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INSTITUTIONAL ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN GREECE


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INTEGRATED DECISION-MAKING

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Greece is in the process of setting up a National Coordination Mechanism for Sustainable Development.  To date, the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works is in charge of sustainable development coordination.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Principles of Sustainable Development have been established by the case law of the 5th Section of the Supreme Administrative Court (Council of State), having jurisdiction on environmental matters, among them the principles of sustainability, carrying capacity of man-made systems and ecosystems, sustainable land development, management of fragile ecosystems, biodiversity, and others.

In 1986, Law 1650 for the Environment was passed, establishing a framework of sanctions and liabilities for the protection of the environment. In 1990, a joint ministerial resolution introduced environmental impact assessments for certain production facilities and activities.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Since 1994, the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works has elaborated an integrated National Action Programme for Climate Change. The Action Programme is based on a drastic energy conservation policy in all sectors of final consumption (industry, transport, commercial, and domestic sectors), the use of natural gas, and the promotion of renewable energy sources.  In order to attain sustainable development, Greece is focusing on the following targets:

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

The Environmental Programme of Greece for the period 1994-2000 aims at addressing the major environmental problems of Greece as well as creating infrastructures for the efficient management of the Greek environment in the Twenty-first Century. In addition, the Programme reflects the commitment, as well as the efforts of the Greek Government, to link development to environment in a manner which will support the uninterrupted implementation of the development policy of Greece, while at the same time safeguarding the environment and physical resources.

The legal framework of the Operational Programme of Greece (OEP) is defined by the National Law 1650/86 for the protection of the environment, the European Community (EC) environmental regulations and directives, and the obligations of Greece with respect to international environmental agreements and conventions. The programme is based upon the sustainability principle, the polluter pays principle, the precautionary principle, and the principle of joint responsibility. The OEP consists of seven sub-programmes: six of the sub-programmes reflect respective environmental action areas, while the remaining programme aims at the provision of technical assistance in selected thematic areas. Each sub-programme is further divided in action programmes which aim at resolving specific environmental problems derived from a thorough assessment of the state of environment in Greece. Part of OEP aims at developing the National Environmental Informatics Network, the Greek contribution to the European Environment Information and Observation Network (EIONET) of the European Environment Agency (EEA).

The first six sub-programmes are development of the infrastructure to respond to the needs of the European Environment Agency to monitor the environment and to comply with environmental standards (funding 47 MECU); management of the anthropogenic environment and control of atmospheric pollution in Athens (funding 138.2 MECU); management and protection of the natural environment (funding 53 MECU); urban planning (funding 74 MECU); National Cadastral Programme (funding 172 MECU); and Integrated Environmental Actions (funding 7.3 MECU). The remaining programme includes specific, thematically or geographically oriented programmes aimed at resolving major environmental problems, for example ATTICA-SOS, THESSALONIKI-SOS, the National Programme for Waste Management excluding the Attica region and Thessaloniki, the noise abatement programme in major Greek cities, the urban restoration programme in Greek cities and settlements excluding Athens, Attica, and Thessaloniki, and HYDROSCOPE.

The Operational Environmental Programme of Greece aims at promoting the implementation of environmental standards as these relate to the construction and operation of private and public works (Action Programme 1.3). As Greece lacks a wide and comprehensive inspectorate system, the main aim is to first, define the legal framework and the technical terms of reference of such a system, and thereafter, provide for the required infrastructure. It should be mentioned that the inspectorate system is expected to operate under the auspices of the Central Government. The overall budget for this Programme is 10 MECU. Specific actions include: the development of an Environmental Inspectorate System; a special programme for the Implementation of the Community Directive Integrated Pollution Prevention Control (IPPC); definition of the requirements for environmental impact assessments for selected industrial fields; programme for the promotion of the Environmental Management System (EMAS); development of a programme for the estimation of economic impacts resulting from environmental degradation through the use of economic tools (not initiated); and programme for environmental education and awareness (not initiated).

Status 

National Decision-Making Structure

1. National Sustainable Development Coordination Body:  
2. National Sustainable Development Policy:

X

3. National Agenda 21/other strategy for SD

X

4. Local/Regional Agenda(s) 21:

X

5. Environmental Impact Assessment Law:

X

6. Major Groups involved in Sustainable Development Decision-Making:

X

National Instruments and Programmes

1. Sustainable. Dev. or environmental education incorporated into school curricula:

Y

2. Sustainable Development Indicators Program:  
3. Ecolabel Regulations:

Y

4. Recycle/Reuse Programs:  
5. Green Accounting Program:  
6. Access to Internet:

Y

7. Access to World Wide Web:

Y

8. National World Wide Web Site for Sustainable Development or State of the Environment:

Y

Policies, Programmes and Legislation

1. Combating poverty:

Y

2. Changing consumption and production patterns:

Y

3. Atmosphere:

Y

4. Land Use Planning:

Y

5. Forest and Deforestation:

Y

6. Desertification and Drought:  
7. Sustainable Mountain Development:

Y

8. Sustainable Agriculture:

Y

9. Biological Diversity:

Y

10. Biotechnology:  
11. Oceans and Coastal Areas:

X

12. Freshwater Management:

X

13. Toxic Chemicals:

X

14. Hazardous Wastes:

X

15. Solid Wastes:

X

16. Radioactive Wastes:  
17. Energy:

X

18. Transport:  
19. Sustainable Tourism:  

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing 

The OEP is supported by both National and community funding. National funding stems from the country's budget and is also complemented by a special levy which is applied on gas. Income from the levy is invested in projects with potential to rectify the environment or to allow the study of environmental problems for which no immediate answers can be provided. Community funding comes from the Structural Funds as well as from the Cohesion Funds.

Cooperation

Since the Rio Conference, Greece has started to adopt its strategic policy framework towards sustainable development. The environmental protection requirements are integrated into the implementation of the key development sectors. This is achieved either through the implementation of the European Union (EU) policy (for example, the Fifth Environmental Action Programme) or through National measures. Reforms in the local government, and new mechanisms for participation and social awareness in the process of planning have played an important role in activating major groups and the public.

Greek policy is seeking to fully exploit the opportunities for cooperation created by the policies and instruments of the European Union (EU). Greece also tries to promote collaboration and exchange of experiences among countries of the European South, and examine the potential needs and prospects of collaboration with neighboring countries.

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This information was provided by the Government of Greece to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

For the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, click here.
For information on sustainable development in Greece, click here.
For information on Environmental Law around the World, click here:

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MAJOR GROUPS

WOMEN

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

In Greece, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women was signed on 2 March 1982 and ratified on 7 June 1983.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available 

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available 

Status 

The Government has developed women agricultural and tourist or artisan cooperatives in order to create employment alternatives for women in isolated areas (for example, Aegean Women Cooperative). Women in boundary areas face particular employment difficulties and limited possibilities. Work potential on the small Aegean islands is limited and there are few employment perspectives. Most women are part-time employed in agriculture, or for assistance or jobs where it is possible. This is the main reason why efforts at creating and operating cooperatives for women are worth promoting. They can offer alternative solutions for women's employment in isolated regions and help to increase women's income. For some years, several women's agricultural tourist cooperatives have been operating on the Aegean islands. Their activities focus on providing comfortable housing in rented rooms or apartments, family restaurants, local traditional cuisine, organizing cultural events, and manufacturing local food products, among others.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing 

No information is available

Cooperation  

No information is available

  *     *     *

This information was provided by the Government of Greece to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

For information on WomenWatch in different countries, click here:
For information on national plans of action in the follow-up to the Beijing Conference, click here:

 

CHILDREN AND YOUTH

No information is available.

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INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

No information is available.

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NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans   

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects

No information is available 

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies 

No information is available

Financing   

In Greece, support is provided by different ministries and different budget lines to various NGOs. The following data on total disbursement and type of disbursement concerns assistance from the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works under its programme for the European Nature Conservation Year (1995): Greek non-governmental organizations US$187,500; and Greek non-governmental organizations, youth, local authorities, scientific and technological communities US$646,000.

Cooperation  

No information is available

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Greece to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

 

LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

In Greece, the European Union and the Ministry for the Environment are supporting local authorities in implementing projects promoting the aims of Local Agendas 21.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects  

No information is available.

Status  

No information is available.

Challenges 

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information 

No information is available.

Research and Technologies  

No information is available.

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

 

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Greece to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

For information on sustainable development in Greece, including local Agenda 21, click here.

 

WORKERS AND UNIONS

No information is available.

* * *

 

BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY

No information is available.

* * *

 

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNITY

No information is available.

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SCIENCE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Education is responsible for the science sector in Greece. The Framework Law 1566/85 provides legislation for science. In the context of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, a National Interdisciplinary Scientific Committee has initiated research on problems of global change under the authority of the National Academy of Science of Greece.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information

No information is available 

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation  

No information is available

   

*     *     *

This information was provided by the Government of Greece to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

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INFORMATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works is the general coordinator of Environmental matters.  The National Statistical Service is also responsible for collecting Statistical Information.  Many other institutions include collection, analysis, management and dissemination of information and data, related to sustainable development, in their responsibilities. A new institution has been created called ¨National Center for Environment and Sustainable Development¨ which will undertake to support the Ministry in Environmental Information issues.   

Coordination is taking place through inter-ministerial committees and inter-ministerial ad-hoc meetings, under the responsibility of the Ministry for the Environment. Comments on draft legislation,  prepared by the competent Ministry, are provided by the co-responsible bodies.  The new “National Center for Environment and Sustainable Development” will  play a substantial role in the co-ordination of responsible bodies.  

The 1997 administrative reform has increased the participation of local and regional governments.  

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Presidential Decree  325/2000 deals with the creation, responsibilities and organization of the “National Center for Environment and Sustainable Development”.  Greece is recently developing a national framework system for indicators, in co-operation with OECD and EU. Some progress has been made in formulating indicators in the housing sector and forest management.   

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Ministry is applying a policy under which there is a very close cooperation with and finance support to the NGOs, the Educational Institutions and the Local Authorities so that the existing knowledge is been used and new capacities are being developed by those organizations.  

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

The Ministries and the Public sector are the main elements responsible for those activities. However the educational institutions, the private environmental institutes and laboratories, as well as the NGOs, contribute very seriously to the whole procedure.

The National Information System is still under development. The plans include the involvement of  many private and public groups. The general tendency in the country during the last years consists of involving as many as possible institutions and other public or private bodies in the environmental matters.  

Programmes and Projects   

The National Environmental Information Network will have local stations in the Regional Services of the Ministry, as well as in some main environmental institutions and some selected Prefectures. The target is both to collect the data from the local authorities and to keep them informed of the environmental issues.  A major project concerning environmental information and sustainable development, will be implemented by the Ministry, in the framework of the national project ¨Information Society¨, which has been incorporated in the third European Union Support Framework.

Action Programme 1.4 of the Operational Environmental Programme of Greece aims at developing the required infrastructure for a National Environmental Information Network by recording, categorizing, assimilating, and assessing environmental information at the National scale. Such information is expected to assist the development of environmental policies at local, regional, and National levels. The same Action Programme will also cover the requirements of the European Environment Agency with respect to the provision of environmental information. The overall budget for Action Programme 1.4 is 9 MECU.

The Operational Programme for the Environment includes Sub-programme 2 entitled "Development of the infrastructure to respond to the needs of the EEA, to monitor the environment, and to comply with environmental standards". This Sub-programme includes action for the development of the EDPP, as well as, at a second phase, the creation of a National Environmental Agency specifically aimed at the coordination of the National Network and the operation of the EDPP. The goal of the National Environmental Information Network is to improve the reliability of environmental information and its dissemination in order to implement environmental policy according to National law and Community regulation and directives.

Status 

Specific actions in Greece related to information for decision making include: a) completion of the National Environmental Information Network to all prefectures and regions of Greece; b) connection of the National Environmental Information Network with the Greek Statistical Service, the European Environment Agency, and the European Commission; and c) a programme for the collection of auxiliary information, such as regional or local activities, natural characteristics, wetlands, etc.

Both the Ministry of Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, and the Aegean University are collecting information on waste management and on the expenses for environmental protection. Information on sustainable development issues is needed at all levels and from all kinds of user groups. The main sources of information are universities and decision-makers at the National level. Information is also received from EUROSTAT and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The Ministry of Agriculture plans a review of agricultural statistics. This would include the use of remotely sensed data. To date, there is no capacity for accessing such data. 

The availability and quality of sustainable development information at the national level can be summarized as follows:

Agenda 21 Chapters

Very good

Good

Some good data but many gaps

Poor

Remarks

2. International cooperation and trade    

X

   
3. Combating poverty      

X

 
4. Changing consumption patterns    

X

   
5. Demographic dynamics and sustainability  

X

     
6. Human health  

X

     
7. Human settlements  

X

     
8. Integrating E & D in decision-making    

X

   
9. Protection of the atmosphere  

X

     
10. Integrated planning and management of land resources  

X

     
11. Combating deforestation  

X

     
12. Combating desertification and drought    

X

   
13. Sustainable mountain development  

X

     
14. Sustainable agriculture and rural development  

X

     
15. Conservation of biological diversity  

X

     
16. Biotechnology      

X

 
17. Oceans, seas, coastal areas and their living resources  

X

     
18. Freshwater resources  

X

     
19. Toxic chemicals      

X

 
20. Hazardous wastes      

X

 
21. Solid wastes    

X

   
22. Radioactive wastes      

X

 
24. Women in sustainable development      

X

 
25. Children and youth      

X

 
26. Indigenous people      

X

 
27. Non-governmental organizations    

X

   
28. Local authorities      

X

 
29. Workers and trade unions      

X

 
30. Business and industry      

X

 
31. Scientific and technological community      

X

 
32. Farmers      

X

 
33. Financial resources and mechanisms    

X

   
34. Technology, cooperation and capacity-building    

X

   
35. Science for sustainable development    

X

   
36. Education, public awareness and training  

X

     
37. International cooperation for capacity-building      

X

 
38. International institutional arrangements      

X

 
39. International legal instruments    

X

   
40. Information for decision-making      

X

 

Challenges  

A national information system as well as the use of some indicators, would imply better use of the institutional infrastructure of the country, better coordination of the information production and filling of the gaps, increase of the level of the technical substructure and eventually save human and financial resources.

More information and indicators are needed especially in the fields of climate change, ozone depletion, eutrophication, acid rain, quality of urban environment, land use and biodiversity, waste, water, forests, soils, and fishing.  A computer network is available with access to international data banks.  Problems have been found in the distribution of information and data security.  There is also a lack of trained personnel in this field.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

There is not yet a country wide structure and connection for sustainable development. In practice it is still a conceptual network where the Ministry for the Environment in close cooperation with other relative Ministries consist the central nodes and around those nodes there are the Universities, some main NGOs and some main private institutions.  The National Environmental Information Network, which is being developed now, will be the initial instrument to start organizing the general national information network for sustainable development, on a more structured basis.

The most commonly used indicators are the traditional ones and those coming out from the international obligations. The activity of developing new indicators is starting now.   The existing indicators serve mainly assessment purposes. In specific cases they serve also planning purposes as well as taking measures purposes.  

There is not yet a catalogue of data sources but it is included in the future plans following the respective activity of the EEA.

The country uses the traditional basic environmental indicators as well as the proposed by EE and international organizations.  In this phase there is a strong effort to the direction of developing the monitoring and data production mechanisms. A number of new monitoring systems and other data collection projects are being implemented. Another direction of the effort concerns the incorporation of the existing valid information into the developed systems. This effort is coordinated by the Ministry and it is harmonized in a country level.  

A National Environmental Information Network is being developed, for integrated, reliable and comparable information, linked with the European Network EIONET.  This network will include all the historical information and will give the possibility for horizontal and long term assessments.

Research and Technologies   

Modern techniques are used for data storage, management and assessment concerning the priority environmental issues. Some tools like UNIX, ORACLE, ARC INFO, MICROSOFT OFFICE, WINDOWS NT, NETSCAPE, are widely used. Models are used to a limited degree in the public sector and to a much greater extent at the universities. Geographic Information Systems are now in wide use.   More wide application and use of tele-matic techniques should be achieved, mainly in the public services, as well as more use of Internet and electronic services.  

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

Since 1993, Greece has been a member of the EEA which was launched by the European Union (EU) in 1993 to provide information at the European level to support policy makers and to better inform the public about the environment. The EIONET built by the EEA consists of several thematic and National layers. Among them are National Focal Points and National Reference Centres to undertake technical coordination in different countries and specialized topic centres. The first seven topic centers cover island waters, marine and coastal environment, air quality, nature conservation, land cover, air emissions, and a catalogue of data sources. Greece has appointed the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works as its National Focal Point and the National Network of Environmental Information as the main instrument for the exchange of information.

Greece has the vice-chairmanship of the Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency. Greece contributes to the work of the topic centers as follows: a) the National Center of Marine Research and the Institute of Marine Biology of Crete are participating in the topic center for marine and coastal environment; b) the Greek Biotope-Wetland Center in Salonica, has been appointed responsible, inter alia, for the ecosystems of South-East Europe, and is participating in the topic center for nature conservation; c) the National Observatory of Athens is a member of the Steering Committee which will conduct the work of the topic center for air quality; d) the National Research Center "Democritos" participates in the topic center for air emissions; e) the Aegean University participates in the nature conservation issue through the Dutch European Center for the Conservation of Nature.

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This information was provided by the Government of Greece to the 5th and 9th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: March 2001.

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INTERNATIONAL LAW

No information is available.

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