30/04/2020

News flash for volunteers in ARCHELON’s sea turtle conservation programs - Update 30/4/2020

At ARCHELON, we remain steadfast in our choice to continue our activity at the Rescue Center and on the nesting beaches in the best possible way.

Following the Greek government's announcements the day before yesterday about the gradual removal of the lockdown measures, we are now more prepared to announce developments in our projects. However, there are many important issues on which decisions and guidance of the competent authorities are still awaited, such as international air transport, the operation of recreation areas and tourist facilities.

At the Rescue Center, which is operating throughout the year, ARCHELON’s staff and a few volunteers who had come to Greece before the outbreak of the pandemic are currently treating 20 injured or sick turtles. The Center will be open to visitors again in a few weeks. Volunteer accommodation and visitation need to be adapted to the new post-pandemic conditions and a new emergency plan will be drawn up. From 16th May onwards, we hope to be able to contact the volunteers who have been admitted to the Rescue Center for June and re-schedule their participation, if necessary. If all goes well, the flow of volunteers from abroad to the Rescue Center will be restored in July.

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For the nesting beaches, we have already taken the first decisions. ARCHELON’s staff and small groups of volunteers from Greece will take up monitoring and protection activities. The members of these groups will remain on the nesting beaches from June to October and will be gradually reinforced, where possible, with other volunteers.

We still don't know if it will be possible for volunteers from abroad to participate in the nesting beaches and the Amvrakikos projects. This will depend on the conditions and measures for the protection against coronavirus COVID-19 and will be announced by the competent authorities in the near future. Our primary concern is to protect the health of staff and volunteers, as well as to ensure the ability to effectively deal with possible viral infection amongst teams.

As for the volunteers who have been accepted from abroad, ARCHELON's decisions on the projects for nesting beaches and Amvrakikos will have been taken and will be announced by May 30th. If developments are positive, it is possible that volunteers from abroad will start participating in the programs in July. From May 30th onwards, we will contact the volunteers who were accepted for May and June, giving more details about the re-scheduling of their participation. We will also contact the volunteers who have been accepted for the next few months, informing them of possible changes and requesting re-confirmation of their participation.

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We remind you that the online submission of new applications for participation remains open and that cancellation of participation is possible by e-mail. We will respond to these from May 16th onwards. Please check the frequently asked questions (FAQs) published on March 13th on ARCHELON’s website https://bit.ly/3dH9MC5.

From April 1 st to May 15 th , ARCHELON is operating with limited staff. We need to economize so that we can continue our rescue and protection activities throughout the year. That is why we ask for your support in this difficult time.

You can donate online here http://bit.ly/2lJFlF7

At ARCHELON we are constantly checking and adapting to the imposed travel restrictions and measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. Until we meet again with you, let us remain safe, help those in need, and stay tuned.

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