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Professional associations call for private sector involvement to map Greece’s forestlands

Several high-profile professionals groups have called for a withdrawal of a relevant draft bill unveiling a new framework and measures for registering forestlands in the country’s still under-development land registry (cadastre).

The groups said returning authority to the country’s state-run forest service for registering forestlands dampens economic growth in the recession-plagued country because the measure leaves the private sector completely out of the process. Moreover, the groups, including the Technical Chamber of Commerce of Greece, said the public sector in the country is unable to complete the mapping of forestlands within the very tight deadlines for finally establishing a unified and functional land registry in Greece by 2020.

A relevant draft bill drawn up by the environment ministry is expected to be submitted to Parliament for review and debate in the coming period.

Besides the chamber, the geotechnical chamber of commerce, the Hellenic Association of Consulting Firms (HELLASCO), the association representing geophysical consultants and the association representing forest have all come out against the draft bill.

In a press conference on Tuesday, representatives of the professional associations said provisions in the draft bill do not accelerate the process for completion of the forest maps, instead they actually impede the process.