Safe environment for the refugees, better life for all
Joint statement of environmental NGOs on the refugee crisis in Greece
The undersigned environmental organisations care for the commons. In our work for the protection of the environment, humanity always features at the centre. In the midst of the humanitarian crisis happening now in Greece, we cannot be passive observers of the dramatic situation of tens of thousands of uprooted women, men and children who are stranded and desperate all around our country.
Being a refugee is a condition of human suffering, which can be the result of many factors, including environmental ones. The situation with more than 50 thousand refugees now in Greece has unnecessarily developed into a crisis: while the refugees should be welcome to immediately organized shelters and open reception centers, they are left wandering in a chaotic complex of “formal” and informal camps and shelters, in streets and ports, in parks and fields. The now closed borders of Europe intensify the agony and despair of these uprooted people. With the shining exception of the unfortunately few organized reception centres, thousands of people live in conditions that are unacceptable for any EU member state that respects human rights.
In response to this unprecedented crisis, our environmental organisations have voluntarily contributed to saving people in the Aegean Sea, offering hands-on assistance to the improvement of shelter conditions in different parts of the country, or organising activities for the children. We stand in support and solidarity with the humanitarian non-governmental organisations that uphold the fundamental human rights, save lives and offer hope to thousands of people. The term “non-governmental organisation” or “civil society organisation” constitutes a title of honour for us: the systematic work offered for environmental protection, human life and fundamental rights is of paramount significance to the better world we aim for.
At this point in time, we consider it our duty to position ourselves before the refugee issue, as it is clear that the refugees will stay in Greece for a long time, hence any future planning will need to take this fact into account.
The humanism and solidarity shown by the Greek society is remarkable and makes our world more beautiful. However, now is the time for the state to proceed with the establishment of organised open shelters, which will offer decent conditions of hospitality, medical care and psychological support, education, and familiarisation with Greek society.
In the midst of this humanitarian crisis, which comes on top of the ongoing severe economic depression in our country, we call on the friends and supporters of our organisations to offer moral or material support to those caring for the refugees. At the same time, our organisations will do their best to support the refugees and the communities that provide hospitality.
We also extend a humanitarian call to the state, in order to urgently care for the setting up and management of proper and adequate structures that will welcome the refugees in our hospitable country.
In every crisis, humanitarianism, love and solidarity are the solution.
4 April 2016
ΑΝΙΜΑ Archelon Mediterranean SOS Network Elliniki Etairia – Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage Hellenic Ornithological Society Callisto MΟm Ecological Recycling Society Οργάνωση Γη Greenpeace WWF Ελλάς
The protection of the Loggerhead Sea turtles in the nesting habitats of Crete during 2015. (In Greek)
Participation of ARCHELON in the public consultation of the draft Presidential Decree for Kyparissia Bay, west Peloponnese
- OUR NEWS02/02/2024
Sea turtles in the Greek wetlands of international importance
World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on February 2. These vulnerable areas of the planet are a refuge for migratory birds and other wildlife species, including sea turtles. ARCHELON is present in wetlands that play an important role for sea turtles, such as the Amvrakikos Gulf.
- OUR NEWS24/01/2024
Why are ARCHELON’s projects international?
ARCHELON’s sea turtle conservation projects are organized with the valuable contribution of volunteers who come to Greece every year not just from Europe but from more distant places such as South Korea, Australia, and Colombia. Speaking English while carrying out fieldwork or public awareness activities as well as when interacting with each other in the campsites is essential to the projects.
- OUR NEWS17/01/2024
ARCHELON has been running a special hospital for sea turtles with tanks and impressive old train wagons for 30 years in Glyfada
Turtles with IV and bandages, rehabilitation and recovery tanks, special environmental enrichment equipment, recovery greenhouses, and… renovated train wagons! The hospital for injured and sick turtles that ARCHELON has set up in the 3rd marina of Glyfada, next to the sea, is certainly something out of the ordinary.
- OUR NEWS05/01/2024
What happened in the world of ARCHELON in 2023?
A world record for reproductive life for a sea turtle and 40 years of ARCHELON’s actions for protecting sea turtles are some of the moments we celebrated together this year. So, what happened in the world of ARCHELON in 2023? Here are some highlights of the past year.
- OUR NEWS21/12/2023
Assuming responsibility for the environment brings more meaning into our lives
“ARCHELON is an opportunity, not only for the animals and the ecosystems, but also for us who participate in it and for the society in which we operate”. Thomas Arapis, President and founding member of ARCHELON, talks about the efforts of the organization and about what he aspires for the future.
- OUR NEWS20/12/2023
Forty years later: the world of ARCHELON has expanded
Thomas Arapis, President and founding member of the Association gives the current coordinates of ARCHELON. "We encounter many turtles in our daily activities, and even more people, many more people actually, who help us. Amongst them are the people who work for us, they stand out for they represent the Association out there, through thick and thin".
- OUR NEWS20/12/2023
19 Environmental NGOs ask the Greek Government not to consent to a change in the wolf protection status in Europe
- OUR NEWS15/12/2023
Messages of love from the world turtle community!
Celebrating ARCHELON's 40th Anniversary we have received warm messages from the turtle community worldwide
- OUR NEWS14/12/2023
When the past becomes a lighthouse for the future
Thomas Arapis, the President of ARCHELON and one of its founding members talks about the quality and values, and the people who marked the setting up and subsequent action of ARCHELON. “Dimitris Margaritoulis taught us, not only the methodology for monitoring and protecting them, but also what it means to organize tasks, take responsibility, work as a team, evaluate our course and cooperate with each other”, he says.
- OUR NEWS12/12/2023
Notes of a volunteer (Part 2): Ηead trauma happens more often and is more serious than you think
Jessica Van Damme who volunteered at the ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre for 6 weeks in 2023, talks about what she learned while taking care of sea turtles with human caused injuries.
- OUR NEWS04/12/2023
Notes of a volunteer (Part 1): Jessica Van Damme was at the Rescue Centre
“During my 6-week stay, there were more than 30 injured sea turtles being treated at the Rescue Centre. Seven of them were successfully released, but, during the same period there were five new arrivals – all turtles with human-caused injuries. We, humans, are their biggest threat!”, writes Jessica.
- OUR NEWS30/11/2023
Summer 2024: Come back to sea turtle conservation as a leader!
Joining or returning to ARCHELON’s sea turtle projects as a Field Leader will give you the opportunity to lead specific activities as well as train and help others in the projects. These positions provide a higher level of experience in nature conservation/ environment protection, as well as improved communication and leadership skills. Hurry and apply now! Only a limited number of experienced and skilled volunteers are selected to serve as leaders in each project.
- OUR NEWS23/11/2023
The establishment of the “Amvrakikos Alliance”
The Alliance's vision in collaboration with the local community is to highlight the unique ecological value and the natural and cultural heritage of Amvrakikos, for the most effective management, restoration, and protection of its ecosystems and biodiversity.
- OUR NEWS16/11/2023
Kids Beach Competition 2023: Turtles made of natural materials that stole our hearts!
The little friends of ARCHELON who participated in the Kids Beach Competition 2023 formed turtles from pebbles, sand, water, rocks, sticks, leaves and shells, spreading the message of protecting sea turtles on the various beaches of Greece. Angeliki's (7 years old) little turtle on top of the big rock stole 694 hearts and became the winner!
- OUR NEWS15/11/2023
The Field Leaders of 2023 and their role
Matthew from the UK, Noha from France, David from the Netherlands, Aris from Greece started one summer as volunteers knowing little about turtles and their protection. Their experience made them return to the conservation projects as Field Leaders to take on more responsibilities, as trainers and mentors for new volunteers.