On the occasion of the celebration of the World Forest Day by the U.N. on March 21st 2021, the UNAI Hub SDG 7 (NKUA-KEPA), within the framework of the “75UN-75 Trees UNAI SDG7” initiative, announced the agreement for the preservation of historical olive trees at the region where the new airport of Heraklion is being constructed, at Kastelli Pediadas on Crete, Greece.

The program involves the transplantation of monumental olive trees at symbolic locations in the city of Heraklion and in the region of the Municipality of Minoa Pediadas as well as the preservation of a sufficient number of olive trees, that possess a significant ecological and cultural value, in order to be later planted at a properly landscaped outdoor space of the new international airport.

Photographer: P. Arvanitis, source: UNAI HUB SDG7

All stakeholders committed to elaborate an action schedule for the immediate transplantation of trees, the in-situ preservation of monumental olive trees and the adequate promotion of school competitions and activities for the enhancement of the multiple environmental benefits of this initiative.

The action will be implemented following the agreement that was concluded between the local Municipality of Minoa Pediadas and the administration of the New International Airport of Heraklion, under the coordination of the Decentralized Administration of Crete, the state organization for the Forest and Environmental Authorities on the island of Crete.

The Mayor of Minoa Pediadas, Mr. Em. Fragkakis, the CEO of the International Airport, Mr. Ath. Vourdas and the Secretary General οf the Decentralized Administration, Ms. M. Kozyraki, committed themselves and on behalf of their institutions to provide full technical and financial support for the implementation as well as the dissemination of the symbolism of this significant environmental action.

Photographer: L. Koudougiannakis, source: UNAI HUB SDG7

Living Monuments of Crete: The Oldest Olive Trees in the World

It is possible that Minoan hands once gathered olives from the ancient trees (the so-called ‘monumental olive trees’  of Crete) that are still producing fruit today, the Association of Cretan Olive Municipalities (ACOM) says .

Overall 14 such ancient olive trees scattered throughout the island have been classified as monuments by ACOM.

The trees provide a living testament to the millennia-old practice of olive cultivation on Crete. The history of olive cultivation dates at least back to the Minoans who gathered and treated and produced oil for export helping to enrich the kingdom.