Why MEDASSET?

To create a better world, GreenEcoBox decided to join the non-profit organization MEDASSET. This organization runs several campaigns in different parts of the world and has the power to make a difference. The choice of this organization is strategic and relates to biodiversity.

How does this partnership work?

GreenEcoBox donates € 4 to MEDASSET for each Happy Bee delivered in January 2019. Through this partnership, GreenEcoBox has chosen a specific project and now shares all the information related to this project with its customers.

Together we are strong

Nesting Sea Turtles - Educational Video

Sea Turtles in Kyparissia Bay
Greece

Objective: Protection of important reproduction habitat

What is the campaign about?

The nesting beaches in southern Kyparissia Bay are now home to the largest number of turtle nests in the Mediterranean. Although the beaches belong to an EU NATURA 2000 site, the Greek government has not put in place the necessary conservation and management measures, three years after the recommendation of the Bern Convention (December 2014) and two years after the condemnatory judgment of the European Court. of Justice (Nov. 2016). Although the Greek government adopted a presidential decree in October 2018 granting legal protection to the site, little progress has been made in implementing the Bern Convention recommendation.

MEDASSET, together with 13 other environmental organizations, reiterated the urgent need to implement a management plan by May 2019, as the presidential decree does not address several major issues. At the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention 2018, MEDASSET, in collaboration with ARCHELON, presented the ongoing degradation of the site and its inadequate management during the summer of 2018.

Threats included the destruction of sand dunes, continued planting on the nesting beach and dunes, inshore fishing, access to vehicles on the nesting beach, lack of management of beach furniture and light pollution.

MEDASSET Actions

The Journey, actions and approaches by MEDASSET (commented in Greek)

The second important nesting area of ​​the Caretta caretta in the Mediterranean

The southern part of the Gulf of Kyparissia, in western Peloponnese (Greece), is home to the second largest population of Caretta caretta in the Mediterranean Sea (an average of 529 nests per year). The 6 miles beach between the Neda River and the village of Kalo Nero, in the southern Gulf of Kyparissia, is one of the rare coastal areas of Greece to be preserved.

It is home to a well-preserved dune system and a coastal forest, unfortunately threatened by uncontrolled development.

Ineffective management

The first signs of destructive development are beginning to emerge, due to the inability of the Ministry of the Environment to enact basic legislation necessary for the effective protection and management of the area.

  • Holiday homes are built on the nesting beach and others are being rebuilt.
  • Five coastal roads leading directly to the nesting beach were built between Elaia and Ayannaki.
  • Lights from roads and newly built homes shine directly on the nesting beach.
  • The coast in front of Kalo Nero is virtually inaccessible to sea turtles, due to the large number of umbrellas and deck chairs, while the lights of the bars and restaurants of the nearby street are a constant nuisance for sea turtles . when they come to nest.

The region in general, and hence loggerhead turtles, are mainly threatened by the degradation and erosion of dunes and surrounding forest caused by road works, construction activities and encroachments of land from tourism and tourism. Agriculture. The major ecological value of the region lies in dune ecosystems. In Greece, dune ecosystems are reduced in number and size and in some cases have completely disappeared. These coasts of western Peloponnese, with their well-developed dune system, remain an ideal nesting site for loggerhead turtles. A large part of the Elaia dunes at Kalo Nero has been converted to rural areas or is used for grazing domestic animals.

Developments thanks to MEDASSET

With the first comprehensive report that MEDASSET submitted to the Bern Convention in August 2010, they called on the European Council to exert its influence in order to persuade the Greek government to fulfill its duty by introducing and applying the appropriate legislation, necessary for the proper negotiations. the management of this important habitat, which is part of the NATURA 2000 European network of protected areas. MEDASSET and other environmental organizations have exerted enough pressure at local, national and European level, forcing the Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Climate Change (MoEECC), even belatedly, to take action and undertake the implementation of a series of acts guaranteeing the effective protection of sea turtles and their habitats.

Following the report of MEDASSET and at the request of the Secretariat of the Bern Convention, the Greek Ministry of the Environment (MoEEC) informed the European Council (15/3/11) that the adopted Biodiversity Act would ensure greater protection effective of all NATURA. 2000 priority areas and species, such as sea turtles. The same answer had already been given to the European Commission (22/12/10). MoEEC stressed that the planning and securing of a Joint Ministerial Decision (JMD) providing legal protection for the entire NATURA area of ​​the southern Gulf of Kyparissia was on the immediate agenda of the State.

Under the threat that the European Union will pursue Greece in the European Court because of insufficient protection of both loggerheads and the region, and after the detailed opinion sent by the Committee In September 2012, the MoEEC suspended all construction activities, as well as any canteen license on the beach, until the JMD expressly describing the special protection status of the area was issued.

To enable the MoEEC to respect its national and international obligations and to avoid a heavy fine in the event of conviction, it has created a special committee to promote a legislative framework for the protection of the region and marine turtles. But the Committee did not keep its promises that would respect all the above, so the publication of the JMD was delayed.

The JMD reportedly provided the state of conservation of the area until the issuance of a presidential decree. In December 2013, a legal audit of the acts was conducted by a Joint Inspectorate Unit of the Special Secretariat for Environmental and Energy Inspection (SSEEI-MoEEC) and a Controller of the Inspectorate Body. -controllers of the public administration responsible for the case. Construction of roads and buildings on a site of Community importance (SCI) in the city of Kyparissia (Messinia), part of the Natura 2000 environmental network. The audit was followed by a report by the Inspector General of the public administration, Mr Rakintzis, at the Ministry of the Environment and Economic Affairs and the European Union, which showed a large number of violations of environmental legislation, as well as damage to housing.

In March 2014, the EU referred Greece to the European Court after a letter of formal notice and a reasoned opinion, and found that the measures taken by the State Greek were insufficient to protect loggerhead turtle and the southern Gulf of Kyparissia. In a letter to the ministry, the EU notes that the decision to refer Greece to the European Court does not mean that the measures taken so far are going in the wrong direction, but a conviction and the appearance of the Greek authorities before the European Court will rush the completion and implementation of a presidential decree for a comprehensive protection of the region after all this time (the first accusations of violations of the environmental legislation of the region were formulated in 2010).

In December 2014, the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Nature adopted a recommendation at its annual meeting urging Greece to prevent the deterioration of its habitat and to improve protection of the southern Kyparissia Bay.

MEDASSET closely follows the evolution of the situation, collects data and participates in each consultation.

Source: MEDASSET , Greece, 2019