Small islands are among the sensitive ecosystems that need special protection under the constitutional requirement of Article 24 of the Constitution on the Protection of the Natural Environment. An essential part of this protection is the specific spatial planning which must ensure the survival of the natural capital and ecosystems of the island and provide only for the forms of development compatible with the above purpose in order to satisfy the constitutional protection requirement and implement the policy of sustainable development (SC 16/96).
Among the fundamental legal rules for the protection of the small islands that govern their special spatial planning are:
- the demarcation and strict protection of their preserved natural and cultural capital
- the demarcation and conservation of agricultural land with a partition limit not lower than 1.5 ha
- their mild residential development
- their mild tourist development, which is specialized in providing the appropriate number of tourist beds, according to the size and circumstances of each island, the provision of ecotourism or farm-tourism in indicated areas, and the ban on the installation of large hotel units which are incompatible with the size of the island landscape.
Apano Meria of Syros (designated as Natura 2000 area today) is an inseparable habitat that belongs entirely to the protected natural capital of the island of Syros and must have a special protection status after being delimited. Under this protection status, no exemption on the grounds of time and place is permitted, as it will be the beginning of a certain degradation and destruction of the biotope.
(Decision of the Council of the State on the opening of a road from Kini to Delfini, No 2425/2000, published on 17/7/2000)
Translated by Constantine Hatziadoniu