Saturday, December 31, 2011

Help Protected Areas




A New Year's wish: Lets help our protected areas. They need help to survive, and we need them. In 2012 this economy and the associated politics will have ongoing troubles. I think its not just the politicians or the civil service that should do their job. Its also important that citizens everywhere plan, organize and act to contribute towards protected area conservation. And contributing is not a difficult or gloomy enterprise. It can be a lot of fun, deeply gratifying, profitable and inspiring. Think of taking your students outdoors and working on protected area projects; think of advertising by using protected area management bodies; producing local products with protected-area labels; get protected-areas on TV; use tourism and recreation to promote protected areas. Help create ways to bring people and nature together. Protected areas are good for culture.

Happy New Year!

This is a map of our protected areas: the Natura 2000 network, covering approx. 27% of Greece's territory. Sadly most remain de facto unprotected areas.

My students at one of the Nature 2000 sites next to Athens, Mount Hymmetos.  Yes protected areas are outdoor classrooms.
Despite the large number of sites in our parks-on-paper system, we still don't have enough proper marine protected areas. So there is room for designing expansions and  new sites. This un-designated site is the Petalii Archipelago, a group of  10 islands and islets at the southern end of Euboea. The site is unprotected but it could easily be incorporated within a pre-existing site on adjacent Euboea. 



Out on the delta plume of our greatest River, the Evros. Here we share large protected areas with the Turks. I can only hope that the great cloud of wisdom can bring peace and mental well-being to both our countries.

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