The project aims to support the NATURA 2000 Sites in Crete and motivate the public to seize the opportunities and address the challenges identified by integrating the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity into the societal decision-making. Ultimate goal is to show the damage will cause biodiversity loss to economies and to society in Crete, elucidate misconceptions regarding the EU’s environmental policy mainly through the NATURA 2000 Network and to promote the link between green economy and the creation of quality employment opportunities for present and future generations. More specifically the project is aiming at five main set of objectives:
- To inform and change the attitude of stakeholders, targeted audiences and the lay public in local societies that the integration of an area in the NATURA 2000 Network is an inhibitory factor for its development.
- To inform stakeholders, targeted audiences and the lay public in local societies about the ecological significance of the NATURA 2000 Sites for nature conservation and the funding opportunities for green economy for rural areas.
- To provide targeted audiences with the appropriate skills to engage in biodiversity preservation and value environmental sustainability as a significant avenue for development, with more and better jobs and social protection.
- To incorporate the obligations those originate from the NATURA 2000 Network in all human activities taking place in non-urban zones. In that state, the regulations resulting from the “Birds” and “Habitats” Directives as well as the most important articles and appropriate guidance documents must be presented to the public in plain words and circulate among stakeholders and target groups as much as possible.
- To provide guidance to other NATURA 2000 site managers in Greece on how they can develop information and communication strategy to highlight the ecological, social and economic value of ecosystem services.