Οf the Park for the Preservation of Flora & Fauna

Crete is home to a particularly rich flora including 1893 documented plant species of which 159 are endemic to the island. Τen percent of Cretan plants are considered threatened and need protection. The Park is one of only a few in Greece.

Its aims are:

a. Conservation of the native plants of Crete with particular emphasis on threatened and endemic species, as well as species with economic and cultural value such as medicinal, aromatic, dye plants, plants used for handicrafts and construction, for environmental protection, etc.

Conservation is achieved via:

  • The creation and maintenance of representative living collections of Cretan plant species in thematic botanical gardens corresponding to natural habitats of Crete (ex-situ conservation),
  • The preservation of the areas of the Park with natural native vegetation such as the gorge, or areas with evergreen shrubs and phrygana (in-situ conservation),
  • The reproduction of plants and the creation of a database related to their propagation.

b. Research and Education with the participation of researchers and students from the Technical University of Crete and from other Institutions regarding:

  • The documentation and conservation of biodiversity,
  • The relationships of plants with the environment and people,
  • The economic, cultural and aesthetic value of the plants of Crete.

Τhe Park, containing a great diversity of living organisms, presents a research site for environmental sciences. It offers a valuable experience of the natural environment and biodiversity of Crete, and constitutes an outdoors education site for students and visitors.

c. Raising public awareness of:

  • The dangers that threaten biodiversity,
  • The consequences of biodiversity loss,
  • The sustainable use of biodiversity,
  • The preservation of traditional knowledge on the uses of native plants.

d. Recreation

The Park is a center for the development of environmental tourism. Because of its proximity to the town of Chania, it attracts a large number of local and foreign visitors interested in the flora and fauna of Crete.