Participation of ARCHELON in the public consultation of the draft Presidential Decree for Kyparissia Bay, west Peloponnese
For the period from February 26 until March 15 the Ministry of Environment released for public consultation the revised draft Presidential Decree for Kyparissia Bay in west Peloponnese. The environmental organizations ARCHELON, WWF Hellas and MEDASSET in the context of the consultation submitted to the Ministry their detailed comments, aiming the achievement of favorable conservation status of the habitat.
Brief history of the case
Kyparissia Bay, at the western coast of central Peloponnese, has a significant ecological value because it is the second most important loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nesting habitat in the Mediterranean Sea and contains an extensive system of sand dunes. The Greek state should have laid conservation objectives and taken specific protection and management measures. In contrast, significant management and conservation issues remain unresolved and building interests threaten the habitat with degradation.
For the habitat of southern Kyparissia Bay there is a case file in the European Court of Justice (case file C-504/14), which was tried on January 13 and the relevant decision is expected. This case started in October 2012, when Greece received from the European Commission a Reasoned Opinion (EL2011/2156 ENVI) for violation of articles 6 and 12 of Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC. In response to the European Commission on the Reasoned Opinion, the Ministry of Environment committed to take protection measures for the nesting area. Despite the commitments of the Ministry of Environment to take appropriate measures to safeguard the core nesting area of the loggerhead sea turtle, the majority of conservation issues remained unresolved during the 2013 nesting season. Since no measures were taken in time to mitigate the problems within the 2013 nesting season, no substantial steps were taken to promote the long-term conservation of the area and as the new nesting season was about to begin in two months, the European Commission decided in March 2014 to take Greece to the Court of Justice over failure to provide adequate protection for the endangered sea turtles and their nesting habitat.
For the same habitat the Bern Convention opened a case file in 2013, noting the lack of protection measures for sand dunes and loggerhead turtles (case file Greece: Threats to marine turtles in Thines Kyparissias) and in December 2014 the Standing Committee of the Convention issued to Greece the Recommendation No. 174 on the conservation of the nesting habitat in southern Kyparissia Bay.
Since summer 2014 the Ministry of Environment promotes Presidential Decree for the habitat, which was submitted in December 2014 to the Hellenic Republic Council of State for review for constitutional lawfulness. The Council of State issued the relevant decision in April 2014 and found that the promoted draft Presidential Decree should be rejected on the formal basis that the Natura 2000 Commission had not given its prior endorsement lawfully. Moreover the court took the opportunity to provide guidance to the Greek administration on the substance of the proposed Draft Presidential Decree in light of the urgency of passing legislation concerning southern Kyparissia Bay. Finally the court emphasised that the issue of an improved draft Presidential Decree was urgent in light of the Infringement case 2011/2156 and the Bern Convention Recommendation. Therefore suggested to the Ministry of Environment the rapid resubmission of an improved draft.
10 months after the issue of the Council of State decision the Ministry of Environment complied with Council of State demands and released for public consultation the revised draft Presidential Decree.
Panagiota Theodorou Conservation Officer
Safe environment for the refugees, better life for all
ARCHELON in the 36th annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation
- OUR NEWS27/09/2023
World Tourism Day 2023: Are there sea turtle-friendly hotels in north Crete?
But why is tourism important to sea turtles?
- OUR NEWS15/09/2023
Lilo, the tiny green turtle, made it back to the sea!
In November 2021 a small green turtle arrived at the ARCHELON Rescue Centre with a very serious head injury. After almost two years of intensive care, one Wednesday in September 2023 he was finally discharged and returned to the sea!
- OUR NEWS17/08/2023
World record of 37 years of reproductive life for a loggerhead sea turtle in Zakynthos, Greece – increased number of nests this summer, says ARCHELON
ARCHELON – the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece announces an important outcome of the systematic work of this year's sea turtle nest monitoring team in Zakynthos. Based on their long-term observations, ARCHELON managed to certify a new World Record of reproductive activity for loggerhead turtles.
- OUR NEWS07/08/2023
ATTENTION! Sea turtles are not pets: Do not touch them or feed them!
The Municipality of Eastern Mani and the Port Authorities requested the assistance of ARCHELON to inform beach users in the area of Limeni, near Mani, where 35 new incidents of sea turtle attacks on sea bathers have been recorded during this summer season. These are added to the already long list of 200 such records of previous years found in the nearby Health Center in Areopolis.
- OUR NEWS01/08/2023
Interview with a volunteer: Lea Heinen, Rescue Centre
Interview with a volunteer: Lea Heinen, Rescue Centre Lea shares her experience volunteering at the ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre: “I think when a turtle starts to eat after a month of trying, when you can see the improvement or healing of a turtle's injury and when a turtle is released back into the sea, into its natural habitat, into its home - then you know that you are indeed saving turtles”.
- OUR NEWS21/07/2023
Kids Beach Competition 2023: Make your own little sea turtle with natural materials and send us a photo!
Help us spread the message about the protection of sea turtles by making your own baby turtles with natural materials you will find on the beach. Sand, stones, pebbles, shells, seaweed, sticks and whatever else you have available, can be transformed with a little imagination! Take a photo of your work and send it to the ARCHELON Beach Competition.
- OUR NEWS18/07/2023
Paving the way for next steps in conservation of marine turtles in the Mediterranean region
Last week the partner organizations of the project “Conservation of Marine Turtles in the Mediterranean Region” met for the 9th Steering Committee Meeting. The meeting was organized by SPA/RAC in the area of Kyparissia Bay, Greece on the 4th and 5th of July, 2023 in collaboration with ARCHELON.
- OUR NEWS04/07/2023
An offer to EXPERIENCED volunteers: You can now join the beach projects for 2-3 weeks!
The time is just right to join the projects again, even if you have only 2 or 3 weeks of available time. This offer is valid for August, September, October 2023. Apply through our new website and find out more about the dates and places you can join. More…
- OUR NEWS22/06/2023
The nesting season has begun! Learn what you can do if you find sea turtle tracks or nests on the beach
The nesting season for the loggerhead sea turtles has begun. The nests that are made in the areas monitored by ARCHELON and other collaborating groups are already being recorded. However, if you find tracks or nests on other beaches, you can also participate in the effort to record and protect these sporadic nests. Find out why it's important…
- OUR NEWS16/06/2023
A breath away from registering a new world record on the years of known active reproduction of a loggerhead sea turtle is ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece
This is the year when ARCHELON, a nonprofit environmental NGO, is celebrating 40 years of continuous and targeted action to save sea turtles in Greece and the Mediterranean. At the same time, the project teams of ARCHELON are ready to register the longest period of active reproduction known for the Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), in case it happens this year!
- OUR NEWS15/06/2023
A Saturday unlike any other - Turtle Festival 2023
ARCHELON invites kids and adults to celebrate the environment and the sea in an exciting way at the "Sea Turtle Festival" on Saturday, May 27 at the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in the 3rd Marina of Glyfada.
- OUR NEWS07/06/2023
Announcement for all past volunteers of ARCHELON: Shall we meet this September?
Highlight: Hi everyone! This year marks 40 years of ARCHELON’s action for protecting sea turtles in Greece. During these four decades, thousands of volunteers from many countries joined our sea turtle projects and the Rescue Centre to help save the turtles. Let’s meet again this coming September and celebrate the animals we saved during all these years.
- OUR NEWS07/04/2023
Waiting list for schools that want to visit the ARCHELON Rescue Centre
Thousands of Greek students visit the Centre and get informed about the value of protecting the environment through contact with a particularly beloved animal, the sea turtle. "All the available visiting hours until the end of the 2022-2023 school year have been booked, but there is a waiting list that is activated in case of cancellations", says Anna Kontoleon, ARCHELON’s Education Officer. More hours for online tours may be added in May if volunteers become available.
- OUR NEWS28/03/2023
People are supporting wildlife conservation
The donations and "adoptions" made at the Rescue Centre in Glyfada, Attica and at ARCHELON’s field projects in Zakynthos, the Peloponnese and Crete in 2022, reached the amount of €350,000. We did a lot last year thanks to all these people, who also made it possible for us to continue this year.
- OUR NEWS24/03/2023
We learned with deep sadness the passing away of Gail Schofield, a pronounced sea turtle researcher and former ARCHELON volunteer. Read more…