Description of project area

The project site is located in the municipality of Nikiforos Fokas, in the north of Rethymnon prefecture, Crete. It is bounded to the north by the Cretan Sea, to the south by the Municipality of Sellia, to the east by the Municipality of Episkopi and to the west by the Municipality of Rethymnon. The municipality's jurisdiction extends over fourteen former community wards and comprises a total of 21 villages. All villages have a long history and are known for their magnificent architecture. The municipality has a total area of 9600 ha, and a population of approximately 6600.

The selected pilot municipality is one of the many municipalities in Greece but also in Mediterranean facing the same problem of the uncontrolled disposal of untreated olive oil mills wastes. Five olive oil mills are in function in the area for more than 10 years, whereas there are also two more mills that have stopped their activities before 5 and 3 years. Some of the active mills use evaporation lagoons while other dispose their wastes directly in rivers and streams. So far no detailed study has been carried out in the region but also in the neighbouring municipalities to evaluate the quality of the soil and water resources and the way that mills’ activities affect the surrounding environment.