News Release: Organising of workshops on the ''NATURA 2000 sites: Opportunity or obstacle for the development?'' in Chania and Alikampos village, Municipality of Apokoronas

The workshops of the project LIFE Natura2000Value Crete took place in Chania and Alikampos village, Municipality of Apokoronas on the 27th and 28th of June 2016 respectively. Topic covered in the workshops was ''NATURA 2000 sites: Opportunity or obstacle for the development?" with the aim of informing people of the value of the NATURA 2000 sites, their designation as sites with great developmental potential, as well as the presentation of ideas and examples for the proper exploitation of the protected land, with respect to the natural environment. These workshops are the beginning of a series of 26 workshops which will be held in all of the Municipalities of Crete in the context of the project's actions.

The workshops were hosted at the lecture hall of Chania Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday the 27th of June and at the Cultural Centre of Alikampos village, Municipality of Apokoronas on Tuesday the 28th of June. The workshops lasted 4 hours and about 65 people participated in them. Among the attendees were members of ecological groups, representatives of the Municipalities, school teachers and students, farmers and stockbreeders, either pensioners or currently doing business in the areas of interest.

The presentations framing the workshops designated NATURA 2000 sites on a European, national and local level and focused on the protected areas characterising the Municipalities of interest. The ecosystem services were the main topic covered by the speakers. More specifically, the following issues were addressed: benefits wildlife offers to people, organic farming and stockbreeding and protection of natural resources such as, soil and water, from various threats, practices for their improvement and ecotourism, as an emerging professional and scientific domain, which combines the purposes of tourism with the protection of biodiversity and the designation of the local products and values. During the workshops and at the conclusion of them, the speakers were at the disposal of the participants to clarify anything and answer to various questions. 

The participants were provided with a folder containing printed communication material of the project (leaflet, sticker, schedule of the workshop) as well as t-shirt and hat. 

The schedule of the workshops was the following:

  • 17.00-17.30: Arrival - registration 
  • 17:30-17:45: Greetings
  • 17.45-18.10: Michalis Promponas, Physicist - Environmental Scientist, PhD (University of Crete – Natural History Museum of Crete): "NATURA 2000 Network of Protected Areas in the European Union, Greece and Crete"
  • 18.10-18.35: Tania Ploumi, Environmentalist MSc (University of Crete – Natural History Museum of Crete): "Socio-economic benefits from the Natural Environment" 
  • 18:35-19:00: Stavros Xirouchakis, Biologist - Ornithologist, PhD (University of Crete – Natural History Museum of Crete): "Ecosystem services of Wildlife" 
  • 19.00-19.15: Coffee break
  • 19:15-19.40: Giorgos Vlontakis, Agronomist - Environmentalist MSc - Organic farmer: "NATURA 2000 sites: Protection and improvement of the local natural resources, organic farming and stockbreeding" 
  • 19.40-20.05: Antonis Mparnias, Forester - Environmentalist MSc, Coordinator of the Management Body of the National Park of Samaria:"Ecotourism: temporary trend or developmental tool?"  
  • 20:05-21:00: Questions - open discussion

Two more workshops are foreseen late July - beginning of August at Municipalities of the Regional Unit of Chania.