The Greek office of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF Hellas) issued a statement on Wednesday warning of ”huge environmental and economic risks to the detriment of Crete and the rest of Greece.”
The remarks came as Greek authorities are proceeding with their plans to explore the region for oil and natural gas resources.
The Greek government and its Ministry of Environment and Energy recently issued a ministerial decree approving environmental reports regarding hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation off the coast of Crete.
WWF Hellas claims that the reports the Greek government approved are not properly scientifically validated. The organization accused the Environment and Energy Minister George Stathakis of failing to protect the region and its marine life from potential accidents in the future.
Greece plans to grant permission for natural gas and oil exploration in many maritime locations in the near future, including areas off Crete and in the Ionian Sea.