Greece to Establish Two New Marine Parks Ahead of Our Ocean Conference

Antikythera

The Greek government is set to announce the creation of two new marine parks, one in the Ionian Sea and another in the Aegean Sea, to coincide with the 9th Our Ocean Conference taking place in Greece from April 15-17.

The first park will encompass a vast area stretching from west of Milos island to Nisyros, encompassing 11 groups of deserted islands and islets. This region, known as "the Greek Galapagos" due to its incredible biodiversity, will be protected under the new designation. The second part will cover an area starting north of Kefalonia and extending south to include Kythera and Antikythera.

This move holds significance beyond environmental protection. Hosting international environmental conferences often serves as a platform for nations to announce major initiatives. In this case, the new marine parks represent a critical step forward for Greece's conservation efforts.

Environmentally, the parks will significantly expand Greece's network of protected marine areas under the Natura 2000 program. Currently, only about 20% of the country's waters fall under this designation. Additionally, the initiative will safeguard these often-fragile deserted islands and islets, some of which have faced threats from development projects that could harm the delicate ecosystems.

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