‘Apano Meria’ SCE was established in 2015 through an open assembly of citizens of Syros, which recognised the need to prevent overdevelopment by encouraging low impact economic activities, especially inside the areas of the island protected through the Natura 2000 framework. It was officially founded in 2017, with the aim of promoting, protecting and preserving the Northern part of the island (Apano Meria) and it supports the efforts of the local Municipality to promote geotourism.
‘Apano Meria’ SCE works to enable the sustainable activities of the local population, such as the primary production and development of forms of tourism that respect the place and its inhabitants (eg hiking, environmental, geological, archaeological, agro-tourism, climbing, diving).
To date, the SCE has managed to mobilise and inform dozens of citizens about the issues surrounding the protected area and the geological importance of Syros through a variety of events, workshops and assemblies.
In 2018, we conducted a study, funded by the Cyclades Preservation Fund, regarding the ownership status of three paths in the Apano Meria of Syros. The results of this study were donated to the Municipality of Syros – Ermoupolis to be used in the creation of a Geological Exhibition and implementation of Geopaths.
We have also created, again with the support of the Cyclades Preservation Fund, a small-scale, portable plastic recycling and reusing lab, under the flag of the global Precious Plastic movement, which has been operating since 2019 with object-design workshops and educational events. In 2020 we also created an e-shop for sustainable, local and fair-trade products.
What we do
Our goal is to make the geological wealth of Syros globally renowned, making the area an attraction for activities with both low impact and high quality, as well as creating jobs for young unemployed scientists. We strive to prove in action that a sustainable lifestyle can improve the everyday lives of locals whilst attracting visitors who appreciate the peculiarities of the place and need an authentic experience.
Recreation and volunteering
We organize tours in Apano Meria, we walk on its paths, we enjoy the unique landscape, we swim on the Northern beaches of Syros, we observe the flora and fauna of the protected area, we clean the paths and the beaches, we recycle plastic and we organize informative events. We see ourselves not as the owners but as the stewards of this primal, underdeveloped gem, we see the environmental, cultural and social value beyond the dollar signs.
Research and education
We coordinate and facilitate the research work of dozens of scientists who visit the island of Syros due to its environmental and geological interest. We organize workshops, seminars and other educational programs and offer access to the innovative Precious Plastic laboratory to students and volunteers.
Plans for the future
We are working to create a Research Base in Syros, that will host a multifaceted research and volunteering programme.