Samaria Gorge could be removed from UNESCO’s list of Biosphere Reserves

Greek Reporter — The gorge of Samaria is situated in the National park of Samaria, in the White Mountains in West Crete. It may be struck off UNESCO‘s list as the Greek side has not conformed to the regulations concerning UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

The Greek side has not taken measures to create buffer zones for the northern part of the national park – these include special areas of resource restriction and for the conservation of the protected area. Furthermore, it needs to send the Secretariat a reviewed administration plan with a zone map according to the criteria set by the Seville Strategy for biosphere reserves and the institutional framework for the global network of biosphere reserves.

Greece has until September 30 to conform to the regulations required so as to hold its place on UNESCO’s list. Failure to do so would mean expulsion.

If the Gorge is removed from the MAB UNESCO list, it will the first time in history the organisation has done so. UNESCO says a mere recognition by the Greek state of the status of the Gorge and the surrounding areas as protected areas would suffice to avoid the embarrassment.