03/03/2023

We got together at Impact Hub in Athens for the Presentation of Results of the 2022 actions!

After two years of online presentations due to the pandemic, this year we finally managed to meet the friends and members of ARCHELON in person, on February 15th at the venue of Impact Hub in the centre of Athens, where the 2022 Presentation of Results of ARCHELON took place!

"The publication and discussion of each year's results is a moment that our members, partners and friends look forward to", says Dafni Mavrogiorgos, the Director of ARCHELON. "Results from each action was presented in comparison to previous years, so as to encourage discussion on them," she continues.

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Everyone who came had the opportunity to tour the area where there were posters with the results and to talk with ARCHELON’s staff about sea turtle rehabilitation at the Rescue Centre, environmental education and public awareness, volunteerism, and the sea turtle nesting activity that occurred last year.

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Eirini Kasimati, the Rescue and Rehabilitation Officer, spoke about the 33 turtles that arrived at the Rescue Centre in 2022 and about the 32 that were released back to the sea. She shared with us some important moments of 2022, such as the release of "Zoi", the turtle, who after three years of treatment managed to return to his natural habitat.

The Rescue Centre Officer, Dimitris Fytilis, spoke about the 11,460 visitors and 9,540 children who participated in our educational activities. "This year, we had more visitors than any other year, which makes us happy because this is how people from all over the world and of course students from all over Greece become aware of environmental issues," he said.

The results of the field projects on the nesting beaches were presented by the Project Manager of West Peloponesse, Michalis Souroulidis. In 2022, around 5,480 nests were recorded on approximately 110 kilometers of nesting beach in the Laganas bay of Zakynthos, the Kyparissia bay, Crete and the southern Peloponnese. "With the help of the volunteers/researchers of ARCHELON it is estimated that more than 200,000 hatchlings reached the sea safely," Michalis said. He informed us that an increasing trend in the number of nests has been observed.

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The public awareness actions on the nesting beaches in the year 2022 was presented by the Director of ARCHELON, Dafni Mavrogiorgos. She explained that the number of visitors that were informed about sea turtles on the nesting beaches exceeded the 59,000. A noticeable increase compared to the previous two years. The fundraising efforts of volunteers and staff at the nesting beaches resulted in a total of 68,690€ in adoptions and donations.

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The presentation was followed by a discussion by the President of ARCHELON, Thomas Arapis and the Vice-President Dimitris Dimopoulos on the topic "Tourists and turtles, can they live together?". Examples were mentioned in the discussion where intense tourist activity has negatively affected the sea turtles and their habitat, as well as examples of cooperation with hotel units in the removal of beach furniture at night. The discussion concluded on the need for broader cooperation so that tourism can help the conservation of sea turtles and the turtles can help tourism in Greece, by changing the mindset of the local businesses and visitors.

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The Over & above Awards could not be missed from the event as well as the cutting of the New Year's cake with the lucky coin, which was found by Nikos Manias who has been in charge of communication and collection of reports on turtle rescues and strandings.

The 2022 Results were also presented in English online on Wednesday the 1st of March. At both presentations, the short film "Volunteers protecting sea turtles in Greece" was played, which was filmed in the ARCHELON’s Rethymno project. You can watch the movie here.

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More information about the volunteering and internship opportunities here.

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