- Management

- Archives of information

- Applied research

- Training

- Public awareness and Environmental Education

- Advice and consultation

 

Indicative EKBY Projects

 

 

MANAGEMENT

Specifications of management plans for protected areas: Drawing up of specifications and guidelines based on Greek and foreign experience, for the preparation of management plans. Elaboration of specifications of specific management plans for Natura 2000 sites.

 Conservation and management of sites of Community Importance in Greece (Directive 92/43/EEC): Preparation of management plans for 10 sites which had been proposed for inclusion in the Natura 2000 Network. Organisation of public awareness campaigns. Preparation of a monitoring guide for Natura 2000 sites.

Concerted actions for the management of the Strymonikos coastal zone: The project aims to demonstrate how coordinated action can better conserve coastal zones by promoting the concerted management of the Strymonikos coastal zone. It involves the description of the zone, a 2-year monitoring programme, the identification of major environmental problems and of alternative solutions, the promotion of participation by local people, the development of cooperative instruments among the pertinent bodies, and the raising of public awareness. (In progress). 

Wise use of irrigation water at Ramsar sites: Economic and technical ex-ante evaluation of the Prespa irrigation scheme. Evaluation of the Axios irrigation scheme and identification of ways to increase irrigation efficiencies so as to prevent the disruption of the Delta's functions. Survey of the irrigation water use in the Kerkini area, which indicated several options for wise management of water resources that would help preserve the lake's multiple functions.

Wetland restoration:

Ecological studies (Agios Mamas lagoon, Kalamas delta, Wetland forests of Nestos and Strymon): Collection of data on the ecological conditions in order to formule management proposals.

Organisation of management bodies: Project steered by the Ministry of Environment, aiming at the organisation of local management bodies which will, as a first step, undertake the operation of the public awareness and wardening infrastructure in 8 Ramsar wetlands.


  ARCHIVES OF INFORMATION

Inventory of Greek wetlands as natural resources: This activity was the first approximation to inventory the Greek wetlands in order to create the national archives of wetland information. Abiotic and biotic features, values, uses, threats, positive actions, etc. were recorded and a concise database of the above was created. Inventory sheets have been completed for about 400 wetland sites and have been published in a volume of 587 pages, which was also translated into English. A digitised thematic map was produced showing all Greek wetlands classified according to size and type. Four thematic maps (environmental impacts due to human activities, resource depletion, changes in water regime, and uses) were also produced.

Inventory, identification, evaluation and mapping of the habitat types and flora and fauna species in Greece (Directive 92/43/EEC): Data on 297 sites hosting habitat types and flora and fauna species of Community interest were collected and processed with the full support and steering of the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture (General Secretariat for Forests and the Natural Environment). A documented and evaluated scientific list of proposed sites of Community Importance in Greece was prepared to help the Greek State establish and operate the European Network of Special Areas of Conservation (Natura 2000) in Greece. The results were published in English, and a Greek concise publication is in progress.

Inventory of designated areas at regional, national and international level in Greece: Collection of data and preparation of an illustrated publication on the protected areas at national and international level, which will serve as a guide to the pertinent public services but also to NGOs, Hunting Clubs, etc. The guide is structured according to the present national legislation and will spatially depict the protected areas in a scale of 1:100,000. (In progress).

Collection and analysis of data on the vegetation of Greece (or Inventory of Greek vegetation): This activity was carried out in collaboration with the European Union for Vegetation Survey. Its main purpose was to set the foundation for the creation in the future of a phytosociological map and a complete syntaxonomical classification of the vegetation units of Greece. Information gaps were identified and a database of phytosociological measurements (r‚ lev‚ s) with the pertinent references was formed.

Spatial hydrological database for Thessaly basin: The data collected and the spatially structured database are relevant to the study of water balance in the catchment area of former Lake Karla.

Special inventory of Greek saltworks: The active and inactive saltworks of Greece were inventoried in order to propose policy measures for their integrated management.

Monitoring: Threats and problems in 50 wetlands and their hydrological basins were monitored, and members of regional NGOs were trained in recording threats and in developing conservation initiatives.

Quality of surface waters in Greece: Preparation of lists of references and experts.

Archaeological sites associated with wetlands in Halkidiki Prefecture: Archaeological sites associated with the wetlands in the Halkidiki Prefecture were inventoried. The aim was to enhance the protection of wetlands by making use of legislation protecting archaeological sites.

Greek and EU Environmental Legislation, 1989-1994, 1995-1996: Publication presenting Greek and EU environmental legislation, which makes available to all concerned citizens the potentialities offered by the existing environmental laws of Greece and of the European Union.

Autumn wader counts: Autumn wader counts in several major Greek wetlands were conducted in 1993 in order to identify constraints and appropriate approaches to increase reliability.

Collection of other information: Organisation and continuous enrichment of the EKBY library with books, journals, maps, air photographs, unpublished reports and studies, and newspaper clippings. Collection of public awareness material (leaflets, posters, video tapes etc.) produced by others, and of photographs and slides. Formation of sociological archives. The library is open to Greek and foreign experts, students, NGOs etc.

European Environmental Agency: EKBY is a partner in the European Topic Centre for Nature Conservation (ETC/NC) of the European Environmental Agency (EEA). It has also been appointed by the Greek Ministry of Environment as the EEA's National Reference Centre for Nature in Greece.


APPLIED RESEARCH

Wetland identification: Analysis of the three identification criteria (water regime, soils, vegetation) and guidelines for their use.

Grouping of wetlands: Greek wetlands were grouped in various categories on the basis of key abiotic and biotic characteristics and characteristics related to human influences.

Soil characteristics as indicators of wetland identification: The long term hydrology patterns of wetland sites were evaluated by establishing permanent monitoring stations in the Epanomi wetland, measuring water table fluctuations, matrix suction, redox potential, and other redox indicators (Fe, Mn).

Preservation of water buffaloes and management proposals: Information was collected on the few water buffalo populations still existing in the wetlands of Macedonia and Thrace. Proposals were drawn up for the species' preservation as an integral part of the wetland systems.

Heavy metal content in the soils of the Axios Delta: This work provides the baseline information for monitoring heavy metal pollution trends in the natural environment, but also suggests ways to prevent metal forms from becoming available to plants.

Agricultural practices and water quality: Field tests of the effects of fertiliser application, mulching, and ploughing on the quality of surface runoff water, aiming at the formulation of proposals for the sustainable management of lakes Volvi and Koronia.

Rice field management: Testing environmentally friendly management practices for rice production in the Nestos Delta (Ramsar Site).

The use of natural systems in water pollution control: Survey of the efficiency of macrophytes and especially Typha species in treating wastewater. Evaluation of the potential of this approach for constructing artificial wetlands in Greece to treat sewage from small villages. Initiation of a pilot project involving the establishment of experimental constructed wetlands and the monitoring of parameters indicating the ability of these wetlands to treat waste water. (In progress).

Chemical composition of aquatic macrophytes: Hydrophytic species with high capability to accumulate nutrients or other chemical elements were identified. Chemical composition data are given.

Mechanisms and consequences of carbon transformation in anaerobic wetland soil and sediments: Knowledge of organic matter dynamics and associated carbon transformations in soils and sediments is essential in understanding the mechanisms responsible for the maintenance of wetland functions and the consequences of disturbing wetland ecosystems. This review updates the information available to Greek experts and was used in post graduate courses.


TRAINING

Assessment of training needs: Inventory of training institutes and projects; assessment of training needs; investigation of potential collaborators for the conduct of future training projects; the preparation, execution, and evaluation of training projects for people involved in wetland management.

Training projects: Completion of two training courses on environmental impact assessment for the personnel of pertinent civil services. Completion of a training project on the wise use of water resources at the area of Lake Kerkini.


PUBLIC AWARENESS AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION

Newsletter "AMPHIVION": An eight-page illustrated bimonthly newsletter, first published in April 1993, with conservation news, information on key problems etc. Its mailing list, with 7,000 entries, includes civil services, experts, communities, NGOs, libraries, school teachers, the Press, members of the Greek and the European Parliament, etc. A summary in English is mailed abroad.

Environmental Education:

Communication and information material:

Photographic exhibitions: Three exhibitions on wetlands have been held. In addition, a mobile photographic exhibition on wetland functions and values was presented in several places in Greece and abroad. A mobile exhibition on Greece's biodiversity is under preparation.

Relations with the Press: A total of 151 interviews were given and 61 press releases were distributed during 1991-1996. As a result of the actions of EKBY, 4 articles appeared in the press in 1991, 27 in 1992, 61 in 1993, 171 in 1994, 220 in 1995 and 379 in 1996.

Briefing the representatives of the local authorities and the NGOs members to promote the European evironmental policy: This project involved a) A pilot implementation of a programme of collaboration between local authorities and NGOs on the wise use of natural resources in three test areas. b) The organisation of a panhellenic conference of representatives of local authorities and NGOs, which investigated pathways of communication and collaboration for the protection of the environment.

Network of communication and collaboration with NGOs: Distribution of communication material (leaflets, posters, etc.) , co-organisation and support for the NGOs' meetings, day to day communication (visits, telephone calls, letters, co-organisation of special events, lectures and seminars, etc.).

Other Public Awareness actions: Participation in the 1992 Thessaloniki International Fair, in the international fair for farmers "AGROTICA '95", in the international exhibition on the environment "HELECO 95", in events for the Global Day for the Environment and in the activities of the "European Nature Conservation Year '95". Provision of incentives for positive actions (small funds and other support to experts, groups, NGOs, and students).


ADVICE AND CONSULTATION

Provision of scientific information and advice to public authorities: Flow of requested and non requested information and recommendations to the Greek Government, local authorities and the Commission. Close collaboration especially with the Greek Ministries of Environment and Agriculture.: Flow of requested and non requested information and recommendations to the Greek Government, local authorities and the Commission. Close collaboration especially with the Greek Ministries of Environment and Agriculture.

Advice and consultation to companies: Elaboration of an ecological study of the Nestos area for "Egnatia S.A.", the company responsible for the construction of the Egnatia highway. Drawing up of specifications and supervision of the management plan for the Pinios Delta in Thessaly for the "Public Property Corporation". Drafting of specifications and supervision of a study on ecotourism for the "Development Agency of Thessaloniki S.A.".

Scientific and educational information, material, and advice to specific social groups and the general public: Continuous and ever-increasing flow of information to Greek and foreign NGOs, mass media, teachers, experts, and individuals. The information is sent within the framework of EKBY's initiatives and in response to specific requests.

Conferences and meetings: In 1991-1996 the staff participated (usually with presentations) in more than 60 conferences, seminars, workshops, and other meetings held in Greece and abroad. EKBY has organised 2 workshops (evaluation of inventory data, wetland identification and delineation of protected areas), a conference on the conservation and management of the Ramsar site of the Axios Delta, and a conference on the biological studies of the problems of Lakes Volvi and Koronia (Ramsar Site). It also initiated, co-organised and supported 6 meetings of Greek NGOs.

International action:

 

EKBY, 2010