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Electrified fencing reduces damages to apiaries, thus eliminating one of the main causes of conflict between Brown Bears and the local producers (Photo: ARCTUROS)

The purpose of this action is to verify the presence and population dynamics of the Brown Bear, to expand the area of its occurrence and to minimize conflicts and confrontations with local stockbreeders and beekeepers.

This will be achieved by the application of new forestry practices aiming towards preservation of protected corridors for the species, by the conservation and enrichment of food resources (native fruit trees), by an extensive education campaign aimed at local stakeholders (mainly stockbreeders and beekeepers, but also loggers and hunters) to increase awareness and educate them about the value of bears, and by providing, free of charge, electrified fencing for apiaries and Hellenic Livestock Guarding Dogs (LGD) to stockbreeders. The actions will start during the second year of the project. The locations where the action will take place cannot be foreseen accurately, since they will be specified by the results of action A.10. Protection and enrichment of fruit trees is intended to take place within the boundaries of the sites GR2440004 and GR2440006 (see map 9).

There will be three axes of the conservation interventions, dependent on the specifications provided by Action A.9:

  1. Conservation and enrichment of food resources.
  2. Education campaign (to be implemented in action E.1).
  3. Minimising damage to local farmers and breeders.

Preservation of food resources can be achieved through protection of wild fruit trees, which are important for foraging bears, after detailed mapping. Enrichment can be achieved through planting additional trees in areas specified by the study, and then watering and protecting them for 2-3 years.

The education campaign will include publication of a leaflet and posters and three educational seminars for the local stakeholders.

The most appropriate way to minimise damage from bear raids is to prevent them. An efficient method to prevent Brown Bears from causing damage to apiaries, and therefore to reduce human-wildlife conflict, is the placement of electrified fences to protect the produce. The fence consists of a network of parallel wires, all live, supported on metal or wooden stakes and connected to an automatic feeder with automatic voltage control. The power source can be solar panels or a car/tractor battery. When the bear touches the fence it receives an electric shock, forcing it to leave the area without causing any damage to the apiary. The effectiveness of the four-wire electric fence has been proven satisfactory against bear raids.

Guard dogs are used traditionally as an effective deterrent of big carnivores, like bears and wolves. In Greece, the Hellenic Livestock Guarding Dog (LGD) has been protecting livestock in mountainous areas for centuries, and constitutes part of our natural and cultural heritage. It is admirably adapted to the natural conditions of the Greek mountains and it is the optimum method to prevent damages on breeding stock from wild animals. The above actions will be conducted during the third and fourth years of the program for both Mt. Oiti and Mt. Kallidromo forests, and will be reassessed and modified according to the monitoring results.

Note 1: Regarding the recorded observations of brown bears in the project sites, these sites represent the most southern area of reappearance of bears in Greece. The latest confirmed report of the brown bear on Mt. Oiti was in 2008 when stockbreeders there mentioned damages to their livestock by a bear. Since then, ARCTUROS have received several reports about bear presence in the area in 2009 and 2010 from reliable sources. However, as there has been no project in the area, these reports have not been confirmed in the field. Action A.10 aims to verify these reports. The report from Oros Kallidromo (2009) is oral and unconfirmed in the field. However, in recent years there are strong indications of range expansion of Ursus arctos* to the south from the Central Pindus population. Therefore it is highly likely that, in the years to come, bears will have a permanent presence in the area.

Note 2: Action A.10 may indicate that it is advisable to implement part of action C.9 outside but close to the boundaries of the Natura 2000 sites. In this case the advice of DG Environment regarding the eligibility of the action will be followed. If it is deemed eligible, because it will affect positively the animals within the Natura 2000 sites, we will proceed to implement part of action C.9 outside the boundaries. If it is deemed not eligible, we will find alternative locations within the boundaries.

Note 3: Regarding the applicability and acceptance of electric fences and guard dogs by stakeholders, ARCTUROS already has experience in the area. Through a project supported by the Ministry of Environment (EPPER 2008), titled "Awareness campaign for the bear with emphasis in the reappearances areas”, ARCTUROS has organised two workshops with state authorities, ELGA (the Hellenic Agricultural Insurance Agency), and stockbreeders in the Environmental Education Centres of Ypati (in the project area) and Karpenisi (outside but near the project area to the northwest, in the prefecture of Evrytania). The conclusions of these workshops showed clearly the need for further actions because of the damages caused by bears and wolves. Throughout Greece, farmers have been persistently asking for protection of their herds and crops. This has been confirmed in all the areas where ARCTUROS has been actively involved. The ARCTUROS Centre for the Reproduction of Hellenic LGD has received about 1,000 requests from breeders asking for guard dogs. Also, beekeepers, through their Central Federation, have been persistently asking the Ministry of Rural Development and Food to subsidise electric fencing, through agro-environment funding, as the most reliable measure of protecting their apiaries. All farmers in the project area face significant financial difficulties, especially during the ongoing crisis. Under such conditions, the damage caused by carnivores can represent an economic loss that should not be underestimated.

Note 4: ARCUROS has implemented or is implementing 7 LIFE projects related to the Brown Bear in Greece, but all of them were focused in the regions of Anatoliki Makedonia, Thraki, Kentriki Makedonia, Dytiki Makedonia, Thessalia and Ipeiros, well to the north of the proposed project sites of Mt. Oiti and Mt. Kallidromo. The measures proposed in action C.9 have been implemented in the framework of LIFE03 NAT/GR/000089 and LIFE09 NAT/GR/000333 in Dytiki Makedonia and Ipeiros. They proved quite effective, to the point that the Ministry of Rural Development and Food decided to include them as agro-environmental measures in the National Programme for Rural Development. Unfortunately they have not been implemented yet. Within the latest Programme for Rural Development framework, the Greek Livestock Guard Dogs are not eligible for subsidy, while no funds have been allocated for electric fences. Under the current conditions, there is little chance that they might be implemented in the near future.

reasons why this is necessary: 

The proposed actions will significantly promote the symbiosis of man and bear in the project sites where no other conservation measures for Ursus arctos have been implemented.

The environmental education project will increase awareness and educate local stakeholders about the value of bears and biodiversity conservation, as well as about the benefits that can be derived from it. The protection and enrichment of wild fruit trees will increase food availability, thus providing a invaluable resource for bears during the critical period prior to winter. The prevention of damage to apiaries and livestock, through the use of electrified fencing and Hellenic LGD will considerably reduce the motive of locals to kill bears for protection or retaliation. Both measures have proved reliable as a prevention policy and there is considerable demand for them by stockbreeders and beekeepers.

Since 2005, ARCTUROS has repeatedly visited the project sites and received information and complaints from residents of Pavliani village about the presence of bears and damages to beehives. There has been only one incident of mortality recorded in the area, but the corpse was not found. Otherwise, there have been 2 confirmed incidents in the adjacent prefecture of Fokida. There is information (from ELGA of Lamia) about recent losses of domestic animals caused by bears in the nearby Mt. Agrafa. On the other hand, loses from wolves are common in the project sites, especially in the villages of Marmara and Kolokythia (ELGA compensated for 68 sheep and 1 cattle in the Oiti area in 2011). The support of the local stockbreeders with Hellenic LGD will benefit both the priority species Wolf and Brown Bear. Damages to apiaries have been recorded in the Pavliani area (2005) and also in the adjacent Fokida region. Mt. Oiti is indicated as the southernmost area in Greece with damages of apiaries by bears in a scientific publication about bear-human conflicts, with analysis of 1999-2006 ELGA data.

expected results: 
  • The reinforcement of the breeders of the region with a competent instrument of protection of their herds from damage caused by wolves and bears. Ten Hellenic Livestock Guarding Dogs will be given, free of charge to local stockbreeders.
  • The implementation of a method for protecting apiaries from bear damage, which is not mortal for wildlife. Twenty electrified fences will be given, free of charge to local beekeepers
  • Preservation and enrichment of the food resources of the Brown Bear. A total of 500–1000 wild fruit trees will be planted.
Indicative locations of Action C.9 implementation.
Greek Fir forests on Mt. Kallidromo. (Photo: G. Politis)

The purpose of this action is the preparation of two legal documents establishing the legal framework necessary for the conservation and management of the “Natura 2000” sites on Mt. Oiti and Mt. Kallidromo, as well as surrounding areas. Implementation of this action is expected to start at the beginning of the third year of the project and last 24 months.

According to articles 18 and 19, Law 1650 /1986, as amended by art. 4 and 5 L. 3937 /2011 respectively, the following categories of protected areas exist:

  1. Strict Nature Reserves.
  2. Nature Reserves.
  3. Natural Parks, which can be further identified as (3.1) National or (3.2) Regional Parks, and Marine Parks, Forest Parks or Geoparks respectively; areas of categories 1, 2, 4, and 5 may be included in Natural Parks.
  4. Habitat/Species Management Areas; this category includes (4.1) Special Areas of Conservation, (4.2) Special Protection Areas and (4.3) Wildlife Refuges.
  5. Protected Landscapes / Seascapes, and Protected Natural Formations.

According to art. 21, L. 1650 /1986, as amended by art. 6, L. 3937 /2011, protected areas of categories 1, 2, and 3.1 above, will be established through a Presidential Decree following the preparation of a Special Environmental Study, while a Regional Park (cat. 3.2) will be established by a Presidential Decree following the preparation of a Special Report. Protected areas of categories 4.3, and 5 will be established through a Decision of the Secretary General of the Regional (Decentralised) State Administration, also following the preparation of a Special Report. National Forests (Parks), which have been established under the provisions of Forest Code (Decrees 86 /1969 and 996 /1971), such as Mt. Oiti National Forest (Park), should be reclassified as National Parks by a Presidential Decree, following the procedure set in art. 21 L. 1650 /1986 (art. 19 L. 1650 /1986, as amended). According to art. 18 L. 1650 /1986, as amended by art. 4 L. 3937 /2011, Management Plans will be approved, for all protected areas, through a Decision either of the Minister for the Environment, Energy and Climate Change (categories 1, 4.1, 4.2), or the Secretary General of the Regional (Decentralized) State Administration (categories 4.3, 5). Management Plans will also be set for protected flora and fauna species, as well as for habitats included in Annex I of Dir. 92 /43 /EC.

For the preparation of the legal documents awarding protective status to Mt. Oiti and Mt. Kallidromo areas, a specific procedure /methodology will be followed:

  1. Collection and evaluation of existing literature: (1.1) International, EU and Greek laws regarding protection and management of the natural environment and urban and regional planning, as well as specific legislation already set for the areas of the project, such as for the establishment of Mt. Oiti National Forest (Park), basic land-use planning and building provisions on Mt. Kallidromo, and wildlife refuges in parts of both areas; (1.2) Existing proposals for awarding additional protection status, such as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty on Mt. Kallidromo; (1.3) Existing studies, research and papers on species, habitats, etc. This part of the action will be completed in Athens, within 2-3 months.
  2. Collection of conclusions drawn from, and guidelines established by actions A.1 A.10, and A.12, as well as the final, detailed proposals designed for actions C.1–C.6, C.8 and C.9; consultation with relevant scientists and other beneficiaries of the project, and determination of the specific protected area category status to be awarded to each site. This part of the action will be completed in Athens, within 2-3 months.
  3. Preparation of draft legal documents to be completed in Athens within 5 months.
  4. Presentation of the draft documents to the respective researchers and other beneficiaries of the project and consultation with them in Athens. This will be completed within 3 months.
  5. Integration of input, advisory notes, comments and suggestions into draft documents to be completed in Athens within 3 months.
  6. Consultation with the Directorate of Environmental Planning of the Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Climate Change, the respective regional and local authorities and stakeholders, in Athens and in both areas of the project. To be completed in 3 months.
  7. Public consultation, as provided for in law, evaluation and integration (Internet gate of the Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Climate Change). To be completed in 3 months.
  8. Preparation of final documents within 3 months.

The specific type of the legal documents produced will be determined according to the findings, conclusions and guidelines established through the respective field actions. The types of legal documents foreseen to be produced are as follows:

  1. Decisions for the approval of Management Plants (Pursuant to art. 18 L. 1650 /1986 mentioned above).
  2. Presidential Decree following the preparation of a Special Report for the establishment of a protected area (According to art. 21, Law 1650 /1986, as amended by art. 6, Law 3937 /2011 mentioned above).
  3. Presidential Decrees, following the preparation of a Special Report for land uses, building regulations and every other provision necessary for the protection and management of SCIs can be established through (article 8, par. 6, L. 3937/2011).

The content of the legal documents will be: Zoning and land-use planning regulations, detailed provisions for the protection of habitats and species, regulation and control of human activities in the areas concerned (such as forestry, agriculture, hunting, building, tourism etc.), as well as determination of guidelines and priorities for various actions considered necessary for the conservation and management of the areas

Note 1: The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change has made a commitment to issue the relevant Laws prior to the end of the project.

Note 2: The significant experience within the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature, deriving from the preparation of similar legal documents on nature conservation and management, can guarantee that the action will be completed in schedule.

Mr. Georgios Politis, who is an environmental lawyer, M.Sc. in Urban and Regional Planning, a member of the Board of Directors of, and legal adviser to the HSPN, has been a key team member in the preparation of the several legal documents (drafts), such as: Bills for the establishment of protected areas in (a) Kaiafas, (b) Fanari, (c) Paliouri and (d) Thesprotia Islets tourist sites (15.6.2008 –30.4.2010); Bill on Sustainable Use and Protection of Freshwater Resources (implementation of Dir. 2000/60/EC) (1.11.2001- 15.3.2002); Amendment of the presidential decree on the designation of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos (2001). In some of these cases, circumstances were similar to those in the project sites. Mainly bureaucratic constraints were encountered. It is estimated that this action can be completed in 24 months (30 months maximum). The project team should not be held responsible, though, for any significant delays caused by acts (or their lack thereof) of any other persons or authorities involved.

reasons why this is necessary: 

The current management of the project sites is incomplete and inefficient. Mt. Oiti was designated a National Forest Park in 1966, according to an earlier law on forests. Its protection status is today considered obsolete. For the Mt. Kallidromo area only basic land-use planning and building provisions have been established, with no provisions for the management and protection of habitats and species. Both areas are mainly managed through regulatory measures set through provisions for the protection of forests, but in none of the two areas is the natural environment efficiently protected.

The inclusion of the project sites in the Natura 2000 network is not sufficient for their protection. It was only on 31 March 2011 when, pursuant to article 3 of Law 3937 /2011, and art. 18 and 19 of Law 1650 /1986 as amended by art. 4 and 5 of Law 3937 /2011 respectively (Official Gazette A 60), SCIs and SPAs were officially included in the Greek National System of Protected Areas (as categories 4.1 and 4.2 respectively). A few generally applicable (horizontal) provisions for the protection of SCIs and SPAs have been included in Greek law, such as: the prohibition of establishment of hazardous industrial installations (pursuant to Dir. 96/82/EC (L.10)) and highly polluting ones (according to national legislation); and the establishment of a minimum acreage of 10,000 m2 (with a provision of a legal deviation for properties of 4,000 m2 under certain conditions) so that a land owner would maintain the legal right to build in areas outside towns and villages (art. 9, L. 3937 /2011).

Evidently, the inclusion of Greek areas in the Natura 2000 network does not imply that a detailed legal framework applies for the conservation and management of their habitats and species. Therefore, a comprehensive legal framework has to be prepared for the conservation and management of specific Natura 2000 network sites, such as the project sites of Mt. Oiti and Mt. Kallidromo.

expected results: 
  • Two final legal documents on the protection and management of “Natura 2000” sites on Mts. Mt. Oiti and Mt. Kallidromo, to be submitted for approval.

  • A detailed list of suggestions and proposals submitted during the public consultation process.

beneficiary responsible for implementation: 
Veronica oetaea* (Photo: G. Karetsos)

The purpose of this action is to monitor the impact of the project interventions on the temporary ponds (3170*) of Mt. Kallidromo and Mt. Oiti.

Specifically, hydrogeological parameters and biotic community parameters (including the population status of Veronica oetaea*) will be monitored by indices specified by actions A.2, A.3, and A.4. The results of this monitoring will be compared to the base reference state (initial situation) of hydrogeology and of the biotic communities, and the impact of the concrete management actions C.1, C.2, C.3, and C.4 on the temporary ponds will be assessed. The action will start on the fourth year of the project, after the implementation of actions C.1, C.2, C.3, and C.4 for at least one year, and will continue until the end of the project. The results of the monitoring will be evaluated annually.

  1. Action C.1 (access control, visitor management) is expected to influence biotic community composition and structure and also water quality and, probably, sedimentation rate, mostly in the long-term.
  2. Action C.2 will influence the population of Veronica oetaea* and also the composition of the biotic communities, in the short term.
  3. Action C.3 (control of forest expansion and grazing) will influence the biotic community composition and structure, water quality, and, possibly, the hydrological regime due to the removal of trees. Both short-term and long-term impacts are expected.
  4. Action C.4 will influence the biotic community composition and structure, the hydrological regime (by the removal of the water tap) and the sedimentation rate. Both short-term and long-term impacts are expected.
reasons why this is necessary: 

Monitoring of the impact of the project interventions on the target species and habitats is an action required for all projects with concrete conservation actions according to the guidelines for the LIFE+_Nature & Biodiversity 2011 proposals.

Monitoring will allow evaluation of the adequacy of the management interventions of actions C.1, C.2, C.3, and C.4 and will help amend the methodology of management or to develop alternative management techniques if necessary. It must be noted that this action will also evaluate, indirectly, the impact of action C.7 (ex situ conservation and propagation of keystone species) on the habitat of temporary ponds, since it will evaluate the success of the establishment of plants produced by action C.7 and used in actions C.2 and C.3.

expected results: 
  • Two annual reports with the description and interpretation of the results of annual monitoring of the temporary ponds and Veronica oetaea*.

The reports will include evaluation of the management interventions and, if necessary, proposals for their amendment. The second (final) report will include a proposal for the establishment of long-term after-LIFE monitoring and management.

beneficiary responsible for implementation: 
Field work in the grasslands on Mt. Oiti (Photo:Eugene Shogolev)

The purpose of this action is to monitor the impact of the project interventions on the mountain grasslands (6210*, 6230*) of Mt. Kallidromo and Mt. Oiti.

Specifically, vegetation composition and structure (including vegetation cover) as well as biomass will be monitored by indices specified by action A.5. The results of this monitoring will be compared to the base reference state (initial situation) of the mountain grasslands, and the impact of the concrete management actions C.1 and C.3 on the habitats will be assessed. The action will start on the third year of the project, after the implementation of actions C.1 and C.3 for at least one year, and will continue until the end of the project. The results of the monitoring will be evaluated annually.

  1. Action C.1 (access control, visitor management) is expected to influence the composition and structure of mountain grasslands, mostly in the long-term.
  2. Action C.3 will influence the grassland vegetation composition and structure both in the short-term and in the long-term.
reasons why this is necessary: 

Monitoring of the impact of the project interventions on the target species and habitats is an action required for all projects with concrete conservation actions according to the guidelines for the LIFE+ Nature & Biodiversity 2011 proposals.

Monitoring will allow evaluation of the adequacy of the management interventions of Actions C.1 and C.3 and help amend the methodology of management or to develop alternative management techniques if necessary.

expected results: 
  • Three annual reports with the description and interpretation of the results of annual monitoring of the mountain grasslands.

 All the reports will include evaluation of the management interventions and, if necessary, proposals for their amendment. The third (final) report will include a proposal for the establishment of long term after-LIFE monitoring and management.

 

beneficiary responsible for implementation: 
The project aims to increase the area of Juniperus foetidissima forests on Mt. Oiti (Photo: G. Karetsos)

The purpose of this action is to monitor the impact of the project interventions on the Juniperus foetidissima forests on Mt. Oiti.

Specifically, the regeneration of Juniperus foetidissima as well as the results of the reintroduction of the habitat (action C.5) will be monitored by indices specified by action A.7. The action will start on the fourth year of the project, one year after the first establishment of Juniperus foetidissima saplings in the field (action C.5), and will continue until the end of the project. The results of the monitoring will be evaluated annually.

reasons why this is necessary: 

Monitoring of the impact of the project interventions on the target species and habitats is an action required for all projects with concrete conservation actions according to the guidelines for the LIFE+_Nature & Biodiversity 2011 proposals.

Monitoring will allow evaluation of the adequacy of the management interventions of action C.5 and help amend the methodology of management, or to develop alternative management techniques if necessary. It must be noted that this action will also evaluate, indirectly, the impact of action C.7 (ex situ conservation and propagation of keystone species) on the habitat 9560*, since it will evaluate the success of the establishment of plants produced by action C.7 and used in action C.5.

expected results: 
  • Two annual reports with the description and interpretation of the results of annual monitoring of Juniperus foetidissima forests.

The reports will include evaluation of the management interventions and, if necessary, proposals for their amendment. The second (final) report will include a proposal for the establishment of long term after-LIFE monitoring and management.

beneficiary responsible for implementation: 
Tengmalm’s Owl with prey, in this case a vole (Photo: NikosPetrou)

This action aims at monitoring the impact of the proposed interventions on the populations of Alectoris graeca, Dryocopus martius, Dendrocopos leucotos, Picus canus and Aegolius funerus, according to the specifications produced by Action A.9, in order to evaluate population status and the results of conservation actions.

Monitoring will be conducted by two ornithologists, on a part-time basis, who will visit the area of interest at least three times per year (before, during and after the breeding season). The duration of monitoring will be 2-3 years depending on the time of initiation of action C.8; it will start in the third or the fourth year of the project (before the breeding season), after the implementation of conservation interventions for at least one breeding season, and will be completed at the end of the project.

reasons why this is necessary: 

Monitoring of the impact of the proposed interventions on the target species is required for all projects with concrete conservation actions, according to the guidelines for the LIFE+ Nature & Biodiversity 2011 proposals.

Monitoring of the five bird species will allow evaluation of the adequacy of the management interventions of action C.8. The comparison of observations before, during and after the application of conservation actions assures the continuous evaluation of the program and will help amend the methodology of management, or to develop alternative management techniques if necessary.

expected results: 
  • Annual reports with the description and interpretation of the results of annual monitoring of Alectoris graeca, Dryocopus martius, Dendrocopos leucotos, Picus canus and Aegolius funerus.

The reports will include evaluation of the conservation actions and, if necessary, proposals for their amendment. The final report will include a proposal for the establishment of long term after-LIFE+ monitoring and management.

beneficiary responsible for implementation: 
Monitoring the movements of animals with radio transmitters (Photo: A. Karamanlidis/ARCTUROS)

This action aims at monitoring the impact of the proposed interventions on the population of Ursus arctos*, according to the specifications specified by action A.10, in order to evaluate population status and the results of conservation actions.

Monitoring will be conducted by two biologists, on a part-time basis, who will visit the area of interest at least three times per year. The duration of monitoring will be 3 years; it will start in the third year of the project, after the implementation of conservation actions for at least one year and will be completed at the end of the project.

reasons why this is necessary: 

Monitoring of the impact of the proposed interventions on Ursus arctos* is required for all projects with concrete conservation actions, according to the guidelines for the LIFE+ Nature & Biodiversity 2011 proposals.

Monitoring of Brown Bears will allow evaluation of the adequacy of the management interventions of action C.9. The comparison of observations before, during and after the application of conservation actions, assures the continuous evaluation of the program and will help amend the methodology of management or to develop alternative management techniques if necessary.

expected results: 
  • Three annual reports with the description and interpretation of the results of annual monitoring of Ursus arctos*.

All the reports will include evaluation of the conservation actions and, if necessary, proposals for their amendment. The final report will include a proposal for the establishment of long term after-LIFE monitoring and management.

The village of Pavliani, on the southern side of Mt. Oiti (Photo: Christina Holeva)

The purpose of this action is to assess the impact of all C and E project actions on the socio-economic conditions of the local population and on the ecosystem functions.

This action will start during the fifth (last) year of the project. It will consolidate the data and results of actions C.1, C.3, C.7, E.1, E.2, E.3, E.4, and E.5 on the local economy and social welfare. It will also integrate the results of all C actions on the ecosystem services provided by the forest and grassland ecosystems constituted by the target habitats.

Examples of project impacts on the local economy are the enhancement of ecotourism due to the improvement of the quality of visitor infrastructure and the subsequent improvement of the profile of the small villages around Mt. Oiti and Mt. Kallidromo. Examples of project impacts on the ecosystem services are the improvement of the range condition of the grasslands and the enhancement of carbon sequestration by the revegetation of naked slopes.

The impacts of the project actions will be valued in economic terms where possible. Public opinion and important socio economic issues as determined by action A.11 will be taken into account.

reasons why this is necessary: 

Monitoring of the socio-economic impact of the project is an action required for all projects with concrete conservation actions according to the guidelines for the LIFE+_Nature & Biodiversity 2011 proposals.

expected results: 
  • A study of the socio-economic impacts of the project.
beneficiary responsible for implementation: 
Environmental education of schoolchildren. ( Photo: A. Vidalis)

This action will implement a large part of the communication and participation strategy developed by action A.11 in order to increase public awareness and knowledge of the target habitats and species, and thus enhance their perceived value and encourage participation to their conservation. In addition, this action will disseminate the results of the project to the broader region of Sterea Ellada.

The action targets both the stakeholders and the general public (visitors and locals) of various ages. It includes the production and distribution of informative and educational material, media publicity, and a series of educational activities tailored for different audiences. The communication and education activities proposed below will be adapted to the guidelines provided by action A.11.

The activities proposed for Action E.1 are:

  1. Production and distribution of A3 folded colour leaflets with information on the target habitats and species, as well as on the actions for their conservation, also providing a comprehensive code of conduct. A total of 4,000 leaflets will be produced (3,000 in Greek and 1,000 in English) for each site, Mt. Oiti and Mt. Kallidromo. They will be distributed to the public Information and Education Centres (action E.2), the offices of the Local Authorities, the Environmental Education Centres of the Region of Sterea Ellada, the local NGO offices, to activity clubs (mountaineering, four-wheel driving, cycling, hunting), hotels, and tourism operators, and to information centers. Additionally, part of the material will be distributed at scientific conferences where the results of the project will be presented (action E.5).
  2. Production and distribution of 2,000 A3 folded colour leaflets with information about the Brown Bear.
  3. Production and distribution of colour posters presenting the target habitats and species and promoting their conservation. A total of 1,000 posters will be produced (800 in Greek, 200 in English). They will be distributed to the offices of the Local Authorities, the Environmental Education Centres of the Region of Sterea Ellada, as well as schools, hotels, and tourist information centres.
  4. Production and distribution of a 20 min video for each site, Mt. Oiti and Mt. Kallidromo, presenting the target habitats and species, their conservation status, the management interventions of the project, and a code of conduct for the visitors to the sites. The videos will be made available to the public Information and Education Centres (action E.2), at the offices of the Local Authorities, at the Environmental Education Centres of the Region of Sterea Ellada, at local NGO offices, and tourism operators.
  5. Production and distribution of T-shirts with images of the target species. A total of 2,000 T-shirts will be produced and distributed to schoolchildren of the local communities.
  6. Establishment of 2 notice boards describing the project at strategic locations accessible to the public within the sites of Mt. Oiti and Mt. Kallidromo.
  7. Media publicity. Press bulletins regarding the project and its actions will be provided to the local newspapers and websites regularly (at least annually). Radio and TV stations will be notified of the project events (especially the educational activities) for broadcasting.
  8. Educational seminars for teachers of primary and secondary schools and other educators will be organised (two 2-day seminars) in cooperation with the Environmental Education Centres of Ypati and Stylida. The first day of the seminars will include a session with presentations on the natural environment of Mt. Oiti and Mt. Kallidromo, focusing on the target habitats and species and the issues regarding their conservation. This will be followed by a workshop session where relevant ecological educational tools and experiences will be presented and discussed. The second day of the seminars will include an on-site visit and exploration of the target habitats and species.
  9. Two 2-day educational seminars for tourism representatives, one for Mt. Oiti and one for Mt. Kallidromo, will be organised at least one year after the onset of the project. They will include one day with presentations about the natural environment and the target habitats and species and their conservation, and one day with on-site presentations.
  10. Two 1-day educational seminars for stockbreeders, beekeepers and other stakeholders about the importance of bears and wildlife, about minimizing damage to their breeding stock and about the profits that wildlife conservation may bring.
  11. Four 1-day local events with free access to the general public will be organised, two at the onset and two at the end of the project, on Mt. Oiti and Mt. Kallidromo. They will include a presentation session with information on the project, its targets and actions, and a discussion session.
  12. Five 1-day student educational excursions for students of the local primary and secondary schools will be organised in cooperation with the Environmental Education Centres of Ypati and Stylida.

Specific reference to LIFE+ financial support including appearance of the LIFE logo will be made on all materials and in all activities of this action at no additional cost to the project.

reasons why this is necessary: 

This action, along with actions E.2 and E.3, will effectively address the threat of lack of public awareness and environmental education. The engagement of the local communities, including educators and students, will promote the perceived value of the target habitats and species, and will encourage the local consent and cooperation which are absolutely necessary for the long-term conservation management.

In addition, this action will address the threats of habitat degradation by trampling and waste deposit, since it will instruct the users of the area, locals and visitors, regarding the appropriate behaviour, and will also encourage their compliance to conservation management measures. Finally, the socio-economic impact of these actions will be important because it will consist the first such organised, full-fledged activity for the natural environment of the East Central Greece.

expected results: 
  • Production and distribution of communication material: 6,000 leaflets, 1,000 posters, 2,000 T-shirts, 2 videos.
  • Establishment of 2 project notice boards.
  • Publication of the project and its actions by mass media promotion.
  • Two seminars for educators.
  • Two seminars for tourism representatives.
  • Two seminars for stockbreeders.
  • Four local events.
  • Five educational student excursions.
beneficiary responsible for implementation: 
Information centres are crucial for proper education of the public. (Photo: A. Vidalis)

The purpose of this action is to establish modern, functional public education and visitor information centres on Mt. Oiti and Mt. Kallidromo. It includes upgrading of the facilities of the Natural History Museum of Mt. Oiti and the establishment of new education and information facilities on Mt. Kallidromo, and it will start on the first year of the project.

Both centres will provide information on the natural environment of the Natura 2000 sites of Mts. Oiti and Kallidromo, and in particular on the target habitats and species. Moreover, the centers will complement the function of, and cooperate with, the Environmental Education Centres of Stylida, Ypati, Amfissa, and Karpenisi, established in the Region by the Ministry of Education.

The Natural History Museum of Mt. Oiti (NHMO) was established by the Forest Directorate of the Prefecture of Fthiotida and is housed in the complex of Agathonas Monastery, close to Ypati, on one of the main routes into the National Park of Mt. Oiti. It consists of: a) the museum of the National Park of Mt. Oiti with general information on the conservation of the natural environment, exhibits on the natural (geological, paleontological, ecological) environment of Mt. Oiti and a small library and laboratory; b) a bird fauna museum; and c) a botanical garden with plants of Mt. Oiti. The NHMO is actually the only information infrastructure for Mt. Oiti, but it is organised and functions with outdated concepts, and lacks proper maintenance. The action includes upgrading of the Museum by:

  1. Updating the general information provided, including a special section with information on the Natura 2000 network, on the LIFE+ project aims, on target habitats and species and their threats, and on actions on Mt. Oiti.
  2. Reorganisation of the exhibits, including construction of dioramas with the forest, grassland and wetland habitats, and flora and fauna species of Mt. Oiti. The dioramas are constructions depicting and interpreting habitats and the species that live in them by using a combination of printed backdrops, real objects and 3D scale models. Dimensions of each construction will be 1.5x1x2 metres.
  3. An annotated photographic exhibition about the habitats and flora and fauna species of Mt. Oiti, with emphasis on the target habitats and species.
  4. Enrichment of the botanical garden with keystone species of the target habitats (provided by action C.7).

A new Education and Information Centre will be established in the village of Mendenitsa or in the village of Palaiochori on Mt. Kallidromo. Suitable public buildings exist in both villages (the disused old primary school buildings). This centre will include:

  1. An information desk.
  2. Information boards on the Natura 2000 network, on the Natura 2000 site of Mt. Kallidromo, and on the LIFE + project goals, target habitats and species and their threats, as well as on the actions to be carried out on Mt. Kallidromo
  3. An annotated photographic exhibition of the habitats and flora and fauna species of Mt. Kallidromo, with special emphasis on the target habitats and species.
  4. Construction of dioramas with the forest, grassland and wetland habitats and flora and fauna species of Mt. Kallidromo.
reasons why this is necessary: 

This action is part of the communication strategy which will effectively address the threat of lack of public awareness and will provide education and awareness raising of both the local people and the visitors to the area.

Moreover, the modern and well organised information centres which will be unique in the Region of Sterea Ellada, are expected to have a positive socio-economic impact since they will attract visitors and raise the profile of the local communities. The establishment of this infrastructure is considered by the local communities as an added value for the cultural and economic development of the area. It also creates a link between the local society and conservation activities, and will encourage the cooperation of the local inhabitants in the management interventions.

For these reasons, the creation of Visitor Information centres and upgrading of the NHMO were measures proposed by the Management Plan for the National Forest Park of Oiti (LIFE92 NAT/GR/013700).

expected results: 
  • Establishment and function of a public Education and Information Centre on Mt. Kallidromo.
  • Upgrading of the National History Museum of Mt. Oiti.
  • Raising of public awareness and improvement of the socio-economic situation of the local communities.
beneficiary responsible for implementation: 

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