EKBY's INTEREST AND INVOLVEMENT IN THE SUBJECT OF WATER, AGRICULTURE AND WETLANDS

EKBY was established with the active support of the School of Agriculture of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki with which it continues to cooperate closely on subjects of water science, soil science, agronomy, agricultural economics, agricultural ecology, wetland restoration and management, rural sociology, etc. It has promoted in Greece the need to view agricultural and wetland ecosystems as an integrated resource for sustainable development.  

EKBY's involvement in the relationships among water, agriculture and wetlands is evidenced by the pertinent studies it has so far conducted alone and in collaboration with other scientists as well as by its current efforts to develop new ventures related to these relationships, notably projects and other actions aiming at the implementation of the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC.

 

Background

The establishment of EKBY in 1991 was one of the benefits produced by a project entitled "Conservation and Management of Greek Wetlands: Strategy and Action Plan". The project was carried out in 1988-1990, coordinated by the Laboratory of Ecology and Environmental Protection of the School of Agriculture, Aristotle University, WWF- International and IUCN and funded by WWF-International. The project was completed with a workshop in which several working documents had been prepared. Among these were one article on the interactions between agricultural and wetland ecosystems and three articles on the agricultural conditions around three major wetlands. The Action Plan included a proposal on the establishment of a scientific body (i.e. EKBY) to work specifically on wetlands. The proposal was approved by the Greek Government and the European Commission.

One of the implicit messages of the above mentioned workshop was: "Agricultural ecosystems (especially the irrigated ones) in Greece as well in the Mediterranean region exert not only negative but also positive influences on wetland ecosystems and every effort should be made to minimize the former and maximize the latter influences. In spite of the fact that the very existence of agriculture in the Mediterranean region depends on healthy freshwater wetlands the paramount threat to those wetlands originates from unsustainable agriculture. Wetlands need to have sustainable agroecosystems in their perimetric zone". This message was seriously taken into consideration by EKBY in all its work programmes. One sees this message expressed in a more elaborate way in Resolution VIII.34 (Agriculture, wetlands and water resource management) of the COP8.

The School of Agriculture of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki recognizing the importance of wetlands for agriculture has provided and continues to provide multiple and very strong moral and material support to EKBY. Example: It provided free premises in the Agricultural Farm for the first seven years and then a plot in the same farm for the construction of EKBY's own building. Many professors of Agriculture provided scientific advice to EKBY on subjects of hydrology, agricultural economics, management of resources etc. Other professors, motivated by EKBY organized a mission to Prespa National Park to help farmers in adopting practices less harmful to the neighboring wetlands. A professor of Agricultural Ecology (P.A. Gerakis) was the first director of EKBY. Several professors participated in EKBY's projects.

Previous actions

An idea about EKBY's previous actions on the subject may be obtained by the studies, reports and articles produced by EKBY and its collaborators (see references). Also, EKBY's newsletter AMPHIBION has published numerous pertinent articles. Table 1 shows examples of characteristic previous projects.

Table 1. Examples of previous projects

PROJECT/ACTIVITIES

 

SHORT DESCRIPTION

YEARS

Restoration of Lake Karla

 

Preparation of alternative restoration solutions based on the hydrological study (modelling etc.) of the Karla watershed. The role of the wetland to be restored in facing problems of soil and water quality degradation was studied.

1992-1996

Restoration of former Lake Mavrouda

A typical restoration study requested by farmers wishing to secure more irrigation water and additional income from the development of eco-tourism. 

1997-1998

Water and soil resources management and renovation of irrigation networks for the rehabilitation of Axios Delta and Thermaikos Gulf 

Proposals to improve the operation of the irrigation scheme fed by Axios river so that more water is saved for the natural ecosystems of the Axios delta.

1998

Water resources management of the catchment area of Anthemountas river

Construction of a Spatial Decision Support Tool (SDST) to minimize environmental impact by modelling potential agro-ecosystems changes. The SDST provides an interactive visual and calculating tool. It was constructed to help the decision makers understand the spatial components of the problem and to create alternative scenarios.

1998

 

Motivated by the late G.E. Hollis, by the late S. Chatzigiannakis and by Dr. Luc Hoffmann, EKBY was involved since the very beginning of its operation in wetland restoration. In Greece the main force causing wetland drainage in 1924-1964 was agriculture. Since 1990 the main force pressing for wetland restoration is agriculture. EKBY is taking the latter force into consideration in planning restoration projects. Naturally, a sound restoration plan must aim not only at the reinstatement of the irrigation value but also at the creation of as many as possible of the other important wetland values for the rural population and for society in general.

EKBY has assisted the Greek Ministry of Agriculture in preparing a programme on the implementation of the EU agroenvironmental regulations in the agroecosystems of the watersheds of Lake Koronia and other wetlands.

The library and the electronic archives of EKBY are frequently used by the undergraduate and postgraduate students of Agriculture and Civil Engineering.

EKBY's staff have been invited to give lectures in various training seminars aiming at the sustainable use of water resources and at organic farming.

In 2000 the Ministry of Agriculture had assigned to the Goulandris Natural History Museum - EKBY the coordination of a project entitled "Agriculture and Environment". The outcome of that project was the preparation and publication of  national strategies on the following issues: water resources, soil resources, genetic resources and human resources of the rural areas.

The School of Agriculture, with the assistance of EKBY, has started an undergraduate course entitled "Wetlands and Agriculture" in 1996.

Current actions

PROJECT - ACTIVITY

SHORT DESCRIPTION

EVALUWET (FP5 project)

The project aims to improve the management of wetlands within Europe by facilitating their integration into river basin based management, as defined in the Water Framework Directive.

Conservation- Management of Lakes Cheimaditida- Zazari (Greece)  (LIFE - Nature project)

In 2003, ecological studies in lakes Cheimaditida and Zazari will be completed. The same applies for the technical study for raising the water level in lake Cheimaditida. This study will be followed by a call from the Prefecture of Florina for the expression of interest by technical firms to undertake the construction works, which will be specified by the technical study. The actual implementation of construction works will depend on ensuring the additional funding needed (~one million euro). Water level recording instruments will be established in lake Cheimaditida and the lake's hydrological model will be produced. Actions for the restoration of the  Alnus glutinosa forest and management of the reed beds in lake Cheimaditida will also be carried out. Finally, several public awareness activities will be launched (meetings, events, publications etc.).

Restoration of the Drana lagoon

EKBY will develop and assess alternative scenarios for the restoration of the Drana lagoon based on hydrological models.

Conservation actions in Strymon

It involves conservation actions for natural protected sites in the Strymon river area, mainly in the Strymonikos gulf and the Kerkini wetland. The actions are outlining a monitoring scheme for the marine environment, developing proposals for the sustainable development of the area, disseminating information on natural resources and environmental information activities.

 

A list of pertinent project proposals, which have been submitted or have been prepared by EKBY or its collaborators, is shown in Table 3.

Table 3. Pending proposals submitted by EKBY

Project proposal

Source or Programme

Water management plans for the regions of Central and Eastern Macedonia (assessment completed successfully, contract signing pending)

Greek Ministry of Development

Evaluating the functions of lake Doirani and promoting conservation measures (Greece and FYROM) (assessment completed successfully, contract signing pending)

Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DAC)

Ecosystem based water resources management to minimise environmental impacts from agriculture using state of the art modelling tools in Strymonas basin (Greece)

EU (LIFE ENVIRONMENT)

Ecological quality in small lakes in Greece and Turkey

Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DAC)

Developing information systems in the Public Power Company for managing environmental data

Public Power Company

3rd Community Support Framework

Ecological quality of water (implementation of Dir 2000/60 in Greece)

Greek Ministry of Environment, water section

EuroLimpacks: impact of climate change on wetlands

EU (FP6)

 

EKBY is in cooperation with staff members from the School of Agriculture is in contact with the Ministry of Agriculture in order to support the latter in its new programme on sustainable agriculture.

EKBY cooperates with the Laboratory of Ecology and Environmental Protection to develop research project proposals on the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes.

 

References

 

Studies, Reports, Articles prepared by EKBY and its Collaborators.

Al-Khudhairy D.H.A, I.M. Shepherd, A. Langhoff, R. Calaon, V. Hoffmann, J.R. Thompson, C.T. Agnew, H. Gavin, D. Gasca-Tucker, G. Zalidis, G. Bilas, S. Chatzigiannakis, A. Refsgaard, H. Refstrup Sorensen. 1999. New integrated technologies for wetland management and protection. Abstract of a paper presented at the 3rd Danish Hydrological Institute (DHI) Software Conference. Helsingor, Denmark, 7-11 June 1999.

Al-Khudhairy D.H.A, C. Leemhuis, V. Hoffmann, I.M. Shepherd, J.R. Thompson, H. Gavin, D. Gasca Tucker, G. Zalidis, G. Bilas, A. Refsgaard, H. Refstrup Sorenson, D. Papadimos, and A. Argentieri. 2000. Modern software tools for wetland management, conservation and restoration. Proceedings of the Second SHYLOC Workshop. Volos, Greece, 6th October. 2000. 193 p.

Al-Khudhairy D.H.A, C. Leemhuis, V. Hoffmann, I.M. Shepherd, R. Calaon, J.R. Thompson, H. Gavin, D. Gasca Tucker, G. Zalidis, G. Bilas, and D. Papadimos. 2002. Monitoring wetland ditch water levels using landsat TM and ground-based measurements. Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing 68(8): 809-818.

Al-Khudhairy, D.H.A., C. Leemhuis, V. Hoffmann, R. Calaon, I.M. Shepherd, J.R. Thompson, H. Gavin, D. Gasca Tucker, H. Refstrup Sorenson, A. Refsgaard, G. Bilas, G. Zalidis, and D. Papadimos. 2000. Innovative technologies for scientific wetland management, conservation and restoration. International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS). Publication Number 267.

Anagnostopoulou, Maria and C. Perennou. 1994. Catalogue of training courses relevant to wetland and water management in Greece. A MedWet publication. Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY) and Station Biologique de la Tour du Valat. 63 p.

Anagnostopoulou, Maria and K. Skordas. 1995. MedWet training sub-project: Application on test site Kerkini, Greece, description of action and applicability of MedWet method for training. A MedWet publication. Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY). Thermi. 14 p. (En, Gr su)

Anastasiadis, E.T., V. Takavakoglou, and D. Papadimos. 2002. Identification of potential wetland restoration projects. p. 93-101. In: G.C. Zalidis, T.L. Crisman, and P.A. Gerakis (editors). Restoration of Mediterranean wetlands. Hellenic Ministry of the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, Athens and Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre, Thermi, Greece. (Gr, En)

Anastasiadis, E.T., G. Bilas, G. Galanis, V. Takavakoglou, and Sotiria Karsavouni. 2002. Wetland restoration in response to public needs and expectations: Lake Mavrouda. p. 193-200. In: G.C. Zalidis, T.L. Crisman, and P.A. Gerakis (editors). Restoration of Mediterranean wetlands. Hellenic Ministry of the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, Athens and Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre, Thermi, Greece. (Gr, En)

Apostolakis, A.K., X.P. Dimitriadis, G.C. Zalidis, N. Silleos, and S.L. Chatzigiannakis. 1995. The use of GIS for water balance study in the Karla's wetland watershed.. p. 413-422. In: Proceedings 2nd International Exhibition and Conference for Environmental Technology. HELECO '95. Athens. 9-12 November 1995. (Gr, En su)

Apostolakis, A.K., G.C. Zalidis, and X.P. Dimitriadis. 1995. Construction of a spatial data base for hydrologic data for Thessaly's hydrological basins and the use of GIS for hydrologic data processing. Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY). Thermi. 15 p. (Gr, En su)

Apostolakis, A., G. Zalidis, D. Papadimos, N. Syllaios, and A. Gerakis. 1998. A spatial distribution method to rehabilitate the recharge-discharge function of Anthemountas watershed. p. 1011-1012 In: Proceedings of 4th International Conference on Protection and Restoration of the Environment. Center for Environmental Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology, USA and the Division of Hydraulics and Environmental Engineering of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Halkidiki, Greece, July, 1998.

Bartzoudis, G. 1993. Improving the operation, as an irrigation reservoir, of Lake Kerkini in order to serve other functions. Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY). Thermi. 72 p. (Gr)

Dimitriadis, X.P. 1995a. A method for improving the irrigation efficiency in the Axios irrigation network and its importance for the natural wetland areas of the Delta. Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY). Thermi. 206 p. (Gr, En su)

Dimitriadis, X.P. 1995b. Nature restoration in the Mediterranean area. p. 49-55. In: Nature restoration in the European Union (Proceedings of a seminar held in Denmark, 29-31 May 1995). Ministry of Environment and Energy, The National Forest and Nature Agency. Denmark.

Dimitriadis, X.P., G.C. Zalidis, and V.Z. Antonopoulos. 1996. Water management of the Axios irrigation networks p.894-909. In: Proceedings of the 2nd National Conference on Land Reclamation Projects-Water Resources Management-Agriculture Mechanisation. Larisa, 24-27 April 1996.

Georghiou, K. (Project Leader). 1996. Specific management plan for the Site Koilada kai Ekvoles Spercheiou-Maliakos Kolpos (GR2440002). Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY). Thermi. 275 p. (Gr, En su)

Georgiadis, T. (Project Leader). 1996. Specific management plan for the Site Ekvoles Acheronta kai Stena Acheronta (GR2140001). Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY). Thermi. 228 p. (Gr, En su)

Georgoudis, A. 1993. Population characteristics and production systems of water buffaloes in Greek wetlands. Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY) and Section of Animal Production, Faculty of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. 64 p. (Gr, En su)

Georgoudis, A., C. Ligda, and J. Boyazoglu. 1994. Population characteristics of water buffaloes in Greek wetlands. Animal Resources Information Bulletin of UNEP-FAO 14: 83-95.

Gerakis, A. and Kiriaki Kalburtji. 1998. Agricultural activities affecting the functions and values of Ramsar wetland sites of Greece. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 70:119-128

Gerakis, A., Kiriaki Kalburtji, and S. Tsiouris. 1998. The role of organic farming in the sustainable development of watershed resources of Greece. P. 638-644. In N. El Bassam, R.K. Bell and B. Prochnow (eds) Sustainable agriculture for food, energy and industry: Strategies towards achievement. Proceedings of the International Conference held in Braunschweig, Germany, June 1997. James and James (Science Publishers) Ltd, London.

Giannakopoulou, Trisevgeni. 1995. Water quality monitoring of Lake Ismaris. Polytechnic School of Democritus University of Thrace. Xanthi. 28 p. (Gr, En su)

Hadjicharalambous Helena, K.L. Kalburtji, and A.P. Mamolos. 2001b. Fuzzy set analysis and canonical correspondance analysisi of soil arthropods (Coleoptera, Isopoda) in organic and conventional agroecosystems. p. 1022-1023. In: W.J. Horst, M.K. Schenk, A. Burkert, N. Claassen, H. Flessa, W.B. Frommer, H. Goldbach, H.-W. Olfs, V. Romheld, B. Sattelmacher, U. Schmidhalter, S. Schubert., N.v. Wiren, and L. Wittenmayer. (editors). Plant Nutrition: food security and sustainability of agro-ecosystems through basic and applied research. Development in Plant and Soil Sciences Series Vol. 92. Kluwer Academic Publishers. The Netherlands.

Hadjicharalambous Helena, K.L. Kalburtji, and A.P. Mamolos. 2001c. The relationship between land cover/use types and the diversity of weed and carabid beetles in organic and conventional agroecosystems. p.152-159.In: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology. Ermoupolis, Syros Island, Greece. 3-6 September 2001. University of the Aegean and GLOBAL NEST. V. III.

Hadjicharalambous Helena, Kalburtji K.L., and Mamolos A.P. 2002. Soil arthropod (Coleoptera, Isopoda) in organic and conventional agroecosystems. Environmental Management 29:683-690.

Kaiser, C., G.C. Zalidis, and A. Gerakis. 1997. Hydrological modelling of the Karla watershed to analyse groundwater depletion and restore pre-existing wetland functions. p. 325-332. In: J.C. Refsgaard and E.A. Karalis (editors), Operational Water Management. Balkema, Rotterdam, Kopenhagen, Denmark 1997.

Kalburtji, Kiriaki (editor). 2000. Monitoring and evaluating organic farming in Greece. Final Report (February 2000). Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY) and Laboratory of Ecology and Environmental Protection, School of Agriculture Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. 103 p. + App. 25 p. (Gr)

Katsavouni, Sotiria and X.P. Dimitriadis. 1995. Catalogue of hydrological data for the Axios delta wetland. Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY). Thermi. 42 p. (Gr)

Kontos N., V. Takavakoglou, and S. Chatzigiannakis (editors). 1999. Restoring wetland functions. A technical bulletin. A MedWet publication. Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY). Thermi. Greece. 72 p.

Koutrakis, E.T. 1994. Greek wetlands. p. 390-402. In: Selected topics of environmental management. The Goulandris Natural History Museum. Kifisia. (Gr)

Louloudis, L., N. Beopoulos, G. Vlahos, and N. Gounaris. 1995. Biotope/wetland sociological data. Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY) and Agricultural University of Athens, Department of Agricultural Economics, Laboratory of Comparative Agriculture and Agricultural Extension. 200 p. (Gr)

Mavroudis I., A. Panoras, and G.C. Zalidis. 1999. Influence of ricefield irrigation on groundwater table and secondary soil salinization in Greece. Journal of Balkan Ecology 2: 29-36.

Mihalatou, Helen, Efthalia Lazaridou, and Ourania Giannakou. 2001. Inventory of projects and studies and formulation of proposals for the restoration of natural and agricultural ecosystems situated in the west part of Thessaloniki's coastal zone. Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY). Thermi. 131 p. + IV annexes.

Panoras, A., J. Mavroudis, G.C. Zalidis, X.P. Dimitriadis, and S. Chatzigiannakis. 1995. Soil survey of the soils surrounding Drana lagoon. Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY). Thermi. 55 + App. 4 p. (Gr, En su)

Papadimos, D, G.C. Zalidis, and E.T. Anastasiadis. 2002. Restoration of wetland functions as a mean of soil and water resources management in the watershed of Athemoundas. p. 357-369. In: Proceedingos of the 9th Hellenic Soil Society Conference, Athens, 23-24 September, 2002. (Gr, En su).

Psychoudakis, A., Sofia Papoutsi-Psychoudaki, and A.M.M. McFarquhar. 1995. An economic assessment of an irrigation project affecting a Greek wetland. Wetlands Ecology and Management 3: 225-232.

Shepherd, I.M., D.Al-Khudhairy, C. Kaiser, J.R. Thompson, G.C. Zalidis, S. Chatzigiannakis, and A. Refsgaard. 1998. SHYLOC: System for hydrology using land observation for model calibration. p. 433-440. In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Hydroinformatics '98. Balkema/Rotterdam, 24-26 August 1998.

Shepherd, I.M., D.AL-Khudhairy, C. Kaiser, J.R. Thompson, G.C. Zalidis, S. Chatzigiannakis, and A. Refsgaard. 1999. The use of SHYLOC for wetland restoration and management. p. 40-53. In: N. Kontos, V. Takavakoglou, and S. Chatzigiannakis (editors). Restoring wetland functions. A MedWet publication. Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY). Thermi.

Skordas, K. and Maria Anagnostopoulou (editors). 1995. Sustainable management of the water of lake Kerkini. Proceedings of a training course, Serres, 25-29 September 1995. A MedWet publication. Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY), Ministry of Environment, and Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace. 144 p. (Gr, En su)

Takavakoglou, V., G.C. Zalidis, E.T. Anastasiadis, and A. Panoras. The watershed approach for restoration of Mediterranean rivers: the Axios river. p. 153-164. In: G. Zalidis, T.L. Crisman, and P.A. Gerakis (editors). Restoration of Mediterranean wetlands. Hellenic Ministry of the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, Athens and Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre, Thermi, Greece. (Gr, En)

Tryfon, Eleni and Eva Papastergiadou. 1995a. Preliminary review of water quality research in Greece. Abstract of a paper presented at the International Congress organised by the Stockholm Water Company, Stockholm, Sweden, August 1995.

Tsiouris, S., Kiriaki L. Kalburtzi, and D. Alifragis. 1993. Effects of agricultural practices on the quality of surface runoff water and transported soil sediments in the watershed of Lake Koronia, Greece. Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY). Thermi. 48 p. (Gr, En su)

Tsiouris, S. (Project Leader). 1996. Specific management plan for the Site Limnes Cheimaditida-Zazari (GR1340005). Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre. Thermi. 212 p. (Gr, En su)

Tsiouris, S.E., A.P. Mamolos, Kiriaki L. Kalbourji, and D. Alifrangis. 2002. The quality of runoff water collected from a wheat field margin in Greece. Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment 89: 117-125.

Tsiouris, S.E., A.P. Mamolos, Kiriaki L. Kalbourji, and N. Barbayannis. Fertilizer application on wheat fields and the quality of runoff and stream water at the watersheads of two Ramsar wetlands in Northern Greece. Environmental Management (submitted for publication).

Tsougrakis, I. 1995. Livestock grazing in wetlands and its effects on the avifauna: a literature review. Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY). Thermi. 27 p. (Gr, En su)

Wise, W.R., M.D. Annable, G.C. Zalidis, E.T. Anastasiadis, and D. Papadimos. 2002. Eco-hydrology and wetland restoration. p. 23-33. In: G.C. Zalidis, T.L. Crisman, and P.A. Gerakis (editors). Restoration of Mediterranean wetlands. Hellenic Ministry of the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, Athens and Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre, Thermi, Greece. (Gr, En)

Wurdinger, M. and H. Jerrentrup. 1995. The development of best management practices in rice farming of the Nestos Delta (NE-Greece) as a contribution to wetland protection in the Mediterranean. Final report. Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY). Thermi, University of Muenster - Institute of Ecology (Germany) and Society for Protection of Nature and Ecodevelopment (Chrysoupolis). 19 p.

Zalidis G.C, X.P. Dimitriadis, A.K. Apostolakis, and N. Misopolinos. 1995. Remediation prespectives of an environmental impact on a coastal wetland resulting from the unwise use of river discharge for irrigation. p. 67. In: Abstracts of the meeting "The soil as a strategic resource: Degradation processes and conservation measures". E.S.S.C. 11-15 July 1995. Canary Islands, Spain.

Zalidis G.C., X.P. Dimitriadis, and S.L. Chatzigiannakis. 1995b. Modelling the hydrology of wetlands - 1st phase. Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY). Thermi. 30 p. + App. 520 p.

Zalidis, G.C. and A. Gerakis. 1999. Evaluating the sustainability of watershed resources management through wetland functional analysis. Environmental Management 24:193-207.

Zalidis, G., S. Stamatiadis, V. Takavakoglou, K. Eskridge, and N. Misopolinos. 2002. Impacts of agricultural practices on soil and water quality in the Mediterranean region and proposed assessment methodology. Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment 88: 137-146.

This page was last updated on 06/12/2007 .