Greece plans 2 marine protected areas. But rival Turkey and environmental groups aren’t impressed

The multihued waters of the Aegean Sea sparkle by the islet of Kounoupa off the island of Astypalea, in a file photo.. Greece aims to create two large marine parks as part of a 780 million euro program to protect biodiversity and marine ecosystems, with the plans to be formally announced at an international oceans conference starting in Athens Tuesday. [Giovanna Dell'Orto/AP]

Greece aims to create two large marine parks as part of a 780-million-euro ($830 million) program to protect biodiversity and marine ecosystems, with the plans to be announced at an international oceans conference starting in Athens on Tuesday.

But the plan has irked Greece's neighbor and regional rival, Turkey, while environmental organizations say the initiative doesn't go far enough, noting that the country also allows environmentally harmful practices such as energy exploration in sensitive marine environments.

"We are increasing the size of our marine protected areas by 80%, banning harmful fishing practices and using new technologies to monitor and enforce the commitments we make here," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said ahead of the conference.

The two-day meeting in Athens aims "to catalyze global action against two overlapping crises, the climate...

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