Cretaplant - Network of Plant Micro-reserves
Topic of the practice
Tourism and Biodiversity : how to combine touristic activities with protection of Biodiversity
Good Practice Information
The establishment of Plant Micro Reserves (PMR), is a tool for protecting threatened, local and endemic plant species.PMRs have a relatively small size (less than 20 ha), they are ideal for the conservation of those plant species that form small and spatially limited populations. The establishment of PMRs contributes to the enhancement, at a localized level, of the conservation efforts for 6 priority species and the priority habitat. Besides the key goal of ensuring the survival of these specific plant species and the viability of their populations, the establishment of PMRs targets to a wider range of objectives:
• Protection of the plants and habitats for other important species of fauna and flora • Involvement of local authorities (municipalities etc.) in the environmental management of the protected areas• Awareness of local people regarding the biodiversity heritage and the protection of natural environment.• Promotion of the PMR concept, as a complementary management tool to be part of the national conservation policy
• Dissemination of the scientific work produced both during and after the end of the Project.• Contribution to a wider planning towards a more sustainable tourism model (throughgreen tourism and ecotourism), in an area where the local economy is already heavily dependent on tourism.
Actors involved : Scientists (Plant Biologists, Conservation experts, Foresters, GIS experts), Technicians (Field Assistants), Visitor guide, Gardener, Wardens, local authorities
Cost of the action : 930 000€ (funfed by Life nature program)
The concept of PMRs was developed around 1990, in the Region of Valencia (Spain). Several PMRs networks exist today in Europe. They showed succefull implementation and it can be easily applied in other european areas where the touristic pressure is strong.
Evidence of success
The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), the MediterraneanAgronomic Institute of Chania (MAICh), the Forest Directorate of Chania (Region of Crete) (FDC) managed to set up a network of 7 reserves, 6 for the above mentioned plant species and 1 for the Community priority habitat 9370 – Palm groves of Phoenix. Results of the project : •The project defined the legal status of PMRs in Greek law. •The proclamation of the PMRs as “wildlife refuges” was officially approved (2009) by the regional authority of Crete.·• In situ and ex-situ conservation of the target plant species & habitats· Improvement of the scientific knowledge about the target plant species & habitats· •Installation of a permanent monitoring system· Fencing, pathway construction· •Information and sensitization of the public with several dissemination activities
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Prof Costas A. Thanos
Department Botany, Faculty of Biology, University of Athenes
Annex completed on: 02-21-2011