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Sixth National Report

  published:10 Dec 2019

Section I. Information on the targets being pursued at the national level

Greece

1. INCREASING KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE ASSESSMENT OF BIODIVERSITY STATUS

The protection of biodiversity is directly related to scientific research. Therefore, it is necessary to increase and update relevant knowledge, so that, through scientific analysis and studies, the public may be appropriately informed and appreciate the status and trends of the natural environment, the functioning of natural systems and the interaction between biotic and abiotic parameters. This knowledge base is bound to enhance the design of targeted actions for the conservation of biodiversity. In particular, the support of applied research on the management of species and habitats will contribute to the more efficient planning of the necessary actions for the protection of biodiversity in Greece. At the same time, support for research and dissemination will fulfill the legal obligations of the country with regard to monitoring the conservation status of species and habitat types.


At present, there is a major gap in organizing the current knowledge of biodiversity and how access to the latter can be facilitated. It is necessary to create a central repository where existing knowledge is collected and maintained and new knowledge is also deposited, so as to become available and accessible to all interested parties (the scientific community and the wider public). The creation of national databases that include basic information on Greek biodiversity will provide an essential tool in creating and maintaining an effective management and monitoring system. 

General Target 1 includes Specific Targets 1.1. and 1.2.:
1.1. Facilitate access to scientific knowledge (regarding the Greek flora and fauna) and fill in the gaps in scientific data
1.2. Facilitate access to information on actions for biodiversity conservation and monitoring, as well as the implementation of the National Strategy
EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
1. Awareness of biodiversity values
12. Preventing extinctions
13. Agricultural biodiversity
14. Essential ecosystem services
19. Biodiversity knowledge
Relevant documents and information

The process of developing and adopting this national target follows the development of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP). The NBSAP is the outcome of a long process that started in 1999, when the Zoological Museum of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens submitted the first draft of the national biodiversity strategy and national action plan to the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Public Works (as it was known then, which is the today’s Ministry of Environment & Energy). The next important step was taken when the Greek Biotope Wetland Centre and the Goulandris Natural History Museum, following the directions of the Natural Environment Management Unit of the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Public Works, submitted a new draft of the national biodiversity strategy. In 2009, this draft was subject to public consultation. The opinions and comments of the general public were evaluated by a group of experts and government representatives. Then, the text was thoroughly revised, enriched and updated by a working group from the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change and various environmental NGOs (with representatives from: WWF Greece, Greenpeace, Arktouros, Hellenic Ornithological Society, Hellenic Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage, Callisto, Mediterranean SOS Network and Archelon).


The revised version was again submitted to public consultation in 2014. Finally, the Greek Natura 2000 Committee evaluated, revised and approved the text in accordance with the provisions of Greek Law No 3937/2011. The final version is the result of the collaboration among the Natural Environment Management Unit, the Special Service for the Coordination of Environmental Actions and the Working Group for the Coordination of Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, which was set up in 2013 by the Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change.

EN

2. CONSERVATION OF NATIONAL NATURAL CAPITAL AND ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION

The implementation of national, European and international environmental legislation and the coordinated protection of the components of biodiversity require planning and prioritization that will determine the priorities of actions for the next years. The existing institutional arrangements governing protected species are old, and the list of protected species needs to be updated based on the latest scientific literature and new versions of the Red Book for plants and animals. As a first step, it is necessary to select species and habitats that require increased protection, management or restoration based on specific criteria. The criteria may include: (a) the species designated as protected or endangered, (b) their rarity (e.g. endemics), (c) their importance in the context of Greek biodiversity, (d) their conservation status, (e) their risk of genetic erosion and (f) the severity or importance of the threats they face. Therefore, beyond the species and habitat types already included in the EU and international commitments, other species and habitat types may be listed and ultimately become designated as being of EU and international interest. 

Prioritization for the conservation of species and habitat types will only be effective if accompanied by specific actions, which should not be ad hoc or fragmentary, but should be based on new, updated or existing action plans. Action plans define the management actions necessary for the protection and/or recovery of species or habitat types and may be specified by either region or species. 

Monitoring of the conservation status of species and habitat types is a national legal obligation that arises from the European environmental legislation. At the same time, it is an important tool for the inventory and management of the state of biodiversity in Greece. Therefore, the development and application of scientific monitoring plans for species and habitat types of community importance are required. Among these, particular emphasis should be placed on the monitoring and assessment of the conservation status of species and habitats listed in the annexes of Directives 92/43/EEC and 2009/147/EC, since the current status for the monitoring of these species is far from being ideal. This issue was revealed by a recent assessment of the conservation status of species of Community interest, which was performed in the context of the second national six year report in accordance with article 17 of Directive 92/43/EEC.

General Target 2 includes Specific Targets 2.1. and 2.2.:
2.1. Conservation of species and habitat types in Greek terrestrial and marine ecosystems, to promote the goal of sustainability
2.2. Restoration of important species and habitat types
EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
2. Integration of biodiversity values
5. Loss of habitats
6. Sustainable fisheries
11. Protected areas
12. Preventing extinctions
14. Essential ecosystem services
15. Ecosystem resilience
 
10. Vulnerable ecosystems
Relevant documents and information

The process of developing and adopting this national target follows the development of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP). The NBSAP is the outcome of a long process that started in 1999, when the Zoological Museum of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens submitted the first draft of the national biodiversity strategy and national action plan to the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Public Works (as it was known then, which is the today’s Ministry of Environment & Energy). The next important step was taken when the Greek Biotope Wetland Centre and the Goulandris Natural History Museum, following the directions of the Natural Environment Management Unit of the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Public Works, submitted a new draft of the national biodiversity strategy. In 2009, this draft was subject to public consultation. The opinions and comments of the general public were evaluated by a group of experts and government representatives. Then, the text was thoroughly revised, enriched and updated by a working group from the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change and various environmental NGOs (with representatives from: WWF Greece, Greenpeace, Arktouros, Hellenic Ornithological Society, Hellenic Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage, Callisto, Mediterranean SOS Network and Archelon).


The revised version was again submitted to public consultation in 2014. Finally, the Greek Natura 2000 Committee evaluated, revised and approved the text in accordance with the provisions of Greek Law No 3937/2011. The final version is the result of the collaboration among the Natural Environment Management Unit, the Special Service for the Coordination of Environmental Actions and the Working Group for the Coordination of Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, which was set up in 2013 by the Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change.

EN

3. ORGANISATION AND OPERATION OF A NATIONAL SYSTEM OF PROTECTED AREAS AND ENHANCEMENT OF THE BENEFITS FROM THEIR MANAGEMENT

The institutional reinforcement of protected areas in Greece is a decisive step towards biodiversity conservation. Today, there are several areas where necessary designations are still pending, despite the fact that they meet all the necessary requirements specified in the relevant legislation. The incorporation of these areas in the national system of protected areas and the resolution of the organisational and operational issues are among the objectives of the NBSAP.


Regarding the Natura 2000 network, the selection and designation of more marine protected areas are deemed as a priority action that has been outlined in the NBSAP, and, as a consequence, has recently important progress at national level. Sites of Community Importance, that are already approved by the European Commission for the Mediterranean biogeographical zone, are mostly classified as Special Areas of Conservation. The institutional fortification of these areas should be accompanied by the adoption of institutional, administrative and management measures to maintain or restore the species and habitat types that have justified the designation of these areas.


Habitat fragmentation is one of the major threats to biodiversity. Species need adequate space, within which they may move and feed, so that their populations can maintain good conservation status. The successful management of individual protected areas is not sufficient to achieve the conservation objectives of certain species (usually large predatory species), unless there are ecological corridors that allow local populations to interact and persist. To delineate ecological corridors, it is necessary to identify species that have such needs, study their ecological requirements, and then map and identify areas where specific conservation and management measures are needed. Ecological corridors serve several purposes at the same time. Such corridors are able to: (1) maintain an area of good ecological status, (2) offer the opportunity to continue to provide ecological functions, and (3) help species and habitat types to adapt to climate change.


General Target 3 includes Specific Targets 3.1.- 3.3.:
3.1. Effective organisation of the administration and management of protected areas and the implementation of preventive measures in protected areas
3.2. Application of exemplary and innovative practices in the productive sectors and tourism based on the management plan of each area for biodiversity conservation and management
3.3. Delimitation and potential integration of ecological corridors into a special status along with their effective management
EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
5. Loss of habitats
6. Sustainable fisheries
11. Protected areas
12. Preventing extinctions
14. Essential ecosystem services
15. Ecosystem resilience
 
10. Vulnerable ecosystems
Relevant documents and information

The process of developing and adopting this national target follows the development of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP). The NBSAP is the outcome of a long process that started in 1999, when the Zoological Museum of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens submitted the first draft of the national biodiversity strategy and national action plan to the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Public Works (as it was known then, which is the today’s Ministry of Environment & Energy). The next important step was taken when the Greek Biotope Wetland Centre and the Goulandris Natural History Museum, following the directions of the Natural Environment Management Unit of the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Public Works, submitted a new draft of the national biodiversity strategy. In 2009, this draft was subject to public consultation. The opinions and comments of the general public were evaluated by a group of experts and government representatives. Then, the text was thoroughly revised, enriched and updated by a working group from the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change and various environmental NGOs (with representatives from: WWF Greece, Greenpeace, Arktouros, Hellenic Ornithological Society, Hellenic Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage, Callisto, Mediterranean SOS Network and Archelon).


The revised version was again submitted to public consultation in 2014. Finally, the Greek Natura 2000 Committee evaluated, revised and approved the text in accordance with the provisions of Greek Law No 3937/2011. The final version is the result of the collaboration among the Natural Environment Management Unit, the Special Service for the Coordination of Environmental Actions and the Working Group for the Coordination of Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, which was set up in 2013 by the Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change.

EN

4. CONSERVATION OF THE GENETIC RESOURCES OF GREECE – FACILITATING ACCESS TO GENETIC RESOURCES – FAIR AND EQUITABLE SHARING OF THE BENEFITS ARISING FROM THEIR UTILIZATION

The three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity include the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources. The three objectives of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture are related to conservation, the sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their use, in accordance with the Convention on Biological Diversity for sustainable agriculture and food security. Genetic diversity is a component of biodiversity; therefore, genetic resources are included in the objectives of both international agreements.


In Greece, the existing institutional framework includes provisions for the protection of the country’s plant germplasm and the conservation and protection of indigenous breeds of livestock (PD* 80/1990 and PD* 434/1995). In the context of the National Biodiversity Strategy (NBSAP) priority is given to the continuing registration, characterization and evaluation as well as the conservation of plant genetic resources, forest genetic resources and the genetic resources of livestock. In addition, priority is given to the conservation of genetic resources in situ (on the farm) or ex situ (in institutes, such as gene banks and botanical gardens), particularly for genetic resources of economic importance to the country. Special care should be taken to prevent the potential impacts of genetically modified organisms on biodiversity.


Genetic resources are part of the sovereignty of each state and, thus, institutional protection and regulation are required. This institutional framework should cover issues of access and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilization. Regarding these issues, an institutional framework is lacking, with the exception of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (in which access to and the distribution of the benefits are carried out by the Standard Material Transfer Agreement), which should be addressed as soon as possible. This need is even more urgent today, by following the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol on access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilization. Moreover, the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol should take into account the potential impact on the rights of breeders, farmers and local communities who have contributed to the conservation and utilization of genetic resources.

General Target 4 includes Specific Targets 4.1.-4.4.:
4.1. Ensuring access to scientific records of genetic resources and filling in the gaps in scientific data
4.2. In situ and/or ex situ conservation of Greek genetic resources
4.3. Facilitating access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of these resources
4.4. The study, prevention and reduction of the impact of Genetically Modified Organisms on biodiversity

*Presidential Decree
EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
13. Agricultural biodiversity
16. Nagoya Protocol on ABS
Relevant documents and information

The process of developing and adopting this national target follows the development of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP). The NBSAP is the outcome of a long process that started in 1999, when the Zoological Museum of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens submitted the first draft of the national biodiversity strategy and national action plan to the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Public Works (as it was known then, which is the today’s Ministry of Environment & Energy). The next important step was taken when the Greek Biotope Wetland Centre and the Goulandris Natural History Museum, following the directions of the Natural Environment Management Unit of the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Public Works, submitted a new draft of the national biodiversity strategy. In 2009, this draft was subject to public consultation. The opinions and comments of the general public were evaluated by a group of experts and government representatives. Then, the text was thoroughly revised, enriched and updated by a working group from the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change and various environmental NGOs (with representatives from: WWF Greece, Greenpeace, Arktouros, Hellenic Ornithological Society, Hellenic Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage, Callisto, Mediterranean SOS Network and Archelon).


The revised version was again submitted to public consultation in 2014. Finally, the Greek Natura 2000 Committee evaluated, revised and approved the text in accordance with the provisions of Greek Law No 3937/2011. The final version is the result of the collaboration among the Natural Environment Management Unit, the Special Service for the Coordination of Environmental Actions and the Working Group for the Coordination of Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, which was set up in 2013 by the Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change.

EN

5. ENHANCING THE SYNERGIES AMONG THE MAIN SECTORAL POLICIES FOR THE CONSERVATION OF BIODIVERSITY- ESTABLISHING INCENTIVES

Biodiversity is an issue that transcends typical sectoral policies and demands a multi-layer approach. Thus, it is necessary to integrate nature conservation into all other sectoral policies. Spatial and urban planning policies coordinate the location of all activities in space and, therefore, may decisively contribute to protecting natural habitats, in the proper demarcation of human activities, and avoiding habitat fragmentation. These policies ultimately contribute to conserving biodiversity, both in rural and urban areas.


Planning policy is based on the General Framework for Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development. The general framework is, by law, the reference basis for the coordination and harmonization of policies, programmes and developmental projects that have significant impact on national cohesion and economic development. There is a need to strengthen the connection of the developmental planning of sectoral policies with spatial planning. Therefore, the priorities and strategic directions of the General Framework for Spatial Planning and the Special Frameworks for Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development should improve the integration of the needs of biodiversity conservation and landscape protection (in accordance with the European Landscape Convention as ratified by Law No 3827/2010), while taking into account the new circumstances and the significant consequences that climate change might have (e.g. fires, floods, erosion, drought, desertification, etc.) and trying to adapt existing plans in order to integrate these issues.

Despite their usefulness, the strategic directions of the above projects are not sufficient to prevent local pressures within the boundaries of protected areas and within the limits of human settlements. Therefore, it is necessary to produce or improve land use plans at local level, which are presented through the local spatial plans of municipalities (General Urban Plans and/or the City Master Plans).

This target aims to integrate biodiversity conservation into various sectoral policies, such as infrastructure, residential and industrial development, tourism, the primary productive sector (agriculture, livestock, fisheries and forestry), the sector of energy production from renewable sources, mining, and the collection of biological and other natural resources.

General Target 5 includes Specific Targets 5.1.-5.8.:
5.1. Effective integration of biodiversity conservation at all levels of spatial planning
5.2. Minimizing the impacts of large infrastructure projects
5.3. Ensuring the compatibility of residential and industrial development activities (including conventional energy production) with biodiversity conservation
5.4. Ensuring the compatibility of tourist activities with biodiversity conservation
5.5. Ensuring the compatibility of agricultural, fishing and forestry activities with biodiversity conservation
5.6. Ensuring the compatibility of energy production activities and infrastructure (including renewable energy) with biodiversity conservation
5.7. Ensuring the compatibility of mining activities with biodiversity conservation
5.8. Ensuring the compatibility of other activities (like hunting, the collection of plants and animals) with biodiversity conservation
EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
3. Incentives
4. Use of natural resources
6. Sustainable fisheries
7. Areas under sustainable management
8. Pollution
10. Vulnerable ecosystems
13. Agricultural biodiversity
14. Essential ecosystem services
15. Ecosystem resilience
 
11. Protected areas
Relevant documents and information

The process of developing and adopting this national target follows the development of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP). The NBSAP is the outcome of a long process that started in 1999, when the Zoological Museum of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens submitted the first draft of the national biodiversity strategy and national action plan to the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Public Works (as it was known then, which is the today’s Ministry of Environment & Energy). The next important step was taken when the Greek Biotope Wetland Centre and the Goulandris Natural History Museum, following the directions of the Natural Environment Management Unit of the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Public Works, submitted a new draft of the national biodiversity strategy. In 2009, this draft was subject to public consultation. The opinions and comments of the general public were evaluated by a group of experts and government representatives. Then, the text was thoroughly revised, enriched and updated by a working group from the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change and various environmental NGOs (with representatives from: WWF Greece, Greenpeace, Arktouros, Hellenic Ornithological Society, Hellenic Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage, Callisto, Mediterranean SOS Network and Archelon).


The revised version was again submitted to public consultation in 2014. Finally, the Greek Natura 2000 Committee evaluated, revised and approved the text in accordance with the provisions of Greek Law No 3937/2011. The final version is the result of the collaboration among the Natural Environment Management Unit, the Special Service for the Coordination of Environmental Actions and the Working Group for the Coordination of Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, which was set up in 2013 by the Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change.

EN

6. CONSERVATION OF LANDSCAPE DIVERSITY

The number of types of natural and anthropogenic ecosystems, their spatial distribution and the area they occupy define the characteristics of landscapes. According to the European Landscape Convention, which Greece ratified by Law No 3827/2010, landscape is defined as a natural area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or anthropogenic processes. It is a definition that conveys the modern perception of landscape, including its cultural, ecological and social dimensions. Therefore, the European Landscape Convention is an important step towards the sustainable management and protection of the landscape throughout Europe. The multidimensional nature of landscape highlights the need for a holistic approach to its study and effective management. 

Due to its geomorphological and climatic heterogeneity and its rich biodiversity of species and ecosystems, Greece is characterized by a wide diversity of landscapes. The protection and preservation of many different types of landscapes depend on the protection and conservation of the ecosystems that compose them, and, thus, depend on the protection and conservation of their biological diversity. Landscape composition includes not only natural features and ecosystems, but also elements resulting from human presence and its related activities, such as the presence of agroecosystems, settlements, etc. Therefore, landscapes reflect the interaction of man with nature and contribute towards defining local identity through their specific features, becoming a key component of European natural and cultural heritage. Greece is a place where culture spans millennia and has co-evolved with the surrounding landscape. This phenomenon signifies the importance of Greek landscapes as components of national and European cultural and natural heritage. Finally, landscape is an important part of the quality of people’s lives and contributes to their well being, both in urban and rural areas.

Human activities often exert pressures on landscapes, degrading their biological diversity, which ultimately results in their deterioration. Therefore, it is necessary to formulate Landscape policy, which should be based on an integrated approach and be in accordance with the European Landscape Convention. According to the European Landscape Convention, landscape policy relies on competent authorities formulating general principles, strategies and guidelines for taking specific measures designed to protect and manage landscapes.

This policy has been incorporated into regional spatial planning. However, it must be integrated into all sectoral policies and all levels of spatial planning. The landscape policy should also be in accordance with the principles, objectives and actions of the Biodiversity Strategy. To maintain the diversity of landscapes in terms of biodiversity, it is very important to maintain the history of biodiversity as evidenced in many historical landscapes.

General Target 6 includes Specific Targets 6.1.-6.3.:
6.1. Completion of the integration of conservation landscape diversity policy into all sectoral policies
6.2. Maintaining the diversity of the landscape both inside and outside of protected areas
6.3. Conservation of unique landscapes


EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
 
7. Areas under sustainable management
11. Protected areas
14. Essential ecosystem services
Relevant documents and information

The process of developing and adopting this national target follows the development of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP). The NBSAP is the outcome of a long process that started in 1999, when the Zoological Museum of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens submitted the first draft of the national biodiversity strategy and national action plan to the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Public Works (as it was known then, which is the today’s Ministry of Environment & Energy). The next important step was taken when the Greek Biotope Wetland Centre and the Goulandris Natural History Museum, following the directions of the Natural Environment Management Unit of the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Public Works, submitted a new draft of the national biodiversity strategy. In 2009, this draft was subject to public consultation. The opinions and comments of the general public were evaluated by a group of experts and government representatives. Then, the text was thoroughly revised, enriched and updated by a working group from the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change and various environmental NGOs (with representatives from: WWF Greece, Greenpeace, Arktouros, Hellenic Ornithological Society, Hellenic Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage, Callisto, Mediterranean SOS Network and Archelon).


The revised version was again submitted to public consultation in 2014. Finally, the Greek Natura 2000 Committee evaluated, revised and approved the text in accordance with the provisions of Greek Law No 3937/2011. The final version is the result of the collaboration among the Natural Environment Management Unit, the Special Service for the Coordination of Environmental Actions and the Working Group for the Coordination of Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, which was set up in 2013 by the Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change.

EN

7. PREVENTION AND MINIMIZATION OF THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON BIODIVERSITY

Climate change is considered an additional threat to biodiversity both in terms of habitats and species survival. It is obvious that the ecosystems in Greece will be significantly affected due to the expected increase of average temperature, more frequent extreme weather events precipitation changes as well as potential reduction of available water quantity. Therefore, it is important to take into consideration the impact of climate change when drawing up biodiversity management plans in order to protect the species and habitats at risk and help them adapt to new environmental conditions. The consensus of relevant research is that it is possible for species and habitats to shift their geographical distributions in response to climate change. A proportion of species that present conservation interest and might be driven outside the boundaries of existing protected areas may be a result of this shift in the geographical range of species and habitats. Therefore, management measures should not only be planned to maintain and restore healthy ecosystems, but also to enhance the capacity of these ecosystems to withstand the pressure of climate change and, thereby, avoid biodiversity loss as a result of this phenomenon.


The actions and measures to conserve biodiversity promoted in this National Biodiversity Strategy may also contribute towards addressing climate change, because healthy ecosystems may perform functions related to the regulation of the climate. In particular, seas and wetlands contribute to carbon sequestration and, thus, help to reduce concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

However, actions to address climate change may have an impact on biodiversity conservation. Therefore, in the context of integrating biodiversity conservation in all sectors of the economy, special attention must be payed to potential negative impacts of various climate adaptation projects and their related infrastructure on biodiversity. This integration is most effective when achieved during the planning stage of projects, plans and programmes to address climate change and in the process of environmental impact assessment of the projects. In this way these mitigation measures will be operational during implementation or construction and operation, as is the legal provision for all infrastructure that may have negative impacts on biodiversity.

General Target 7 includes Specific Targets 7.1.-7.4.:
7.1. Studying the effects of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem functions
7.2. Taking action so that the components of biodiversity will be able to adapt to climate change
7.3. Reducing the impact of actions established to address climate change on biodiversity
7.4. Enhancing the role of forests in mitigating the effects of climate change
EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
3. Incentives
15. Ecosystem resilience
Relevant documents and information

The process of developing and adopting this national target follows the development of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP). The NBSAP is the outcome of a long process that started in 1999, when the Zoological Museum of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens submitted the first draft of the national biodiversity strategy and national action plan to the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Public Works (as it was known then, which is the today’s Ministry of Environment & Energy). The next important step was taken when the Greek Biotope Wetland Centre and the Goulandris Natural History Museum, following the directions of the Natural Environment Management Unit of the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Public Works, submitted a new draft of the national biodiversity strategy. In 2009, this draft was subject to public consultation. The opinions and comments of the general public were evaluated by a group of experts and government representatives. Then, the text was thoroughly revised, enriched and updated by a working group from the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change and various environmental NGOs (with representatives from: WWF Greece, Greenpeace, Arktouros, Hellenic Ornithological Society, Hellenic Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage, Callisto, Mediterranean SOS Network and Archelon).


The revised version was again submitted to public consultation in 2014. Finally, the Greek Natura 2000 Committee evaluated, revised and approved the text in accordance with the provisions of Greek Law No 3937/2011. The final version is the result of the collaboration among the Natural Environment Management Unit, the Special Service for the Coordination of Environmental Actions and the Working Group for the Coordination of Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, which was set up in 2013 by the Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change.

EN

8. PROTECTION OF BIODIVERSITY FROM INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES

Invasive species are alien species with the ability to spread in areas away from their typical distribution range, provided that they are dispersed in the new areas. Internationally, invasive alien species are considered one of the major threats to biodiversity in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. In Greece, invasive species that have created problems to native species and biodiversity have already been documented. This fact requires the adoption of preventive measures starting from the study and detection of invasive alien species already present in the country as well as the examination of the way that they were introduced in order to take the necessary steps to prevent the further invasion and spread of these species. Their invasion can take place in the form of an intentional or accidental introduction and escape in the terrestrial, freshwater or marine environment. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to raise public awareness about the threat presented by alien species invasions. 

Dealing with invasive species impacts on biodiversity requires early detection, continuous monitoring, measures to limit their consequences to biodiversity, and the effective implementation of the CITES Convention. In cases where biodiversity has been affected by invasive species, action is required to restore the system. The first step towards an action plan depends on the identification and mapping of species invasions in Greece.

General Target 8 includes Specific Targets 8.1.-8.2.:
8.1. Prevention, early detection and control of the introduction and spread of invasive species
8.2. Taking action to restore the impacts of invasive alien species on biodiversity
EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
6. Sustainable fisheries
9. Invasive Alien Species
14. Essential ecosystem services
Relevant documents and information

The process of developing and adopting this national target follows the development of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP). The NBSAP is the outcome of a long process that started in 1999, when the Zoological Museum of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens submitted the first draft of the national biodiversity strategy and national action plan to the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Public Works (as it was known then, which is the today’s Ministry of Environment & Energy). The next important step was taken when the Greek Biotope Wetland Centre and the Goulandris Natural History Museum, following the directions of the Natural Environment Management Unit of the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Public Works, submitted a new draft of the national biodiversity strategy. In 2009, this draft was subject to public consultation. The opinions and comments of the general public were evaluated by a group of experts and government representatives. Then, the text was thoroughly revised, enriched and updated by a working group from the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change and various environmental NGOs (with representatives from: WWF Greece, Greenpeace, Arktouros, Hellenic Ornithological Society, Hellenic Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage, Callisto, Mediterranean SOS Network and Archelon).


The revised version was again submitted to public consultation in 2014. Finally, the Greek Natura 2000 Committee evaluated, revised and approved the text in accordance with the provisions of Greek Law No 3937/2011. The final version is the result of the collaboration among the Natural Environment Management Unit, the Special Service for the Coordination of Environmental Actions and the Working Group for the Coordination of Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, which was set up in 2013 by the Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change.

EN

9. ENHANCING INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION FOR BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION

The cooperation regarding biodiversity management at international, regional and transnational level has often been proven to be effective for the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Promoting international cooperation on such issues should be an integral part of all bilateral relations of Greece and should be incorporated into development aid programmes between Greece and other countries. 

The implementation of measures in the context of the international and regional environmental conventions relies on effective international, regional and transnational cooperation between Greece and other countries. At the same time, through its participation in international fora and promoting the development and implementation of international environmental Law, Greece promotes synergy between international conventions related to biodiversity conservation, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

An additional way to promote international cooperation is the formulation and implementation of international programmes to expertise transfer. In addition to enhancing existing transboundary cooperation, such as the Transboundary Park of Prespa, priority should be given to the designation of new transboundary natural parks. However, international cooperation is not only limited to the creation of transboundary protected areas or areas, in which common management actions may be applied, but also includes programmes for the conservation of species and habitats whose ranges (and corresponding threats) transcend national borders.

General Target 9 includes Specific Targets 9.1.-9.2.:
9.1. Substantially enhancing the effectiveness of international, regional and transnational cooperation for the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services
9.2. Enhancing transboundary cooperation for biodiversity conservation
EN
Level of application
Regional / Multilateral
all countries involved
EN
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
5. Loss of habitats
6. Sustainable fisheries
7. Areas under sustainable management
8. Pollution
9. Invasive Alien Species
10. Vulnerable ecosystems
11. Protected areas
12. Preventing extinctions
13. Agricultural biodiversity
14. Essential ecosystem services
15. Ecosystem resilience
16. Nagoya Protocol on ABS
19. Biodiversity knowledge
Relevant documents and information

The process of developing and adopting this national target follows the development of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP). The NBSAP is the outcome of a long process that started in 1999, when the Zoological Museum of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens submitted the first draft of the national biodiversity strategy and national action plan to the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Public Works (as it was known then, which is the today’s Ministry of Environment & Energy). The next important step was taken when the Greek Biotope Wetland Centre and the Goulandris Natural History Museum, following the directions of the Natural Environment Management Unit of the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Public Works, submitted a new draft of the national biodiversity strategy. In 2009, this draft was subject to public consultation. The opinions and comments of the general public were evaluated by a group of experts and government representatives. Then, the text was thoroughly revised, enriched and updated by a working group from the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change and various environmental NGOs (with representatives from: WWF Greece, Greenpeace, Arktouros, Hellenic Ornithological Society, Hellenic Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage, Callisto, Mediterranean SOS Network and Archelon).


The revised version was again submitted to public consultation in 2014. Finally, the Greek Natura 2000 Committee evaluated, revised and approved the text in accordance with the provisions of Greek Law No 3937/2011. The final version is the result of the collaboration among the Natural Environment Management Unit, the Special Service for the Coordination of Environmental Actions and the Working Group for the Coordination of Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, which was set up in 2013 by the Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change.

EN

10. UPGRADING THE QUALITY AND EFFICIENCY OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION ON BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION

Today's progress in the implementation of actions for biodiversity conservation (or lack of those actions) makes necessary the need to upgrade the quality and efficiency of public administration, both at institutional and scientific level. The complexity of the relevant regulations, the need for the integration of biodiversity conservation into all public policies and the requirement for implementation and enforcement of environmental Law require modern, appropriately staffed, coordinated and effective administration.


To help public administration be effective and coordinate, formulate and implement policies and measures for biodiversity conservation, it is necessary to restructure institutional structures and ensure their support with appropriate infrastructure and the necessary human resources, both at central and a regional level. Furthermore, it is essential to modernize and codify existing legislation, establish and enhance environmental control mechanisms to address the problems of non-compliance and inadequate enforcement of environmental legislation.


Biodiversity issues are mainly supervised by the Ministry of Environment & Energy; however, other Ministries and Agencies are also involved with biodiversity. The issues that need to be addressed include the lack of coordination of actions by the competent authorities, staffing with qualified scientific personnel and shortfalls in training and providing incentives. With the aim to integrate biodiversity considerations into all sectoral policies, the Ministry of Environment & Energy will take the initiative to coordinate other Ministries and Agencies for the implementation of this Strategy and achievement of its goals.

Biodiversity conservation requires resources that represent society’s investment, as they contribute to country’s natural capital. Until today, the protection of biodiversity has been largely financed by EU funds and a few national funds. To achieve the objectives of this Strategy, the country must ensure the national resources necessary for maintaining biodiversity. National resources should be allocated for the stable, permanent and adequate funding for the full operation of the national system of protected areas through their Management Bodies. Furthermore, EU resources should be mobilized to finance initiatives related to biodiversity protection.

General Target 10 includes Specific Targets 10.1.-10.2.:
10.1. Improving public administration in organisational issues, scientific issues and decision making processes for the effective implementation of policies, measures and legislation on biodiversity
10.2. Ensuring adequate funding for biodiversity conservation
EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
 
1. Awareness of biodiversity values
2. Integration of biodiversity values
3. Incentives
4. Use of natural resources
5. Loss of habitats
6. Sustainable fisheries
7. Areas under sustainable management
8. Pollution
9. Invasive Alien Species
10. Vulnerable ecosystems
11. Protected areas
12. Preventing extinctions
13. Agricultural biodiversity
14. Essential ecosystem services
15. Ecosystem resilience
16. Nagoya Protocol on ABS
17. NBSAPs
19. Biodiversity knowledge
20. Resource mobilization
Relevant documents and information

The process of developing and adopting this national target follows the development of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP). The NBSAP is the outcome of a long process that started in 1999, when the Zoological Museum of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens submitted the first draft of the national biodiversity strategy and national action plan to the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Public Works (as it was known then, which is the today’s Ministry of Environment & Energy). The next important step was taken when the Greek Biotope Wetland Centre and the Goulandris Natural History Museum, following the directions of the Natural Environment Management Unit of the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Public Works, submitted a new draft of the national biodiversity strategy. In 2009, this draft was subject to public consultation. The opinions and comments of the general public were evaluated by a group of experts and government representatives. Then, the text was thoroughly revised, enriched and updated by a working group from the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change and various environmental NGOs (with representatives from: WWF Greece, Greenpeace, Arktouros, Hellenic Ornithological Society, Hellenic Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage, Callisto, Mediterranean SOS Network and Archelon).


The revised version was again submitted to public consultation in 2014. Finally, the Greek Natura 2000 Committee evaluated, revised and approved the text in accordance with the provisions of Greek Law No 3937/2011. The final version is the result of the collaboration among the Natural Environment Management Unit, the Special Service for the Coordination of Environmental Actions and the Working Group for the Coordination of Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, which was set up in 2013 by the Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change.

EN

11. INTEGRATION OF BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION INTO THE VALUE SYSTEM OF SOCIETY

Education and training are major factors that shape the values of society. For the integration of biodiversity conservation in society’s value system, biodiversity should be integrated into all forms of formal and non-formal education. Biodiversity could be promoted by teaching at school via integrating biodiversity and ecosystem protection into the curricula of primary and secondary education, by producing appropriate and attractive educational material and by training teachers in this scientific field. Since the education of future generations is a priority for modern society, it is necessary to integrate the value of biodiversity conservation into education, training and lifelong learning programmes. To achieve better and more effective integration of biodiversity conservation policies into all areas, it is essential to educate specific groups of the productive sector. Education, training and awareness of bio diversity require an interdisciplinary approach, since biodiversity is associated with all aspects of human life. Biodiversity is not only part of Biology, Physics and other related sciences; it is also part of History and Humanities.


An example of good practice, with a relevant educational programme for students of Primary and Secondary Education has been developed by the Environmental Education Centre of Kastoria since 1999. In parallel, since 2003, this organisation, with the approval of the Ministry of Education, has coordinated the National Network of Schools (of both primary and secondary education) for Biodiversity under the title “Biodiversity Workshop Life”. 

If we wish to promote the conservation of national capital, which is the natural environment of the country, systematic communication and public awareness about biodiversity issues must be mandatory. It is crucial to design and implement relevant action plans on the communication strategy for biodiversity and use tools appropriate to the country’s economic and social reality in order tensure that the public becomes aware of the importance of conserving biodiversity and its benefits to citizens from the ecosystem services provided by biodiversity. There are many ways to disseminate this message; however, in our digital era, the primary role will be played by a special web portal for biodiversity, which will be regularly enriched and updated. Moreover, the media and other news outputs could play an important role. At the same time, the role of volunteers in actions designed to protect biodiversity should be encouraged, since they can contribute to biodiversity protection, in addition to changing the value system of our society. 

General Target 11 includes Specific Targets 11.1.-11.2.:
11.1. Integrating biodiversity topics into formal and non-formal education and promoting the value of biodiversity
11.2. Promoting environmental awareness of biodiversity conservation
EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
1. Awareness of biodiversity values
2. Integration of biodiversity values
Relevant documents and information

The process of developing and adopting this national target follows the development of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP). The NBSAP is the outcome of a long process that started in 1999, when the Zoological Museum of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens submitted the first draft of the national biodiversity strategy and national action plan to the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Public Works (as it was known then, which is the today’s Ministry of Environment & Energy). The next important step was taken when the Greek Biotope Wetland Centre and the Goulandris Natural History Museum, following the directions of the Natural Environment Management Unit of the Ministry of Environment, Planning and Public Works, submitted a new draft of the national biodiversity strategy. In 2009, this draft was subject to public consultation. The opinions and comments of the general public were evaluated by a group of experts and government representatives. Then, the text was thoroughly revised, enriched and updated by a working group from the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change and various environmental NGOs (with representatives from: WWF Greece, Greenpeace, Arktouros, Hellenic Ornithological Society, Hellenic Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage, Callisto, Mediterranean SOS Network and Archelon).


The revised version was again submitted to public consultation in 2014. Finally, the Greek Natura 2000 Committee evaluated, revised and approved the text in accordance with the provisions of Greek Law No 3937/2011. The final version is the result of the collaboration among the Natural Environment Management Unit, the Special Service for the Coordination of Environmental Actions and the Working Group for the Coordination of Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, which was set up in 2013 by the Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change.

EN

12. INSPIRING CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION

Biodiversity conservation is a multi-layered and multi-dimensional problem; consequently, everyone must contribute to it. Therefore, citizens' participation is a critical component towards the successful implementation of this Strategy and the achievement of its targets. In this context, it is necessary to institutionally establish the cooperation between citizens, social groups, scientists and public administration in the decision-making process and the monitoring of its implementation. Enhancing the implementation of laws arising from the Aarhus Convention and related EU directives, facilitates and safeguards citizens access to environmental information. Public consultation and participation in the decision-making processes will contribute to social acceptance of measures and policies to protect biodiversity. Given the experience and the know how of environmental non-governmental organisations, educational and research institutions, we should determine their role as social players that may greatly contribute to biodiversity conservation.

The business sector has an important role to play, since its activities may affect biodiversity conservation. The relationship between businesses and biodiversity is twofold. On one hand, firms may assist in promoting biodiversity conservation actions by developing and supporting Corporate Social Responsibility programmes, investing part of their profits in social projects that promote biodiversity conservation either within or outside the corporation concerned. On the other hand, equally important is their contribution through their investment choices and every day activities. Understanding that all actions have impacts, companies are encouraged to choose methods, practices and activities that have a beneficial impact on biodiversity and, simultaneously, mitigate their negative consequences. A key and decisive role in this decision is the integration of biodiversity into the design and appraisal of investment projects of enterprises.

General Target 12 includes Specific Targets 12.1.-12.2.:
12.1. Establishing cooperation among citizens, scientists and public administration in the decision making process and monitoring its implementation
12.2. Promoting the accountability of companies in the context of biodiversity conservation
EN
Level of application
National / Federal
Relevance of National Targets to Aichi Targets
4. Use of natural resources
19. Biodiversity knowledge