A surge in tourism development and rampant construction is posing a risk to the Greek islands of Sifnos, Serifos, and Folegandros, which have been included on Europe’s seven most endangered sites list, announced Europa Nostra on Wednesday.

The three islands in the Cyclades complex had been shortlisted in February for Europa Nostra’s “7 Most Endangered program” 2024, a civil society action launched in 2013 to safeguard Europe’s heritage.

The islands were nominated by Elliniki Etairia – Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage (ELLET) in agreement with the island mayors.

In an earlier interview to To Vima, ELLET President Stathis Potamitis said the nomination of the three islands was a “first step” towards raising much-needed awareness to the challenge that affects many other parts of Greece.

In its statement, Europa Nostra said the listing highlighted the pressing challenges facing the Cyclades due to escalating tourism and unchecked construction. Despite driving economic growth, these factors have precipitated environmental degradation, cultural and natural heritage damage, water scarcity, waste management issues, and socio-economic disparities.

This year’s 7 most endangered heritage sites in Europe are: Working-class Housing in Roubaix-Tourcoing, France; the Cycladic Islands (Sifnos, Serifos and Folegandros), Greece; the Church of San Pietro in Gessate, Milan and the Synagogue of Siena, Italy; the Home of the Yugoslav People’s Army in Sabac, Serbia; the Greek Orthodox Church of St Georgios and the Iron Gate of Antioch, Turkey.