Forests by the sea or on enormous massifs, lakes, rivers, island and mainland wetlands. A small but rich country, with 23,000 species of terrestrial animals, and 5,800 recorded species of terrestrial plants. We are truly lucky, as many of these species are endemic, which means that don’t live anywhere else in the world.Νational parks are treasuries of biodiversity, such as the Dadia-Lefkimi-Soufli Forest National Park in Evros, home to 36 of the 38 European birds of prey. Millions of migratory birds stop at Greece’s island and mainland wetlands to rest and quench their thirst.
The geography, geology, countless islands, the mountains and the climate of Greece were the strongest cards our country was dealt from the deck of evolution, and that is why Greek nature has more than enough to delight all of our senses: pine forests shading our summers, fragrant frygana and dense evergreen shrublands paint a picture of the Aegean islands. Subtropical palm forests brushing against the Libyan Sea, and alpine meadows and fir forests that stand proudly at our stone giants. Mixed among them, mainland and island wetlands, streams and rivers, all being parts of a harmonized kaleidoscope. Life which has been established in our folklore culture, poetry and literature. In this harmony of life, no other species is more fortunate than us, humans, that even though we often do not realize it, we actually depend on this wealth to thrive.
Unfortunately, the detailed picture of our ecosystems has been disrupted. Unregulated and illegal constructions and their accompanying infrastructure, intensive agriculture, intentional killings of fauna, inadequate legal safeguards for our forest areas, forest fires, land cover change, and in general the way in which we perceive, value and use the land around us are only a few of the reasons that lead to the degradation of our natural environment. At the same time, plastic pollution and the inadequate legislative protection of many important areas are two more fronts in the battle for the protection of nature. Climate change arrives on top of everything to make things even worse: extended periods of drought, frequent and intense storms, longer heatwaves, and more mega-fires are shaping an unprecedented and ominous landscape. At the same time, wetlands are not faring much better. According to all global data, populations of freshwater animals have declined by 81% from 1970 to 2012. More specifically in Greece, amphibians and freshwater fish are among the most threatened groups according to the Greek Red Data Book.
From the East to West and North to South, from the islands of Eastern Aegean, we work with local communities, farmers, scientists and volunteer firefighters. We also work with state authorities, management agencies, representatives of the supply chain and local economies, aware citizens, educators, and children, aiming at the harmonious coexistence of people and nature.
Greece’s good fortune and legacy in having such a rich natural heritage is simultaneously a great responsibility because we must protect it and deliver it to our children in even better condition. But to achieve this, we must focus our efforts, depending on the importance of each area and species and the severity of the threats they face. So, by applying political pressure, submitting proposals, monitoring legislation, and working throughout Greece, we aim to ensure sustainable management, effective protection, and benefits for local communities. That is why we seek out and build synergies, armed with science and always focused on finding solutions. Our actions are not limited to the borders of Greece; they extend throughout the Mediterranean, so that we may contribute to the protection of Mediterranean forests and island wetlands.
Nature is our shield and the foundation of our very life. Let’s not forget that everything we need to survive comes from nature and that nature’s health is our greatest and most effective bulwark against climate change.
Without your support, we cannot continue to defend our precious natural environment and ensure a healthy future for humanity and the planet. Join us now!