The report on the completion of 60 years this year, since the declaration of the Samaria gorge as a national park and 30 years since the establishment of the “Natura 2000” Network of Protected Areas, to which the region has joined, was made by the Deputy Minister of PEN Giorgos Amyras.
As PEN Deputy Minister Giorgos Amyras stated yesterday during the presentation of the report, “what the Cretans have achieved, what the Greeks have achieved, keeping the gorge untouched over time, constitutes our guide for how we should shield the natural environment”.
Mr. Amyras added: “Protecting the unique Cretan goat and the rich biodiversity of the national forest. This is what we are honoring, this year, with the photo exhibition and the awarding of the people who have contributed the most to the protection of the unique habitat. In cooperation with the active OFYPEKA and the employees of the Management Unit, we will continue to upgrade it”.
● 130,000 visitors have crossed the gorge to date and it is estimated that by the end of the period they will reach 160,000 creating a record for the last fifteen years, while for the first year the electronic ticket is applied.
● For the management and operation of all services of the park, 35 employees are employed, 7 of them come from the Management Unit and 28 are external partners.
● Repair and maintenance of the building infrastructure of the national park, in all the outposts of the gorge in Xyloskalos, in Samaria, in Agia Roumeli, in the first aid station, in the visitor service infrastructures, in the Information Center in Xyloskalos.
● Repair, maintenance, and operation of the area of the old olive mill of Samaria, so that it can host exhibitions and function as a place to display the life of the old inhabitants of the forest.
● Planning for the complete restoration of the abandoned settlement of Samaria, inside the gorge, in collaboration with the Polytechnic of Crete.
● Operation of a sales point for the sale of products related to the national park.
● Transportation of visitors who have mobility difficulties with 6 working animals.
● Construction, utilization and presentation to visitors of a model “equine nursing home”, for working animals that are going to gradually retire – due to age – from active activity with care and attention, in recognition of their contribution to the smooth operation and protection of visitors.
● Protection for the ferret. First, individuals of the species will be genetically identified and then a permanent population monitoring and protection program will be implemented, with the aim of establishing the furogato as an emblematic species of Crete next to the unique goat.
The opening of the photo exhibition was attended by Chania MPs Dora Bakoyannis, Vassilis Digalakis and representatives of the local and regional self-government.
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