Danger for Greek wetland

++ International environmental Alliance issues Red Alert ++ Experts urge Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis to prevent destruction of Erimitis wetlands ++

<p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>                Fish threaten by Environmental destruction</p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p>

The Mediterranean killifish belongs to a few species of the family of Cyprinodontidae that occur outside tropical Africa on the coasts of the Mediterranean regions, such as Erimitis. Its future in this area is uncertain if the nature-destructive project is not stopped.

© Peter Sutton
<p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>                Sit-In on Corfu</p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p>

Many citizens of Corfu are against the project. Sit-In in April 2021.

© Elena Kipriotis

Mediterranean environmental organizations, among others EuroNatur, have joined forces as members of the Mediterranean Alliance for Wetlands to urge Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to intervene to prevent the devastation of Corfu’s Erimitis peninsula and its vital wetland habitats through the proposed construction of a tourist resort.

This follows a previous letter sent to Mr Mitsotakis in October 2020 on the same topic, which did not receive a response. The Mediterranean Alliance for Wetlands has issued a Red Alert warning for Erimitis, recognizing that its Vromolimni and Akoli wetlands are important sites to protect within the Mediterranean Basin and that they are facing an emerging threat.

The Alliance’s latest letter notes that Erimitis is not only a site of great natural beauty, and full of life, but that it also provides key ecological services to people, such as improvement of water quality and protection against storms. As one of Corfu’s few remaining unspoiled natural environments, Erimitis contains remarkable habitats for nature, including three very important coastal wetlands which are protected by a Greek Presidential Decree. The wetlands are a vital ‘stopover’ for migratory birds, classified as threatened and protected under the EU Birds Directive, and also home to numerous species protected by the EU Habitats Directive such as the European pond terrapin and dice snake.

Despite its importance, the future of Erimitis is threatened by the proposed ‘Kassiopi Project’ tourist development which could have serious implications not only on the ecosystem but also for local people through noise and water pollution, as well as loss of enjoyment of these remaining well-conserved spaces. The letter highlights that protecting wetlands such as those in Erimitis requires implementation of sustainable tourism management and conservation measures as nature-based solutions to reduce the effects of climate change, to secure clean water, food and human wellbeing, and to protect nature.

The Mediterranean Alliance for Wetlands’ letter notes that preliminary deforestation and clearing have now begun at the site and that heavy machinery passed through the boundaries of the protected wetland Vromolimni and constructed a road on the wetland shore. Consequently, the letter implores the Prime Minister to urgently reconsider the development and to implement appropriate conservation measures, including:

  • The designation of this area as a protected area, with permission only for activities that would not alter the ecological properties of wetlands, such as hiking and nature observation.
  • The adoption of conservation measures for the protection of specific habitats and species in line with the Bonn and Bern Convention and the EU nature Directives.
  • The effective implementation of the presidential decree 229/AAP/2012 regarding small island wetlands and appropriate measures for the protection of these wetlands.

The letter concludes by urging the Greek Government, as the global tourism industry reopens post-Covid, to embrace ecologically-compatible tourism and demonstrate world leadership in promoting sustainable development which considers local needs and wishes, and adheres to international and EU law.


Background Information:
The Mediterranean Alliance for Wetlands is a consortium of NGOs and research institutions which was formally established in January 2017. It aims to raise collectively the profile of wetlands in Mediterranean society at large and in particular in national, regional and international policy through the promotion of their sustainable use, based on innovation and evidence-based best practices as a catalyst for change.

How you can help

Donation

Future needs nature. EuroNatur cares for it. Please use your possibilities to help. With your donation you will make an effective contribution to a more livable environment.

Newsletter

Twice a month the latest information about Europe's nature - free of charge and at first hand.

News

Ulcinj Salina remains state property

For years, the issue of the ownership of the Ulcinj Salina remained unresolved. Today, the Privatisation Council in Montenegro unanimously decided to...

Shar Mountain finally declared a National Park!

EuroNatur and its partner organisations MES and Friends of Shara greet the passing of the Law on the Proclamation of Shar Mountain as National Park....

Two years since Ulcinj Salina was declared a Nature Park

Happy anniversary to Ulcinj Salina! Ulcinj Salina is home to more than 250 species of birds and is a perfect place for feeding, resting and nesting....

Danger for Greek wetland

++ International environmental Alliance issues Red Alert ++ Experts urge Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis to prevent destruction of Erimitis wetlands...

Stop species extinction! EuroNatur Award for World Biodiversity Council Researchers

++ EuroNatur Award 2021 goes to scientists from IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) ++ Body...

Goldman Environmental Prize for the “Brave Women of Kruščica”

++ River defenders from Bosnia and Herzegovina win the Goldman Environmental Prize ++ For the second time in the past three years an activist has has...

Science week at the Vjosa tributaries

++ 35 scientists from Austria, Albania, Italy and Germany assess the two major Vjosa tributaries for a week ++ Data will be used to fight planned...

Plans for Kalivaç dam finally shelved

Great news for the Albanian Vjosa: The Kalivaç dam, which for many years hovered like a sword of Damocles over Europe's last great wild river, will...

Missed opportunities for biodiversity conservation

In the context of the EU’s recovery programmes, EuroNatur and Bankwatch, together with national partners, have published a report on the biodiversity...

EuroNatur Opens Subsidiary in Brussels

With a new subsidiary in Brussels, EuroNatur repositions itself after closing its office for nature conservation policy in Rheinbach near Bonn.

Cinereous vulture shot dead in Hungary

A cinereous vulture shot down in Hungary was part of the Bulgarian reintroduction programme supported by EuroNatur. This is a painful blow for the...

EU funds for the destruction of nature?

For years, EuroNatur and its partner organisations have been fighting against the controversial Mokrice hydropower plant on the Sava River. The...

Bird paradise in Albania threatened by construction of an airport

++ An airport is to be built in the Narta Lagoon on the Adriatic ++ A stopover site of major international importance for migratory water birds ++ 8th...

Pressure continues for a Vjosa National Park as new government forms in Albania

The election may be over, but the fight for the Vjosa is not.

Webinar on legal instruments for river protection

In order to accelerate the development of hydropower in Europe, mandatory legal procedures and environmental impact assessment requirements are often...