Crete is the largest island in Greece and the fifth island of the Mediterranean Sea, consisting of the southeastmost region of Greece and Europe covering 8,336 km² and 622,913 inhabitants (census 2011). It is considered a continuous mountain range in the middle of Cretan sea, dominated by its three large mountainous volumes: the White Mountains (2.452 m), Idi (Psiloritis 2.456 m), Dikti (2.148 m) and Asterousia (1.332 m). Almost total mountainous area is included in the NATURA 2000 catalog. The areas classified as mountainous according to the EU regulation account for 75.5% of the island’s area, while 35% of its population lives and is employed to them.
Crete is isolated from other continental regions of Europe, Asia and Africa, which is strongly reflected in the genetic diversity and endemism of its fauna and flora. The unique characteristics such as, soil-climatic conditions, family-type agricultural farms, the maintenance of tradition, the large number of employees in the primary sector, constituted important advantages for the development of a healthy agro-food sector particularly of mountainous areas.
The establishment of a sustainable regional development model by turning Region of Crete into a “green region” that will meet the needs and demands of the market and consumers and ensure the dignified and quality living of residents consist of a main priority of Crete Region. Strategic Planning includes: modern European Policies (new CAP, LEADER / CLLD, etc.), production and product control procedures, proposals of the “European Declaration on Nutrition Autonomy” according to modern social and economic data.
Furthermore the planning and implementation of an integrated coherent and effective policy, that will be carried out simultaneously by the Regional and local authorities, stakeholders responsible for the productive sectors and legal bodies in charge which are concerned with the protection, management and promotion of the natural and human-made environment, is a working field nowadays.
The development on the basic axes of the primary sector, tourism, culture and the environment protection is strongly have been supported by Regional authority of Crete.
Because of great experience on implementation of EU co-financing projects, Region of Crete is able to use effectively the outputs for development reasons, building on principles of fair economy and the high-livelihoods of mountainous areas people.
It is strongly believed that through our active participation in the EUROMONTANA network Region of Crete will cultivate synergies, partnerships, wider networking sharing and exchanging experiences and good practices for the development of mountain areas ensuring balanced development and mainly the restraint of local populations.
Euromontana is looking forward to future collaboration with the Region of Crete.14 September 2018