Paros and Antiparos Community

Κοινωνικό δίκτυο της Πάρου και Αντιπάρου

My canditature to the Prefectural Elections with "Ecological Wind"

The Islands of the Cyclades are a subtle mix of convivial physical and social environment, which together with the small and human scale that everything has, the feeling of autonomy created by the insularity and the almost unique historical background, have led them to become very popular holiday destinations, and an inspiring place for creation.

Of course this popularity also brought mass tourism which has a high impact on biodiversity and the unique cultural identity of our islands, disfigures the villages and the hinterland by uncontrolled development, wastes the groundwater and destroys traditional trades and crafts.

Local handicraft has already almost disappeared and its traditional products are being replaced by manufactured ones, mostly imported from Asia. The few farmers who have remained in their land, have difficulty competing with imported industrially produced agricultural products.

No special insight is needed to realize that such a model has an expiry date that corresponds to the moment when the characteristics that made our islands so much demanded, will not exist any-more.

So while for many the term sustainable development appears sometimes as romantic, it is easier to understand it in our islands as something very real, because sustainable tourism is a necessity to preserve our prosperity and our quality of life.

In our competitive world there are a growing number of people who want to explore destinations with a distinct identity, where the environment is protected, where they can enjoy locally produced agricultural products, buy local handicraft, discover nature and immerse in the local culture. And they are happy to pay the price for all that.
Therefore we need to cater for responsible tourists and adjust accordingly the tourist promotion of our islands, which will ensure the protection of traditional villages and coasts. But in order to achieve this we also need to actively regulate the traffic, protect the hinterland from new roads and constructions. It is also necessary to generalize the usage of renewable sources of energy and mild solutions to provide water supply. We have to choose an alternative mild development, protecting the biodiversity and the local cultural identity.

I am participating to the ballot of "Ecological Wind" because I want to support and work for a shift towards those directions of the policies in the South Aegean Prefecture.

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Comment by Shenpen Rinpoche on November 2, 2010 at 13:58
Your words are essential for the sustainability of our world, and more specifically for islands such as Paros, where resources are even more limited and fragile than on mainland.
Yes, many people are ready to put the price for participating to the development of and benefiting from local production, handicraft, and products.

The same with spiritual, traditional or religious aspects. Paros has a spiritual aspect to offer, with nice ancient places, Churches, where people could not only work for their own mind but also for the positive energy of the island. About Paros we read mostly about the beaches, and how to roast well on them, parties where to get drank or high; rarely about the archaeological remains, the ancient Greek traditions, roots of our Western societies, and how to reflect on deeper aspect of our existence, existence of the world and nature we are living in and with.

But this can work only with a major effort from local authorities, understanding of the people of the island, and reforms of the advertising habits. The emphasis should be on the “natural” and ecological aspects being completely compatible with pleasant holidays; and efforts to provide facilities and solutions for organising pensions, hotels, or group tourism coherent with using local solution, renewable energies, more natural and sustainable ways.

I hope to be an active part of these efforts soon…

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