LIFE Natura2000ValueCrete - "The ecological services, social benefits and economic value of the Ecosystem Services in Natura 2000 sites in Crete"

LIFE13 INF/GR/000188

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Michalis PROBONAS
Tel: 302810393265
Fax: 30 2810 393294
Email: mprobonas@nhmc.uoc.gr

Project description:


The main threats to the Natura 2000 network sites in Crete are the destruction of coastal habitats by the development of tourism, the degradation of mountain landscape and the loss of biodiversity due to intense agriculture, abandonment of traditional farming practices and the human-related mortality of certain species. Most of these problems are intensified by inadequate law enforcement and the poor implementation of EU regulations and environmental policy.

Raising awareness in local communities about the importance of species and habitat protection, in combination with the application of management measures, is often a more effective way of achieving conservation goals than implementing national or European legislation. Greater awareness among certain groups has proven to be a practical and effective conservation action. Encouraging cooperation among different groups is vital for the implementation of appropriate protection and management measures within and around Natura 2000 sites. In addition, the integration of the ecological value of NATURA 2000 network to the local economy potential and social cohesion will contribute to sustainable development at the project’s sites.


The project aims to support conservation efforts targeting Natura 2000 sites in Crete by motivating the public to participate in relevant decision-making processes and by highlighting the socio-economic damage that will result from biodiversity loss in Crete.

Specifically, the project aims to:

  • Inform and change the negative attitudes of stakeholders, targeted audiences and the local public, who view Natura 2000 as an inhibitive factor for economic development;
  • Inform stakeholders, targeted audiences and the local public about the ecological significance of Natura 2000 sites and about funding opportunities for green development of rural areas;
  • Provide targeted audiences with the appropriate skills to engage in biodiversity conservation and value sustainability development;
  • Incorporate obligations originating from the existence of the Natura 2000 network into all human activities in non-urban zones; and
  • Provide guidance to other managing bodies of Natura 2000 sites in Greece on ways to develop information and communication strategies to highlight the ecological, social and economic value of ecosystem services.
  • Expected results:

  • The development of a positive attitude and behaviour towards Natura 2000 site conservation;
  • The reduction of human pressure on sensitive mountain and coastal habitats and the elimination of deaths of priority and protected species as a result of human activities;
  • The inclusion of the Natura 2000 site network ecological value to considerations of the local economy development potential and the enhancement of social cohesion in less-developed regions and areas of the EU; and
  • The provision of a blueprint for the transition to a ‘greener’ economy, focusing on job creation, green skills development and the sustainable growth of the project areas.



Environmental issues addressed:


Information - Governance - Awareness raising - Information


protected area‚  biodiversity‚  public awareness campaign‚  coastal area‚  rural development‚  mountainous area‚  environmental impact of tourism

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator University of Crete
Type of organisation University
Description The University of Crete (UoC), which was established in 1973, has around 500 faculty staff members, who are supported by more than 150 lecturers and post-doctoral researchers, 110 laboratory support staff and instructors and 380 technical and administrative staff. The Natural History Museum of Crete (NHMC), which was established in 1980, has conducted groundbreaking biological and geological research. Its environmental research includes ecosystems-related research from state-of-the-art applications and techniques for the management of protected areas.
Partners DAAC(Decentralized Administration Authority of Crete Directorate General for Forests and Agriculture Directorate of Coordination and Supervision of Forests), Greece HOS(Hellenic Ornithological Society), Greece


Project reference LIFE13 INF/GR/000188
Duration 01-JUL-2014 to 31-DEC -2018
Total budget 1,085,171.00 €
EU contribution 530,960.00 €
Project location Kriti(Ellas)


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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version