The Butterfly Valley in Rhodes is shielded with a state-of-the-art smoke detection system

A quite important tool for the prevention of fires in the forests of Rhodes is the ICT system installed by Nova in the Butterfly Valley area of Rhodes, which can detect smoke, even in small quantities, within a radius of 15 kilometres!

Yesterday, the Minister of Environment & Energy, Theodoros Skylakakis, was in Rhodes for the launch of the Smart Forest Rhodes project (installation of an ICT fire detection system in the area of “Butterflies”) in the framework of Nova’s Corporate Responsibility actions, who, together with the South Aegean regional governor, George Hatzimarkos, the mayor, Alexandros Koliadis and the head of the Forestry Department, Katerina Balatsouka, were briefed by the CEO of Nova Panagiotis Georgiopoulos and other executives of the Company.

The briefing took place in the Valley of Butterflies in Rhodes and according to what was made known, it is a 9-meter pillar that has been installed in the area as part of a pilot project. A similar installation has been made by the Company in Ymittos and now in Rhodes.

This pillar covers a radius of 15 kilometers, and its height is such that it can achieve this range.

Above it there is an environmental station that measures environmental data and climatic conditions, it has cameras that are both thermal and electrostatic (a combination) which means that even at night it can detect the occurrence of a fire!

That’s why, after all, this array of sensors is in place to have the ability to cover the entire range of locations whether it’s night or day.

This pillar – as explained by Nova executives – is connected to a “smart” operational center to which both the Fire Department and anyone else indicated by local authorities, such as volunteer groups, etc., could have access. Thus, the alarm in case of an emergency, to be taken by the relevant agencies.

This is quite an important tool for the prevention of fires in our forests, with which the fire can be detected in its genesis!

And this is because it is possible to detect even a small amount of smoke that will congregate, so it is done at the beginning, which, according to firefighters, is the most important.

In other words, to be able to identify the source of the fire in time and send the teams that will operate!

Finally, it was known that these systems are tested in European forests, i.e. in the field and have a track record of more than 15-20 years, so they are improving year by year, as false alarms are reduced and their efficiency and performance increases!

Minister Skylakakis expressed his satisfaction for this project, for the “smart forest” in his statements, stressing, among other things, that it is “one of the pilot projects that are starting here in Rhodes, on the initiative of the private sector with which we are cooperating.

The goal is early prediction and early intervention. It is very important to use these new technologies that are now mature to reduce the possibility of fires getting out of hand. When fires do get away, the climate crisis makes them deadly dangerous.

That’s why we need to prevent them as close to the event as possible, and if they do happen, we need to have fuel removed from the forest so that we can, in conjunction with firebreaks, contain them,” the minister concluded.

Taking the floor afterwards, the regional governor, Mr. Hadjimarkos, spoke of “a very useful and important project for the benefit of the landmark and the destination in general” and thanked Nova for this offer.

In particular, Mr. Hadjimarkos said the following:

“In one of the most emblematic places of Rhodes, from the Valley of Butterflies, I address my thanks to Nova for Smart Forest Rhodes, a very useful and important project for the benefit of the landmark and the destination in general.

The government and the Ministry of Environment with Minister Theodoros Skylakakis, the South Aegean Region, the Municipality of Rhodes and local stakeholders together with private initiative are joining forces again towards a common path: a sustainable tomorrow and turning Rhodes and the South Aegean Region as a whole into a wonderful example of how sustainability and sustainability issues are not only the subject of discussions in workshops and conferences but actions and projects that make a difference in practice.”

Mayor Koliadis referred to a very important initiative, and said that “he has asked for help for other parts of the island, which was accepted”, although it will be discussed again. “It is very important to have private initiative.”

The central state and the state shows every day the struggle to protect not only the environment but all of us, but the company NOVA deserves congratulations for its initiative because it is an important pilot project.

I have been briefed in detail on exactly what will be done in Butterfly Valley and have asked for help for other parts of the island, which she accepted but that is something we will discuss again.

Congratulations, because this initiative can only do good to our place, we are joining forces, and these actions and collaborations of the state and the private sector help to resolve issues and also prevention, so that events like the ones we experienced last year do not happen.”

The CEO of the company, Mr. Georgiopoulos, expressed his satisfaction that small trees have already started to grow in areas that were destroyed by the big fire on the island last summer, thanks to the assistance of Nova, in his statements.

“We are very happy to see the completion of the anti-corrosion works and the first pine trees that have begun to untangle because of this intervention that has been done.

We are here in the Butterfly Valley where we will be putting artificial intelligence into place so that we can better protect something as unique as this valley is.

What it does (referring to the program): it has smart cameras, it has sensors and a monitoring center so that we are given real-time data so that we can harness it for more immediate prevention.

Today, here, we are continuing our major programme, costing €1 million, for which Rhodes is a focal point. We are continuing our next steps, with this artificial intelligence project that has already been installed in Ymittos and will now be installed in Rhodes as well.”

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