The natural Mediterranean vegetation has been cut for timber and firewood and cleared to plant crops for hundreds of thousands of years.
Did you know?
One third of Crete is terraced due to the long period of human effort to grow food there
It has even been said that without the olive and the vine Mediterranean civilisation may never have begun
With people leaving farms for work on the coast the animals remain which are damaging the terraces. One proposed solution is subsidies to sustain traditional crops and farming.
Others argue that subsidies themselves are at the heart of the problem. Buying traditional foods and natural products, seeking out quality and taste, farm holidays: all can help conserve these fragile environments and communities.