February 8, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Eight “unexplored mountains” of Greece: Mainalon received a special status

Mount Mainalon received the status of a specially protected natural area by decision of Georgios Amiras, State Secretary of the Ministry of the Environment.

The decision is a ban on the construction of a road or the creation of artificial surfaces, in order to protect the unique biodiversity of the mountain range. The total area of ​​Mount Mainalon, included in the list of “Lost / Inaccessible Mountains” (Απάτητα Βουνά), is 44.98 square meters. km, altitude range from 730 to 1837 m, extends south of the ski center of the region and northwest of the city of Tripoli.

The territory is covered with extensive areas of coniferous forests, mainly forest ecosystems of kefalin spruce and black pine. In addition, rare species of bats such as Nyctalus leisleri and the endemic butterfly Callimorpha quadripunctaria live here. This area is rich in endemic fauna (there is a population of the Greek lizard Lacerta graeca and the Peloponnesian Podarcis peloponnesiaca). Mainalon is one of the favorite mountains of climbers.

To date, 7 mountain ranges with a total area of ​​1042 sq. km are distinguished by huge unexplored territories. By similar ministerial decisions, they are declared “lost mountains”:

● Lefka Ori 382.06 sq. km. (prefectures of Chania and Rethymnon)
● Saos 97.30 sq. km. (Samotraki)
● Smolikas 102.89 sq. km. (prefectures of Ioannina and Grevena)
● Timfi 202.75 sq. km. (Yanina Prefecture)
● Taygetos 143.23 sq. km. (prefectures of Laconia and Messinia)
● Hatzi 45.61 sq. km. (Trikala Prefecture)
● Agrafa 94.92 sq. km. (Prefectures of Karpenisi and Karditsa)

“The government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis, fulfilling its obligations, continues to improve the environment in order to protect biodiversity and combat climate change. The inclusion of mountain ranges in the list of Απάτητα Βουνά is a “brake” for the overexploitation of the environment as a result of human activities, but does not prevent investments, since they concern territories that have not been touched by the passage of time,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

The initiative of the Ministry of the Environment is scientifically based on relevant research by the Department of Biological Applications and Technology of the University of Ioannina and Prof. Vasiliki Kati. According to the ministerial decision, it is allowed to mark, repair, maintain and improve existing walking and walking trails. Ecotourism here can be developed in any area that is interesting in terms of biodiversity and landscape aesthetics, which contributes to the preservation or creation of incentives for the transition to “green” economic activities, such as growing organic crops, promoting traditional products, etc.

Minister of Environment and Energy Kostas Skrekas made the following statement: “With the inclusion of Mainalon in the pioneering institution/list “Απάτητα Βουνά” created by our government, we once again prove that environmental protection is our main and priority task in this area. This is how we protect biodiversity, effectively fight climate change, and at the same time make our mountains a magnet for Greek citizens and tourists who visit it.”

Deputy Environment and Energy Minister Giorgos Amiras said: “Today, the uniquely beautiful Mount Mainalon joins the “family” of “lost/impregnable mountains”. A year ago, we opened a conservation organization that became a pioneer in Europe. Eight mountains have been given the status of “strictly protected area/reserve”. In addition, we have completed the mapping of at least 40 more mountain ranges. We are protecting wildlife and biodiversity in response to the climate crisis.”

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