90% Greeks believe in environmental threats

smog athens

smog athens

A poll conducted by MARC SA as part of the LIFE-IP 4 NATURA project found that nine in ten Greeks consider environmental degradation a real threat and want stricter laws to protect the natural environment in Greece.

The LIFE-IP 4 NATURA Project is the biggest European programme for nature in Greece, in terms of both its duration and funding (17 million euros). Its main aim is to implement the NATURA 2000 Network Priority Actions Framework (2014-2020) in Greece, enhancing the network's operation and informing Greek citizens while helping authorities and services to implement environmental law.

The poll, published on Thursday, was initiated to record the views of Greeks on issues concerning the protection of nature, with emphasis on the regions protected under the Natura 2000 network.

The results are distilled from a sample of 1,204 households from all parts of the country.

91.1 % replied affirmatively that they consider degradation of the environment to be a serious threat, while this percentage increased to 95 in the 17-24 age group.

On the greatest environmental problem in their own area, 30.6 % replied "waste" and 19.4 % chose "air pollution" while 8.9 % selected "sea/water pollution."

For those in the region of Western Macedonia, 40.1 % selected "pollution from factories/refineries" as opposed to just 9 % that said the problem was waste.

On environmental legislation, 82.2 % of those asked wanted a stricter legislative framework to protect nature and 92.2 % consider that existing laws are not properly implemented.

Commenting on the result, Alternate Environment and Energy Minister Sokratis Famellos said they revealed a high level of awareness of environmental issues among Greeks and provided "valuable information for planning and reinforcing environmental policy."