Mapping the pathways of a potential Geopark

(2018) €3.000 awarded

Apano Meria (meaning ‘northern place’) of Syros Island stretches over the mountainous terrain, where tranquillity and serenity surround the scattered farmhouses with the heady scent of fennel, thyme and wild olives. In the context of the ongoing initiative made by the locals for establishing Apano Meria as an environmental and geological park, the full clarification of the ownership on historical footpaths leading to sites of particular geological significance is of crucial importance.

To this end, the CPF is happy to grant the ‘APANO MERIA’ Social Cooperative Enterprise for the establishment, management and protection of the environmental park of Apano Meria (a Natura 2000 protected area) in order to conclude a study on the registration of properties on the three main pathways (called Kampos-Lia,  Kampos-Marmari-Megas Lakkos, and  Kampos-Griza/Ipi), and  investigate all legitimate potentials of conceding the usage of proprietary parts of paths.

The outcome of the project will be a ‘map’ and at the same time the foundation stone of the initiative to establish Apano Meria as a UNESCO Geopark. The study will remain at the disposal of all relevant authorities, to be used as a ‘tool’ to promote and facilitate any legal and sustained use of these paths, with positive results upon the proper future management of those, including the promotion of the experiential and alternative tourism in the island of Syros.

Quote by Andreas Gialoglou, Geologist, member of Apano Merria Social Enterprise

The effort to exhibit the unique features of Apano Meria in the island of Syros has begun since many years ago. In the last two years, however, there has been a more coordinated effort characterized by a “from the roots” approach, which brought about, on one hand, the sensitization of a large section of the local society and, on the other, the achievement of specific results; these culminated with the creation of the Social Cooperative Organization (SCO), suitably entitled “Environmental Park of Apano Meria in Syros”, and also the inclusion in the Development Program of Special Purpose of Southern Aegean of the project entitled “Activities the Exploit the Geology History for the Development of Geo-Tourism in Syros”, which has a budget of 367,000 €.

CPF, realizing from the first moment the dynamics and prospects of this endeavor, came to our side, contributing in a specific and effective manner to the preparations for the implementation of the above project. With the funding that it made available to the SCO, it was possible to complete the study which determined the property status of the “geo-corridors” that are going to be created. That way, we are now able to approach the owners and to secure their consensus and participation in the implementation of this vision for the Apano Meria, under terms that respect the diverse inheritance of the area.’


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