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Recently, we have borne witness to an unprecedented ecological disaster, with social and economic repercussions whose full extent is still unknown to us. The degradation of the environment continues daily, rendering harder and harder.

Regrettably, whether responding to forest fires or other severe climatological phenomena, national emergency mechanisms are inadequate in terms of timing and impact. Whether this is due to lack of planning or adequate human and material resources remains to be seen. But this is not enough. Democracy requires a system based on transparent decision-making, informed by global scientific information and, of course, stakeholder accountability.

Aegean Rebreath calls on all relevant government officials to assume their responsibilities. As sincere as an apology may be, it cannot be seen as an adequate assumption of that responsibility. Lack of planning and prevention measures constitute an enormous responsibility; their absence must someday be acknowledged. Civil society -and individuals- cannot be expected to, once again, shoulder the burden of crisis response. It is critical -and self-evident- to develop and implement a monitoring mechanism to report on the rehabilitation of our environment and communities. Just like it is imperative to develop an operational plan for crisis management, especially concerning the environment and our ecosystem, informed by subject specialists. With nothing left to chance- because the monitoring, updating, adapting, and improving any such plan based on changing needs, is part of the same responsibility.

There’s been enough talk and excuses. It is time for all of us, through our actions, to show that we have understood the new climate reality in which we live.

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