not only ignores the protection of the natural environment, but also immediately puts citizens’ safety at risk. Scientific knowledge, as well as the recent past, has shown that continued degradation of the coastal zone only leads to dramatic disasters, as it also imposes costs on the national economy that cannot be calculated from compensations that are required to be paid later.

As noted by eight environmental organizations gave joint comments In the unacceptably short consultation period, given both the sheer volume and technical content, the draft law does not introduce reform for effective coastal zone protection and management, while it lacks important provisions on climate change adaptation (e.g. no. other natural or man-made hazards, flood hazards, etc.) are referred to.

The bill also removes the ban on granting “small beaches” (less than 5 meters in length or width, or less than 150 square meters in area) and even makes these valuable ecosystems available for potential commercial exploitation. Even these small, isolated beaches can now be reserved for hotels. Finally, in yet another provocative disregard for the country’s obligations to respect EU legislation, an attempt is being made to legally expand the port of Alexandroupolis without following the established procedures for a proper impact assessment on the “Thracian Sea Area” (Natura 2000 site) and strategic environmental impact assessment 2001/42 / without following the procedures of the EC Directive.

The few positive aspects of the bill are the development of an electronic system for lodging complaints about abuses, but without any guarantee of immediate mobilization of authorities to immediately demolish arbitrary structures. Cases such as arbitrary rents in the coastal forest of Schinias National Park or the numerous and proven violations of the beaches of Ios and the country’s countless other valuable coastal and riparian ecosystems are situations that are not of serious concern. to the government.

In this context, environmental organizations call for the following as an urgent national climate resilience policy for the country:

  • Immediate ratification of the protocol by our country For the integrated management of Mediterranean coastal zones, suggests establishing a zone within 100 meters of the highest winter water line where construction is not permitted as an institutional coastal protection measure. In any case, we request immediate compliance with its provisions, as it is already EU law.
  • Removing the right to join the support regime from the development law and the law for strategic investments of entrepreneurs who arbitrarily damage the natural environment, encroach on coastal or riparian ecosystems.
  • Strengthening the independence and available resources of the Corps of Inspectors and Controllers so that it can effectively intervene in cases of abuse and promptly initiate the demolition of illegal structures.
  • Immediate completion of the process of determining conservation and management measures for all Natura 2000 areas of the country by approving special environmental studies and management plans and enactment of relevant presidential decrees. Half-hearted measures such as the selective creation of “rogue” beaches and other ecosystems only succeed in obfuscating the State’s obligations, as a result of which our country continues and shamefully ignores the ruling of the European Court against Greece for violating Directive 92/43/EEC on protection. of nature.

The announcement is jointly signed by the following organizations:

  1. Prespa Defense Company
  2. Hellenic Nature Conservation Society
  3. Greek Ornithological Society
  4. Come on
  5. Environmental Society for Recycling
  6. Green peace
  8. WWF Greece

Leave a Comment