THE Balearic Ministry for the Environment has proposed that all of the wooded areas destroyed by forest fires should be replanted during its current term of office. It plans to plant 122 hectares of trees this summer, amongst other actions necessary to compensate for the destruction caused by fires.
The Minister for the Environment, Jaume Font, explained that there were 250 hectares of trees destroyed in the 432 fires recorded during the present legislature, 16 hectares of which were replanted in 2003, 42 in 2004 and 70 in 2005 which leaves 122 for the Government to plant in 2006. This project has a budget of 875'000 euros, although Font said that this amount could rise if there was a necessity to plant more trees after the summer. In an attempt to prevent forest fires, the Environment Ministry will budget more than two million euros in 2006 for the cutting of firebreaks in 243.74 hectares of forest in the Balearics. This will represent an important rise with regard to the average of 121 hectares of firebreaks cut during the last four years, as the Ministry is trying to raise that average to 250 hectares. He said that 60 percent of the burned vegetation will grow again naturally, which is 360 hectares of the total area destroyed by fire since 2003.
The Minister explained that, with these measures, they wanted to create a “dynamic” project which would then be carried on by subsequent Governments of the Balearics, regardless of the governing party, because it would be a “political obligation”.

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