Estimating forest harvesting operations to achieve sustainable rural development in Samarina (Greece)

Purpose of the work: Mountainous areas, with altitude over 700 m, intense relief and slopes between 16–20%, cover 43% of Greece and they are usually characterized by low population density and long-term unemployment. The Greeks have a dependent connection among environment, economy and society as the history illustrates. Many of Greece's historic, cultural landscapes and native ecosystems have been degraded or isolated over the years. There is scientific evidence that Greece's natural/semi-natural forested areas cannot be sustained without watersheds, ridges and other natural corridors that connect its native landscapes and ecosystems. Logging systems are really ancient by using often only mules or horses. The aim of the work is to estimate how harvesting systems should be technologically upgraded improving forest work and social wellness maintaining at the same time ecological sustainability. Approach: The study area is held at Samarina region, a mountainous area of Northern Pindos in Greece. Social data were collected with questionnaires and local visits for better understanding of human resources for forest authorities and other administrative information's. DTM, Forest Inventory data and other GIS data have been derived by paper maps and previous studies. A registration of road-net and human resources within the protected area of Valia Kyrna and their contribution as factors for the sustainable development was used. The development of a Spatial Decision Sup- a Support System that can concern all the conditions that are need in order to make an estimation of the optimal way of harvest a stand is really a challenge. Expected results: A GIS program is a powerful decision support tool in order to give the opportunity to the offices of Forestry to choose the optimal way of harvesting a stand and also to realize visually the effect's of such a kind of work; that is going to be held to the inhabitants and to the tourists of the area. Conclusion: The potential of social and ecological factors is examined as it concerns the promotion of the protected area within sustainable rural development. Advantages of registration in the form of a spatial tool, especially when many types of information participate, are presented.
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