Regional Challenges

The regional challenges facing Crete are:

  • Stressed natural resources: drought conditions; excessive water extraction for agriculture and urban use.
  • A changing climate: 50% of land in Crete is at high risk of desertification. Desertification: Deforested areas are at immediate risk of erosion and desertification.
  • Threatened biodiversity: Crete is the home to a particularly rich flora including 1893 documented plant species of which 159 are endemic to the island. 10% of Cretan plants are considered threatened.
  • Alternative tourism development: Crete’s irreplaceable natural and cultural resources will be irreversibly damaged.
  • Loss of indigenous knowledge: Knowledge about farming, human health, sustainable use of resources, conflict resolution, wild species etc. is rapidly being lost. Soil degradation and unsustainable farming: Over-intensive use of land, over-pumping of groundwater and use of acidic chemical fertilizers have led to soil degradation.