|Agricultural development has particularly hit
the flower rich wet meadows that are and important component of the wetland
ecosystems. There are now very few of these left. Those of Faneromeni, a very
important though small wetland in a dry area, have almost disappeared with a
surviving component drained and ploughed in 2000. Meadows along the Vouvaris
near Achladeri have been partially ploughed in 2001.
Drainage ditch cut through
wet meadow at
and the subsequent conversion
Flower rich meadows on the Vouvaris River
|This process is a well-known consequence of the
Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which provides incentives to farmers to
intensify their land to increase their income with, as a result, losses of
valuable agricultural habitats and landscapes. The farmers of Lesbos cannot
be blamed for taking advantage of the CAP.
What is to be
The solution is also contained within the
CAP. This is to set up an environmentally sensitive
designed to protect the wetlands and particularly the
flower rich wet meadows of Lesbos.
Under such a scheme the owners of these
valuable habitats would receive financial incentives to maintain them as they
are. It would also be possible to extend
the scheme to the restoration of meadows that have been lost or damaged. Given
the extent of the losses in recent years this is probably required both around
the Gulf of Kalloni and at Faneromeni.