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.

Click here to download the full text of the organizations' comments (in Greek).


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



    Sea Turtles Surprise us: if you see tracks on the beach, help ARCHELON's research!

    Not all beaches on Greece's extensive coastline are suitable for sea turtle nesting, but sometimes these marine reptiles surprise us! This summer, ARCHELON is asking for your help to investigate a phenomenon called "sporadic nesting".

    Read more

    ATTENTION! Sea turtles are not pets: Do not touch them or feed them!

    In areas where a sea turtle associates human presence with food, it’s behavior changes. The turtle treats humans as well as other turtles as competitors in its feeding grounds and tries to drive them away with bites.

    Read more

    30 Years of Hope: The Sea Turtle Rescue Centre of ARCHELON Celebrates World Sea Turtle Day

    Every year on June 16th, we celebrate World Sea Turtle Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about these magnificent creatures and the threats they face. This year is particularly important for ARCHELON, as the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre marks 30 years of operation.

    Read more

    Poster contest for children and young adults: Welcome the 2024 turtle hatchlings on the beaches!

    Watercolors, markers, collage, computer, phone? Everything is useful. Use your creativity and imagination to make an A3 or A4 size poster announcing that the 2024 sea turtle eggs are about to hatch.

    Read more

    Amvrakikos Project 2024: Special Call for a Field Leader

    ARCHELON is looking for a highly motivated person to lead its project in Amvrakikos Gulf, one of the few foraging sites for loggerhead turtles in Greece linking several populations nesting across the Mediterranean region.

    Read more

    Τhe nesting of loggerhead sea turtles started earlier this year and the effects of the climate crisis on the oceans are worrying

    For the first time, in the 40 years of ARCHELON records, the first sea turtle nest was found in Laganas Gulf, Zakythos on May 10th. Scientific predictions of the nesting season moving earlier in the spring due to climate change are being confirmed.

    Read more

    Save Turtles, See Greece on a Budget

    Dreaming of pristine Greek beaches and a chance to make a real difference? Here's why June and September are the perfect months to volunteer with sea turtle conservation efforts in Greece!

    Read more

    Sea Turtle Festival for Kids 2024

    Save the date! On Saturday 18 May at 11:00, the ARCHELON Rescue Centre opens its doors to welcome young and old sea turtle friends who want to celebrate, explore, learn, play and travel magically in the Mediterranean Sea. We are waiting for you to strengthen our message for a better and sustainable planet!

    Read more

    A successful year for the International Sea Turtle Symposium

    The International Sea Turtle Symposium concluded triumphantly this March in Pattaya, Thailand, with ARCHELON actively participating.

    Read more
  10. OUR NEWS

    A Morning Beach Patrol with ARCHELON

    The camera lens of Stefanos and Maria of SteMajourneys caught a rare sight in the early morning: a Loggerhead sea turtle nesting! The volunteers in Chania took action right away to protect the nest.

    Read more
  11. OUR NEWS

    Protecting sea turtles in Rethymno- Our Ocean, an Ocean of Potential

    The 9th International Conference "Our Ocean", which was held in Athens from April 15 to 17, was successfully completed. ARCHELON had the honor to actively take part in the conference and hosted a side event.

    Read more
  12. OUR NEWS

    Coordination for the protection of sea turtles in Rethymno: Local authorities and tourism businesses join forces

    The meeting, which took place on April 5, 2024, in the building of the Regional Unit of Rethymno, touched upon key issues, such as the observance of conservation measures for the protection of the Loggerhead sea turtle. Given the tourist activity on the nesting beaches, the active participation of the tourism sector in the implementation of the measures is necessary.

    Read more
  13. OUR NEWS

    "Tourists and turtles?" The environmental awareness campaign of ARCHELON spreads to the nesting beaches of the Loggerhead sea turtle

    After the pandemic, ARCHELON - the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece - is once again mobilizing on the path to sustainable tourism. The aim of the new campaign is to provide information on the appropriate code of conduct for visitors to all nesting beaches, in cooperation with the tourism sector.

    Read more
  14. OUR NEWS

    LIFE MareNatura - The largest marine biodiversity program in Greece

    Read more
  15. OUR NEWS

    Citizens inform us of sea turtle strandings

    ARCHELON started the effort to record the incidents of dead turtles washing up on the Greek shores in 1992. In recent years there has been an increase in these records which may be due to more of our fellow citizens reporting such incidents. Learn more…

    Read more
1 out of 0
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Learn about our latest actions and find out about our programs and how you can help sea turtles!