Greece’s Agrafa Mountains Given High Protection Status
The mountains of Agrafa, the southernmost part of the Pindus range in Central Greece, have been given high protection status by the Environment Ministry banning all forms of construction.
Under the ministry’s “Apatita Vouna” (Untrodden Mountains) program, all construction or development activity including the creation of roads are prohibited in listed areas.
The aim, the ministry said, is to protect the country’s flora and fauna and natural habitats, which have significant environmental value and are an integral part of tourism.
The Agrafa have been added to the mountains of Lefka Ori (Crete), Saos (Samothrace), Smolikas and Tymphi (Ioannina), Taygetus (Peloponnese), and Hatzi (Trikala) – which are protected under the “Apatita Vouna” law.
Environment Minister Kostas Skrekas said Greece was the first country in Europe and second globally to adopt a special protection status for its virgin mountainous regions.
Skrekas added that dozens of mountains would be included on the list “so that it becomes clear to everyone that the government cares about and protects the environment with actions, not words”.
The Agrafa with an area of 94.42km2 is part of a very important protected area which includes rare species of birds, wild goats and brown bears and as such enters the special protection grade.
“The government is creating a shield of protection for Greece’s pristine mountainous areas and biodiversity so that all citizens today, but especially in the next generations, can enjoy the country’s natural habitat and unique landscapes,” said Deputy Environment Minister Giorgos Amyras.