Twelve years ago, the island wetlands of Greece were largely unknown and practically unprotected, thus facing immediate threats that could lead to their permanent loss. Today, following a WWF Greece project spanning many years, more than 800 island wetlands have been inventoried, their importance is widely recognized and the protection of most is secured. At the same time, the prospect of a similar Mediterranean project is closer than ever.


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9 out of 10 citizens believe that the Public Power Corporation (PPC) should shift to clean energy, while only 7% prefer lignite for electricity production, according to a nationwide survey presented today by WWF Greece.


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Two consecutive governments share the same disregard for Greece’s environment and the potential for the development of a sustainable economy. Dramatic increase in EU environmental law infringement cases, new rulings by the Court of Justice of the European Union, and paralysis of the national parks, are the main features of a disappointing year filled with environmental deficit.


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A fire that recently broke out in the area of the Zakynthos marine protected area threatened the home of the loggerhead turtle. Sekania is the single most important beach for turtle-nesting in the entire Mediterranean.


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In these particular economic circumstances, it is completely irrational for any publically-owned company to disburse 400 million euros for a project that is economically non-viable. Insisting on the construction of Ptolemaida V will entrap Greece into an outdated energy model at a time when the recent technological leaps render clean energy a cost-competitive basis for the reconstruction of the country’s production.


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An important initiative of Greece leads to the adoption of a resolution for the “Conservation of Mediterranean Basin island wetlands” 


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During his recent visit to the region of Western Macedonia Greece’s new minister for energy Panayiotis Lafazanis declared his support for the construction of the new lignite plant “Ptolemaida V”. He also emphasized that he will re-negotiate the construction cost in order to reduce the burden for the Public Power Corporation (PPC) and Greek citizens. According to the contract agreement, signed two years ago, the construction of the new 660 MW lignite plant will cost 1.4 billion euro. With the exception of the 739 million euro bond loan, supported by the German Export Credit Agency Euler Hermes and arranged by the KfW IPEX Bank in 2013, PPC has been unable to secure additional funding. Recent articles in the press also mention the need for payments of 400 million euro in the first 6 months after construction begins. The situation is further complicated by the decision of the new minister to freeze the privatisation of part of the PPC and the Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO), which would offer the PPC funds for the construction of the new plant.


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Today WWF Greece launches a new report demonstrating that there is no dilemma in choosing between the planned lignite plant Ptolemaida V and hybrid RES and pumped hydro energy storage systems (PHES). According to the economic and technical assessment performed in the report, the latter prove to be not only cleaner, but more profitable as well.


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The Standing Committee of the Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats adopted a Recommendation at its annual meeting last week, urging Greece to prevent habitat deterioration and ensure improved protection of Southern Kyparissia Bay. Indicative of the strong European reaction is the call for a permanent construction ban in the area.


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Today, WWF Greece announced its tenth annual review of Greece’s environmental laws and policies. The period covered by this year's report (July 2013 -June 2014), documents the culmination of a systematic process of dismantling Greece’s already poor environmental acquis.


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