Five Southern Aegean Islands, GREECE
The Five Islands – namely Amorgos, Kimolos, Kithira, Sikinos and Tinos – are located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea, while four of them (Amorgos, Kimolos, Sikinos and Tinos) are part of the Cyclades island group. They share the so-called “Cycladic landscape”, which gives them a high cultural and environmental value. This iconic landscape, which forms a vital part of Greek and also European identity, is formed by the harmonious coexistence between the Aegean Sea, hills, mountains, traditional settlements, monuments and archaeological sites.
This multi-layered landscape is now in grave danger due to the Greek government encouraging its transformation into an industrial zone of wind parks with prominent wind turbines. The plan is to install wind turbines in different parts of each island, often side by side with archaeological sites, some within protected Natura 2000 areas and as a backdrop to traditional villages. According to the plans, the turbines proposed vastly exceed the islands’ actual needs and are meant to outsource energy to other Greek locations. The wind turbines will not only visually impact the islands’ landscape, but they will have effects on the morphological and climatic elements of the islands, endangering both their flora and fauna and, consequently, the agricultural, livestock and touristic sectors. Undoubtedly, this will diminish the landscape’s environmental and cultural value and place the livelihood of local communities at risk.
Elliniki Etairia – Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage nominated the Five Southern Aegean Islands to the 7 Most Endangered Programme 2021. Elliniki Etairia has fought for a sustainable lifestyle using renewable energy since 1972. However, in the case of the Cycladic landscape, as in the selected Five Southern Aegean Islands, the organisation asks for alternative and balanced clean-energy solutions rather than wind parks, together with an in-depth consultation process with local communities and experts.