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NATURAL RESOURCE ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN GREECE

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AGRICULTURE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The responsible authority for planning and monitoring the implementation of plant genetic resources Action Plan is the Directorate of Physical Planning and Environmental Protection of the Ministry of Agriculture and its basic operational body is the Greek Gene Bank.

The Hellenic Ministry of Agriculture – General Directorate of Water Reclamation, with the help of EU legislation, provides the necessary studies and programmes and defines the reliability of operational "balance models of inputs quantities" for specific land conservation processes in time intervals.

The Directorate of Planning and Estimation of Soil - Water Resources of the Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for the following:

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Drastic and substantial measures are required to deal with the potential negative impacts that may arise from the expected structural changes of the primary sector, given that the employment rate in the primary sector, as well as the "agricultural population" of Greece are likely to be significantly reduced until 2010.

Greece has established and published "Codes of good agricultural practice" for the management of agricultural areas, of grazing lands, of water resources and of biodiversity. The implementation of these codes is obligatory for all producers under the EU legislation (Reg. 1259/99), whereas the carrying out of EIA studies prior to the construction of public and private works and projects is also another ‘obligatory instrument’, according to the national and EU legislation.

Law 1337/1983 and several other Presidential Decrees, address the need for the protection of the high productivity arable land and restrict its transfer to other uses (human settlements, transport infrastructure, industrial activity etc).

The Ministry of Agriculture has developed and institutionalized "Codes of best agricultural practice" aiming at the reduction of the pesticides use in the agricultural activities.

The most important policy instruments for the promotion of sustainable plant nutrition management in Greece are the funded agro-environmental programmes and the environmental equalising compensations.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The sustainable development of agriculture constitutes one of the key targets of the National Physical Planning and Sustainable Development Framework-Programme of Greece.

Up-to-date, the strategic goals of the agricultural policy in Greece have been mainly focusing on the promotion and support of the economic viability of the agricultural activities through:

In this context, most interventions focused on the forestry sector and the construction of new land reclamation works, within a frame of policy making at the regional-level through sanctions and incentives.

Such policies have been realised during the implementation phase of the Second Community Structural Fund. Other European initiatives have also been implemented (i.e. LEADER I and II) as well as other important regulations, developed in the framework of the new Regulation for the Agricultural Development (1257/99).

The implementation of these policies is ongoing and broadening up, in the context of the Regional Development Plan (Third Community Structural Fund 2000-2006) under the Operational Programme "Agricultural Development - Modernisation of the countryside" that has been submitted to the EU by the Hellenic Ministry for Agriculture.

The Ministry of Agriculture is participating in the planning of the national strategy regarding biodiversity, implementing the International Convention for the Conservation of Biological Diversity. Through the Information Bank of "Genetic data", the Ministry of Agriculture is actively contributing to the in situ or on farm and ex situ conservation of cultivated plants as well as the conservation of their ‘wild ancestors’ forms.

The action plan on plant genetic resources focuses on national needs and priorities, taking also into account the need to comply with the relevant obligations and provisions of the CBD and the GPA and the need for regional and global cooperation.

The Special and Regional plans are given basic guidelines for the protection of agricultural land. There are also other regulations for the preservation and development of farmlands, as well as specific programs for the re-organization of the production using more ecological methods, which promote the environmental protection and create eco-tourism and cultural networks in an integrated way. The viability of rural areas and the development of several food products of traditional character, is indicated as an important advantage for the regional development of the mountainous and rural areas.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

Key major Groups are being represented indirectly at the Council of Agricultural Policy, through their corporations and associations as well as through the Organisation of Local Authorities of the 2nd (Prefectures) and 1st (Municipalities) grade. At the Council of Agricultural Policy, environmental NGOs and professional groups, like the Union of Bio-farmers of Greece, participate directly, among others. At the local level, cooperation and ongoing non- mandatory consultation have successfully been taken place on an ad hoc basis, between local bodies or authorities and local groups.

More specifically, there are several Local Agricultural Unions and Associations under the general confederation of GESASE, SYDASE and PASEGES. Through these Unions, farmers can decide, with specific resolutions, on the local needs and problems and they can also participate, through their representatives, in the meeting of the Ministry of Agriculture as well as in the Local Councils of Agricultural Policy of the Ministry of Agriculture.

There are also several Local Unions of Young Farmers as well as Women’s Unions engaged in the sector of agro-tourism, handicraft and home economics, very actively involved in the decision-making regarding agricultural development and sustainable agriculture.

The Greek Union of Agritouristic, Handicraft and Home Economics Cooperatives won one of the 1999 Prizes for Rural Women. The Union is an association of 11 (soon to be 16) rural women's co-operatives from all over Greece. Their products range from gastronomic specialities and handicraft items to agrotouristic enterprises which provide lodging in restored traditional homes or on farms offering a type of hospitality different from the big hotel chains. The benefits derived from the Union are an improvement in the standard of living in the villages, job creation, recognition from local societies, and the ability to offer city dwellers an opportunity to discover rural life. It is the first union of its kind in Europe.

Agricultural development is also assisted at the local level through the LEADER initiative. In the context of this initiative, local farmers, through their collective bodies (public and private), submit proposals and implement programmes aiming at the promotion of innovation, new know-hows, exchange of experience and information diffusion through out Europe. The ultimate target of these initiative is the integrated development of the rural areas along with obtaining additional income for farmers.

Programmes and Projects   

In the framework of the above mentioned Operational Programme, the three following General Development Targets have been set for the period 2000-2006:

The implementation of above mentioned general targets will be achieved through the implementation of specific, already set, sectoral targets.

With regard to the conservation and protection of the agricultural biodiversity, the Ministry of Agriculture is participating with several Action Programmes in the implementation of the EU Regulation 2078/92 for the conservation of rare species of breeded animals and indigenous varieties of endangered cultivated plants.

The basic institution for the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources (PGR) in Greece, is the Presidential Decree 80/1990 "for the protection of the PGR of the country", under which, the relevant national programme was set up. The national programme aims at the "protection and conservation of the indigenous unimproved plant genetic resources of cultivated plant species and their wild progenitor or relative species".

The National Action Programme for the ‘abatement of desertification’, in the framework of the International Convention for the abatement of desertification and drought, deals with such phenomena as the intense soil erosion and the degradation of water resources is conducted through. The integrated abatement of pests and plant diseases, the remediation of degraded soils, the land reclamation projects and the integrated production, are being achieved through specific programmes at the local level.

The change of land use from agriculture to tourism, is adequately controlled through the elaboration of projects and the implementation of the existing legislation.

During the period 1995-2000, in the framework of the programme for the reduction of nitrogen pollution in the Thessalonic plain (area of application 33,000 Ha), the following measures were promoted for the protection of the hilly lands (15% of the total area), from erosion:

Regarding the issue of conservation and rehabilitation of degraded lands in Greece, the following actions have been promoted:

In the context of the incorporation and implementation of the EU legislation in Greece (namely Directive 91/676), as mentioned above, "vulnerable zones" towards nitrogen pollution from agricultural run-offs have been delineated in Greece. These vulnerable zones are so far four, with a total surface area of 500,000 Ha, but another 3 are going to be designated in 2000. For these zones, special action programmes for the integrated use of fertilizers, focusing on the minimization of the adverse impacts on the environment, have been planned. The implementation of these programmes is beginning in 2000 and is obligatory for all farmers.

A major achievement that Greece has accomplished towards the implementation of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programme, is at the field level.

An IPM programme under the title "Application of Alternative methods of Integrated Pest Management and Disease Control" in different crops, has been implemented at the country level. This programme, with a total cost of around 45,000,000 GDR, included the training of farmers according to the IPM principles. The benefits of this IPM programme were, among others, the protection of the environment by reducing sprays, the reduction of the cost of the crop production, the awareness raising of farmers for IPM Control issues and, finally, the reduction of residues in crops and products.

The Ministry of Agriculture has carried out and has been applying "Codes of best agricultural practice" for the reduction of the negative impacts on the environment from the use of fertilizers. Additional to that, the Ministry of Agriculture has been implementing special Action Programmes for the protection of the "vulnerable zones" of water resources from nitrogen pollution coming from agricultural run-offs.

Over the last few years, various programmes have been implemented for the introduction of the integrated plant nutrition approach, at a segmental ad-hoc level. Some of them are:

The programme for the integrated production will be applied on an area of 25,000 Ha, for the period 2000-2006 and also focuses on the integrated nutrition management.

Status   

In Greece, the primary sector contributes to 8% of the GDP. The primary sector occupies 19.3% of the active population in Greece and represents the 30% of the total Greek exports. The population engaged in the primary sector in mountainous and disadvantageous areas has reached 61.7% of the total number of people occupied in the primary sector. The percentage of the GDP corresponding to the agricultural sector is in constant decrease, from 11.8% in 1989 to 9.8% in 1994 and 7.9% in 1998. Moreover, the contribution of the Gross Production Value from agriculture to the Greek economy is also decreasing, from 9.02% in 1991 to 6.72% in 1997. On the other hand, the percentage of the contribution of the Gross Added Value of agriculture to the total of the Greek economy has gone through a substantial decrease, from 11.2% in 1991 to 7.92% in 1997.

Even though the total bulk of agricultural production remains stable, with some minor sectoral variations (mainly in the cotton production and beef), the competitiveness of the sector has been low. However, the agricultural trade balance is in severe deficit, with little improvements over the last few years (from 1 billion USD in 1990 to 546 million USD in 1996). The private investments in the sector also present a decreasing trend at a rate of 2.5-3%, whereas the public ones have been largely oriented towards irrigation works. The latter resulted in a sharp increase of the irrigated area in Greece over the previous years. The number of the cultivated areas in Greece was approximately 821,000 in 1997, covering a total surface of around 3,498,660 Ha. The average surface area per cultivation is approximately 4.3 Ha.

In 1980’s, there had been a population decrease in the agricultural areas, whereas the 1990’s are characterised by a relative stabilisation of the population in these areas. The labour force of the agricultural areas over this decade, was reduced by a factor of 12.3% with an annual reduction rate of 1.4%. The employment in this sector was reduced by 21.3% between 1988-1997 with annual reduction rate of 2.6%. The period between 1994 and 1997 corresponded to a relative stabilisation of the employment, with a reduction rate reaching 0.9% (compared with 3.9% between 1988-1993). The number of people employed in the primary sector reached 786,000 (1997), corresponding to 19.8% of the total. In 1997, women constituted 42.8% of the total population employed in the primary sector. The average annual reduction rate of women's employment was 2.9% as opposed to 2.2% for men, with some trends of stabilisation. Therefore, the employment forecasts, for the decade 1998-2007, present a decreasing trend of the order of 7.84%. This decrease will be even more significant for women between the age of 14-24. With regard to the labour force, the decrease is around 4%.

Moreover, the income of people engaged in the agricultural sector has been slightly decreasing (at stable prices) ever since 1995, taking into account that ever since 1990 the growth rate of the agricultural income is downward. Therefore, the "multi-employment" is very usual phenomenon in the primary sector.

The most intense problems are related to the ageing of the population of mountainous island areas, where the most serious problems of land erosion are being observed, and thus to their low participation in land reclamation projects. Finally, another inhibitory parameter is the high cost for the implementation of such projects.

Agricultural Land System (ALS), as an element of the environment, can be defined by a set including a) physical resources: climate, relief, soil, water, geology and hydrology, and b) natural resources: microorganisms, plant and animal population.

ALS is a finite and degrading system caused mainly by increasing anthropogenic and industry originated impacts on it. The main areas of ALS changing in Greece towards sustainability are the following:

of nitrogen and sulfur oxides inputs.

Goals for the upgrading of the agricultural "space" in Greece include:

The conservation of the agricultural land of high productivity levels (in cases where this constitutes a considerable geophysical comparative advantage at the regional level), as well as the establishment of new, environment-friendly production processes are of primary importance. The latter should have a special emphasis on the measures for quality control, product standardisation and promotion and modernisation of the transport and trading systems.

The gradual development of traditional forms of agricultural and husbandry activities, in contrast to the application of methods of intensive land exploitation and massive / irrational use of agro-chemicals in food production, is considered one of the main strategic goals of the current Greek agricultural policy today. In this context, Greece is aiming at conserving its comparative advantage of being a Mediterranean country, with the ability of developing and applying biological methods in the agriculture and husbandry sectors.

The new functional relation between urban centres and rural areas is promoted by the diffusion of the development of small and medium sized urban centres all over the rural space, and the enhancement of the urban services that the rural population is receiving. The differentiation and the indigenous development of the rural areas, also help in the process. The latter can ensure the competitiveness of these areas in the international context, setting-off the comparative advantage of the Greek Mediterranean agricultural land. Prerequisites to achieve this goal include:

The major steps and initiatives taken since UNCED, in this field, can be briefly summarized as follows:

a. Institutions – Infrastructures:

b. Promoting research activities in the public sector:

c. Preparation of plans and programmes for priority actions: 

The green revolution during the last decades of higher use of agro-chemicals for increase in the yield, resulted into the creation of residues, the low return rate of crops (mean of 22%). It had an effect on the environmental status – surface and groundwater and soil erosion and degradation of the soil in the climatic conditions of the Mediterranean countries.

In Greece, an integrated plant nutrition programme has not yet been developed and implemented, and thus the fertilizers used are still inorganic and in various forms, i.e. solid, crystalline, liquid etc. Therefore, the nutrition system, which is mainly used in Greece, cannot be considered as wholly "sustainable", because it is depending on energy intensive sources for the production of nutritive material.

Irrigation methods progress of common reclamation works (1992-1998)

Estimation of irrigated surface areas

year Surface irrigation

Ha

Sprinkler irrigation

Ha

Drops irrigation

Ha

1992 185.000 210.000 30.000
1994 180.000 225.000 40.000
1996 175.000 245.000 50.000
1998 176.000 263.000 50.000

 

Irrigated area progress of common reclamation works (1992-1998)

 

Year Cumulative irrigated area (Ha)
1992 430,000
1994 445,000
1996 570,000
1998 590,000

Challenges

The challenges to the development of land resources for integrated management and sustainability, includes programmes of liming for the acidic soils and CaSO4 2 H2O for saline-sodium soils under cultivation.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

The Ministry of Agriculture through its "Plant Protection Service", has set up laboratories in the Regional Centres of Plant Protection and Quality Control, for the control of pesticides’ residues in agricultural products.

The farmers’ training programme about soil and water management is targeted on the agrochemicals’ input decrease and the non-intensive ALS cultivation. These measures and activities illustrate the policy for the soil-water integrated management in Greece, through the analysis of each subsystem and the ways of interaction between its elements.

The constant training and awareness raising programmes for farmers, sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture, lead to the better understanding of the principles of sustainable agriculture.

Information

Another step is the implementation of a nation wide project for the identification and characterization of the autochthonous animal genetic resources of buffaloes, cattle, goat, sheep and horses. Based on the results of this project, the survey data of the country will be used to update the international databases for animal genetic resources (FAO – Rome, EAAP – Hannover). Furthermore, the data will be used to establish the national database for the national genetic resources at the Focal Point and support the farmers for keeping autochthonous breeds in the frame of the directions of the EU.

The Focal Point has participated in a research project (RESGEN 083) aiming at collecting up-to-date information on the situation of animal genetic resources in the EU countries. Another major activity of the Focal Point has been the Symposium on the situation of Animal Genetic Resources in the countries of South – Eastern Europe, which has been organized in collaboration with FAO and the Greek Ministry of Agriculture.

In cooperation with Universities and Research Institutes, the programme for the irrigated water quality monitoring of surface and ground water, which is currently being implemented, provides with a database of quantitative and qualitative measurements of pesticide residue and physiochemical parameters in the regions of Macedonia and Thrace (North Greece). Moreover, the monitoring programme for human health and soil quality provides measurements of the nutrient and heavy metal content in soils and waters.

Research and Technologies  

Sequestration of CO2 into soils (humus) is achieved, inter alia, through the following:

One of the measures included in the "National Action Plan for the abatement of CO2 and other greenhouse gases emissions" is the exploitation of Renewable Energy sources. In the case of biomass, prospects are particularly interesting, concerning mainly new techniques and systems, such as district -heating, new technologies for the production of industrial heat and/or bioelectricity, and production of biofuels.

Financing

In Greece, there is a lack of sufficient data on the total money spent for land reclamation projects, as well as on the percentage of areas that have been rehabilitated per total area of eroded soils. This is mainly due to the fact that most investments and projects are private initiatives, in the framework of the programme for the enhancement of arable lands. Other projects, mostly focusing on the replenishment of aquifers and the control of salinization of groundwater and soils, are being funded by the decentralised Prefectural authorities, thus the collection of the data, on the national level, is a very difficult and time-consuming task.

The programmes of "equalising compensation" which are being applied in Greece, aim at:

Each year around 180,000 beneficiaries are supported, with a total amount of 35,000,000 GDR per year.

Moreover, all the agricultural programmes applied in mountainous areas are also highly supported, including a financial support, for investment in agricultural, husbandry, agro-tourism and agro-handicraft activities. This support aims at encouraging farmers not to abandon their areas of origin.

Cooperation

The Hellenic Ministry of Agriculture is participating in the ongoing negotiations since 1994, in the context of the Committee of Genetic Resources of FAO, for the amendment of the International Undertaking for the ‘Plant Genetic resources for food and agriculture’.

A first and important step is the participation of Greece in the Global Animal Genetic Resource Management Programme of FAO, which is operated in coordination with the Convention of Biological Diversity. Following the Global Programme, Greece has established the National Focal Point for Animal Genetic Resources which is operated by the Laboratory of Farm Animal Genetics and Breeding in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Greece to the 5th and 8th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: May 2000.

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ATMOSPHERE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works is mainly responsible for making decisions for the protection of the atmosphere.  Co-responsible bodies include Ministries of: Development (Energy, Industry); Transport; and Health.  A draft piece of legislation is prepared by a group of experts under the Ministry for the Environment. After the publication of the draft, the co-responsible governmental bodies comment on this. The comments are evaluated and incorporated in the final draft, which is submitted for adoption to the competent Ministries.  Coordination is also taking place through inter-ministerial committees (e.g. climate change) and inter-ministerial ad-hoc meetings.  

  Some competence for environmental policies is delegated to the regional and local governments. The local authorities 

 (Prefectures - municipalities) may take decisions regarding their territories, in accordance with the existing legislation. After the 1997 administrative reform, the participation of the regional and local governments in policy formulation has grown.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Under the main Law 1650/86 “For the protection of the Environment”, legislation has been issued for the reduction of air pollution from vehicles, heating systems of buildings, industries and other polluting activities. Some of these are the following:

 Presidential Decree No 1180/81: Regulation aspects regarding the establishment and operation of industrial installations and their protection measures against emissions to the atmosphere.

 

Ministerial Cabinet Action 99/87 regarding atmosphere quality target and limit values in SO2 and particulates.

 

Ministerial Cabinet Action 25/88 regarding atmosphere quality target and limit values in NO2.

 

Ministerial Cabinet Action 98/10/87 and 25/88 regarding atmosphere quality limit value for lead in the atmosphere.

         Joint Ministerial Decision (JMD) 97321/3341/1992 “Form and Content of Exhaust Check Card”, which  introduced the exhaust gas emission inspection programme for road vehicles.

JMD Φ50/94474/4556/1994 “Determination of measuring method and permitted values (limits) of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbons(HC) in exhaust gases of gasoline and LPG powered vehicles”.

JMD Φ50/94475/4557/1994 «Determination of measuring method and permitted values (limits) of the opacity of exhaust gases from diesel powered vehicles».

          Our country has also incorporated in the National Law many directives of the EU concerning the protection of the atmosphere such as:

 

EU Directive 88/609/EC concerning limitations of SO2, NOx and particulates emissions into the air from Large Combustion Plants.

 

EU Directive 84/360/EC concerning the control of atmospheric pollution from industrial installations.

 

EU Directive 92/72/EC concerning atmospheric quality limit values for ozone content.

 

EU Directive 96/62/EC concerning the assessment and management of quality of atmosphere.

 

EU Daughter Directive 99/30/EC concerning concentration limit values in atmosphere for SO2, NO2, NOx, Pb, and particulates.

 

EU Frame Directive 96/61/EC for Integrated Prevention Pollution Control in Industry.

 

Except National Law and EC directives incorporated in it, many EU Regulations are directly applicable and binding (e.g. the EC Regulation on substances that deplete the ozone layer).

 - A revised set of sales taxes on vehicles which passed into law in 1999 (Law 2682/1999) sets increasing sales taxes in proportion to engine capacity as well as higher rates for vehicles lacking pollution control equipment.

 - Tax incentives to replace old vehicles with new ones with catalytic converters were introduced in 1990 for two years.

 - The Operational Programme for Energy (OPE) which is co-funded by Greece and the Community Support Framework II, is an integrated structural intervention to the national energy system.

         - The Operational Programme for Research and Technology II (OPRD II), which is co-funded by Greece and the Community Support Framework II, supports research and  infrastructure for RES and RUE development.

         - The Development Law 2601/98 provides for the subsidization of industrial activities related to energy saving and energy production from biomass.

         - The mechanism of Third Party Financing (TPF), provides that the economic risk of investments in the field of renewable energies and energy conservation is undertaken by a third party (mainly the Energy Services Company /ESCO) instead of the end user.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The National Action Plan for the Abatement of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and other Greenhouse Gas Emissions has been developed under the responsibility and supervision of the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works. The Action Plan is based on a drastic energy conservation policy in all sectors of final consumption (industry, transport, domestic/tertiary). It aims to rationalize energy consumption without affecting the population's standard of living and uses a bold investment policy to promote new energy generation means (natural gas, renewable energy sources) to replace conventional fuels. In Greece, a "spontaneous" course of events (in other words, in the absence of abatement measures) would lead to an increase in emissions in the order of 27% CO2 by the year 2000. As stated in the National Action Plan, the Greek Government, after taking into consideration both economic and social parameters, accepted that a realistic objective for Greece is the restriction of the overall increase of CO2 emissions to 153% during the 1990-2000 period.

The Public Power Corporation (PPC) is committed to pursue a variety of measures to ensure that all implemented projects meet environmentally acceptable standards. The PPC is applying specific policies for environmental protection that include the following measures: commissioning of natural gas generating units; development of the country's hydro potential; exploitation of renewable energy sources (wind, geothermal, solar); energy conservation and improvement of the efficiency of existing installations; and promotion of new combustion technologies during the design of new projects, such as the use of fluid beds and the Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC).

The Ministry for the Environment has an overall strategy for the protection of the atmosphere, especially in large urban areas and areas with significant energy production units and develops the infrastructure for the continuous monitoring of the atmospheric environment.

 Greenhouse gas emissions;

The National Climate Action Plan was published and submitted to the EU and UN (UNFCCC) in 1995.  In line with the Kyoto Protocol and the burden-sharing agreement of EU, Greece's commitment is to restrict the growth of the emissions of the six greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol, to 25% for the period 2008-2012 compared to 1990 level.

According to Public Power Corporation (PPC) development perspectives and the most recent data on energy demand, electrical energy production will increase by 28%, for the time period 1997-2002, while the respective CO2 emissions will increase by only 14%. Also, for the time period 1997-2005 the electrical energy production will increase by 40%, while the respective CO2 emissions will increase by only 21%.

This important limitation of CO2 emissions compared to the increase of the energy produced, is due to PPC’s strategy measures (included in the PPC’s development plan), and they refer mainly to:

·        introduction of natural gas, as a new fuel, in power generation

·        exploitation of hydropower potential

·        development of renewable energy sources

·        conservation and rational use of electricity

·        implementation of efficient lignite technologies

Terrestrial and marine resource development for greenhouse gas sinks;

·        increase of  the rate of reforestation

·        control of forest fires

Substances that deplete the ozone layer;

 Our country's strategy is formulated by the decisions and amendments of the Montreal Protocol and the respective EU legislation (Regulation on substances that deplete the ozone layer).

Transboundary air pollution.

The strategy is formulated according to the ECE relevant Convention and Protocols.

 For the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for the period 2000 onwards, the 3rd National Communication which is to be  submitted this year, will describe our national goals.  For the mitigation of ozone depletion, the goals are formulated according to the new EC Regulation and will be described in the national legislation which is being prepared. 

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects 

Action Programme 1.2 of the Operational Environmental Programme of Greece aims at the development of the infrastructure for the continuous monitoring of the atmospheric environment (including air emissions) of Greece, with emphasis on large urban centers and areas with significant energy production units. The overall budget for Action Programme 1.2 is 19 MECU. In Greece, specific actions taken to protect the atmosphere include establishing:

-- a National monitoring network of the atmospheric environment; an Inspectorate for air pollution;
-- an Operational Centre for the monitoring of atmospheric pollution and the implementation of correction measures in the wider Athens area;
-- a station for monitoring of meteorological parameters in the tropospheric region of Athens;
-- a mobile station for the teledetection of air pollutants with the use of lidars;
-- on-line connection of the Operational Center and the National Network to the National Meteorological Center;
-- an inventory system for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other non-conventional pollutants in Athens;
-- a countrywide inventory for industrial emissions;
-- an assessment capability for the impact of greenhouse gases on Greek climatic conditions and development of a network for the assessment of climatic variations;
-- the installation of Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) stations and stations for sea level monitoring;
-- a programme for the compliance of Greece to the requirements of the Montreal Protocol and its subsequent amendments;
-- improvements to the calibration system of the automatic air pollution monitoring instruments;
-- a system for the monitoring of air pollution in museums;
-- a monitoring network for urban noise;
-- an assessment and mapping capability for noise pollution from traffic; and
-- the definition of noise zones for the wider Athens and Thessaloniki industrial areas.

Action Programme 2.3 of the Operational Environmental Programme of Greece aims at improving the air quality in the urban area of Athens. The programme consists of major interventions for the reduction of emissions from motor vehicles, domestic heating devices, and industrial units. It is expected that on completion of the programme, air quality will be improved substantially, especially in the center of Athens. The overall budget for Action Programme 2.3 is 32.6 MECU. Specific actions under this Programme include: interventions to improve traffic in urban centers; development of a coordinated mass transit system; measures for noise reduction in major roadways; abatement of noise in tourist areas; expansion of dedicated bus lanes in the urban center of Athens; an extended system for the inspection of emissions from motor vehicles; and a "Park and Drive" Programme.

In the energy sector, the National Energy Programme comprises four sub-programmes.

The Energy Saving Sub-programme is primarily oriented towards the industrial and tertiary sectors. Investments for co-generation and the use of the new natural gas sources in the industrial and tertiary sectors are considered to be of special importance. Voluntary agreements, third party financing, and demonstration projects of new energy efficient technologies are also under consideration. In addition, the National Action Plan for Energy Conservation in the Built Environment intends to restrict the use of conservative energy systems and to increase energy efficiency. A research programme "Environmental Energy Map for the Housing Sector" is also being elaborated by the Ministry for the Environment. This includes development of a software model for an energy conservation data bank and monitoring of energy conservation measures.

Industrial activities

- Pilot studies through the EC programme SAVE

-Uptake of new standards (ISO 14001, Eco Management and Audit Scheme, eco-  labeling)

- Improvement on industrial infrastructure and quality management

- Grants for investments in energy efficiency, CHP or fuel switching to natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)

- expansion of CHP in four petroleum refineries

 

Agricultural activities

- Control of forest fires

- Utilization of agricultural by-products

- Reduce the use of nitrate fertilizers

 

Status  

All included in the annual inventory submitted to UNFCCC

Challenges

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

Public awareness has been raised in Greece, especially after the Kyoto Conference role of the mass media. The Center for Renewable Energy Sources raises public awareness for renewable and energy efficiency through information packages for high schools and the general public. The Public Power Corporation launches media campaigns for energy saving, mainly through television, PPC customer service offices and advertising leaflets.\

 In 1996, 24 schools participated in the GLOBE/ALEXANDROS Programme. Study of the atmosphere, biology, hydrology and geology and communication of results to other schools internationally, through the World Wide Web.

Information   

The Ministry for the Environment. the National Meteorological Office, the National Observatory of Athens and the Ministry of Agriculture support different observation networks for climate parameters. A national climate change observation network is under consideration.  A new institution called " National Center for Environment and Sustainable Development" created, will support the Ministry for the Environment in environmental information issues.  A national Environmental Information Network is being developed, for integrated, reliable and comparable information, linked with the European network EIONET.  The Ministry for the Environment has established an office for the operation of the European Environment Agency (EEA) National Focal Point and the coordination of all relevant activities at national level. The Ministry's for the Environment Web site is : www.minenv.gr

There is close cooperation and finance support to Local Authorities, Educational Institutions and NGOs from the Ministry of the Environment, for the dissemination of the data and the development of new capacities. In the international level, the information is shared through the participation to different organizations (i.e. World Meteorological Organization, European Environment Agency, etc.)

Research and Technologies 

The Public Power Corporation's policy is the construction of new production units  with the best available technologies. Especially for lignite (the only indigenous fuel), new lignite burning technologies are being examined to improve energy efficiency and further emission decrease.  PPC implements pilot measures for the improvement of lignite station efficiency throughout technological upgrade of boilers, turbines, lignite crushers, cooling systems and other equipment.

All automobiles require, among others measures, a periodical check at the already established regional Centres of Vehicles' Technological Check (one in each Prefecture). Besides, Greece has already harmonized European Union (EU) directives concerning the upper permitted limits for CO2 and oxygen surplus emissions. In 11 Greek prefectures, including the prefecture of Attika, the Gases Check Card System has been established. Under this System, private use automobiles are obliged, once annually, to be checked and supplied with the appropriate card. Furthermore, mobile checking stations of the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry of Transportation perform random emission checks on cars. In addition, the scientific community has undertaken studies on health effects resulting from air pollution and depletion of the ozone layer.

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

The Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics at the Physics Department of Aristotle University, Salonika, hosts the World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) World Ozone Mapping Centre (in 1995 it had 4 observation stations).

Bilateral cooperation is focused mainly on the neighboring Balkan countries and on the least developed countries and is mainly implemented through the Development Assistance Programme of Greece.  Multilateral cooperation is mainly streamed through the participation of Greece to GEF.

 UNFCCC:           Signed in 1992

                            Ratified in 1994

                 National Communications submitted in 1995 and 1997.

 Kyoto Protocol   Signed in 1998

Montreal Protocol and London and Copenhagen Amendments: Signed and ratified and the country is in the process of ratifying the Beijing Amendments.

In Greece, the Montreal Protocol was ratified in 1988, the London Amendment in 1992, and the Copenhagen Amendment in 1994. The latest report to the Montreal Protocol Secretariat was prepared in 1996. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was ratified in 1994, with the latest report to the UNFCCC Secretariat submitted in 1995. In addition, Greece has acceded to regional conventions regarding transboundary air pollution [Co-operative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Long-range Transmission of Air Pollutants in Europe (EMEP), Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) Conventions]. Law 2244/94 on Autoproduction, Co-generation and Creation of Public Power Corporation's Affiliate Companies applies to atmospheric protection. For the implementation of the Law, the Ministerial Decision YBET/8295/95 regulates the corresponding licences issues, and Ministerial Decision 8907/96 (Ministry of Development) regulates the issues of co-generation of electricity with heat or cooling. Legislation on Environmental Impact Assessment study requirement in all related sectors also applies. Legislative and administrative measures for response mechanisms for pollution resulting from industrial accidents is in place.

 

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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.

For the Greek National Profile to CSD V, including reports on Climate Change, click here.
Click here for national information from the Web site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
For the access to the Web Site of the Ozone Secretariat, click here:

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BIODIVERSITY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The General Directorate for the Environment of the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works is the coordination body for biodiversity in Greece. Within the School of Biological Sciences, University of Athens a supporting unit has been created for the elaboration of this draft National strategy.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

In Greece, the Convention on Biological Diversity was signed in 1992 and ratified in 1994. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora was ratified in 1992. Greece is also involved in implementation European Union (EU) Directives related to biodiversity (92/43/EC).

Environmental Impact Assessment for many types of projects is legally binding since 1990, while the National Strategy and Action Plan for Biodiversity Conservation are under preparation. 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

National and regional administrations, the scientific community, NGOs, the private sector (agriculture, tourism, energy) represent the main groups with a stake in biodiversity.

Programmes and Projects 

In Greece, 5,500 species of flora and 900 species of fauna have been recognized. Action Programme 3.1 of the Operational Environmental Programme of Greece aims at providing the knowledge and facilities for monitoring, protecting, and managing flora and faunal species. The overall budget of Action Programme 3.1 is 3 MECU. Specific actions under this Programme include: completion of National lists of flora and fauna species in danger; development of specific programmes for the protection of endangered flora and fauna species; definition of special management measures for selected faunal species including the definition of a hunting code; inventory of fish stocks in ecologically sensitive areas; and management schemes for fish stocks.

Action Programme 3.2 of the Operational Environmental Programme aims at providing the facilities and technical means for protection, guarding, and managing the most important biotopes of Greece. The Programme will build upon the existing knowledge on these areas acquired from the assessment of the state of environment, as well as from their mapping. The overall budget for Action Programme 3.2 is 20 MECU.

Status 

One hundred and eight areas are under protection for nature conservation. Among these areas, 25 are given priority for management. They comprise forests, wetlands, coasts and biotopes of sea turtles, Mediterranean monkseals, and vulnerable birds. An additional 167 sites have been proposed by the Ministry for the Environment and are being examined for inclusion in the NATURA 2000 network of the EU. It is estimated that 80% of the country's habitat types and most of the endemic species will be present within the boundaries of the sites of the new protected areas network. With the new sites, 15% of the country's surface, excluding the marine surface will be protected.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Awareness raising and information campaigns on the issue of sustainable management of natural resources for local authorities and NGO's have been conducted by the Biotope Wetland Centre, Ministry for the Environment within the context of European Environmental Policy Promotion. Dissemination of information through the media, information campaigns, and organization of environmental education meetings under the MedWet programme (Lake Kerkini) have also been organized. The National Environmental Information Network, based at the Ministry for the Environment, is now running its pilot phase and will be connecting all the environmental services of the country. In Greece, priority is given to the training of people for the management of protected areas.

Information 

National Greek inventories significant to biodiversity include: The Red Data Book of Threatened Vertebrates of Greece (1992); the Inventory of Greek Wetlands as Natural Resources (1994); the Red Data Book of Rare and Threatened Plants of Greece (1995); and the National Preliminary Biodiversity Assessment (to be published in 1997).

The Greek Biotope Wetland Centre has completed the following activities under the EU LIFE programme: a) inventory, evaluation, and mapping of Greek biotopes, and flora and fauna species, including the inventory of 296 sites for inclusion in the NATURA 2000 network; b) management plans for ten sites which are candidates for inclusion in the NATURA 2000 network; c) pilot programme for the monitoring of such sites; d) information campaigns in four sites; e) compilation of Greek legislation on the conservation of the natural environment; f) preliminary evaluation of Greek ecosystems; and g) pilot projects in the Mediterranean area (Southeast Greece).

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing 

Permanent funds for biodiversity mainly consist of more than 50% (US$100,000,000) of the total annual budget of the Forestry Service. However, there are financial provisions of about US$6,400,000 (European Community Support Framework) and US$2,000,000 (Specific National Environment Fund) for the years 1995-1999 by the Ministry for the Environment.

Cooperation

Greece participates in meetings and working groups of the European Topic Centre on Nature Conservation. Greece is represented on the European Topic Centre of Nature Conservation by the Greek Biotope Wetland Centre, which has been designated National Focal Point of Nature Conservation for Greece and the Southeast Mediterranean.

A high priority is given to issues of cooperation and capacity building at a Mediterranean scale through the Mediterranean Action Plan. Moreover agreements on the use of shared rivers, such as the Nestos River between Greece and Bulgaria, are expected to have a positive impact on biodiversity conservation.

 

*     *     *

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.

For information on sustainable development in Greece, including biodiversity, click here.
For access to the Web Site of the Convention on Biological Diversity, click here:
For access to the Web Site of the CITES Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the CMS Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the Convention on the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, click here:
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.
Click here to link to biosafety web sites in the European Union.
For the country-by-country, Man in the Biosphere On-Line Query System, click here:

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DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification Particularly in Africa was signed by Greece in 1994.

The General Secretariat of Forests and Natural Environment is in charge of desertification issues. The following legislation is related to desertification and drought: the Protection of Forests Law (998/79); Grazing Lands Law (1734/87); and Organization of Agricultural Research Law (1845/89). Major groups (NGOs, women groups, and youth organizations) are ad hoc participants at all planning levels.

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   

Areas in danger of desertification can be found in the southern and central mainland, on the Aegean Islands, and in Crete. An area of about 15,000 km2 is affected. In 1990, about 810,000 people lived in these areas. The main sources of income are agriculture and tourism. Natural causes and forest fires have the most serious impact on desertification. The impact of grazing and improper farming, and land use is considered moderate. Fuel wood collection has only a modest impact on desertification. The main obstacles to combating desertification and drought are land ownership, grazing rights on public land, and land speculation.

Since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), the issues of early warning information to decision makers, and drought preparedness and relief schemes have been addressed in part. Meteorological and hydrological monitoring of areas in danger of desertification is rated as poor. The assessment of soil and land degradation is rated as adequate.

Challenges  

Professional staff of the General Secretariat of Forests and Natural Environment increased from 484 members in 1980 to 770 members in 1990, and to 816 members in 1995. The central planning level is properly staffed; at the district level, the staffing situation is adequate; and at the field level it is rated as poor. There is a lack of early-warning, trained extension, and research staff. Lack of management skills is also apparent

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 budget of the General Secretariat of Forests and Natural Environment increased from US$ 106 million in 1980 to US$ 167 million in 1990, and to US$ 183 million in 1995.

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.

For the Greek National Profile to CSD V, including desertification, click here.
For access to the Web Site of the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought, click here:

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ENERGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Primarily, the Ministry for Development is responsible for making decisions concerning energy issues in general.  In addition, the Ministries of: Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works; and Transportation and Communications, are also involved in decision- making concerning energy-related aspects of atmosphere and transportation.

A draft piece of legislation is prepared by a group of experts under the competent Ministry. After the publication of the draft, the co-responsible governmental bodies comment on this. The comments are evaluated and incorporated in the final draft, which is submitted for adoption to the competent Ministries.

The responsibility for decision-making is mainly delegated to the competent Ministry. As a result of the 1997 administrative reform, the participation of regional and local governments in policy implementation has become more effective. Many responsibilities have been transferred, from the central services of the Ministry of  Development, to the administrative infrastructure of the 13 Regions and 52 Prefectures, by Presidential Decree. The relevant peripheral Energy Centers, existing and new ones, the activities of which are specified by the Law 2244/94 are expected to play a key role to the regional action plans for Renewable Energy Sources. The Greek Government has established 14 Regional Energy Centers. The European Union, through the SAVE programme, is contributing to the funding for these centers. The main goal of the centers is to implement and co-ordinate energy programmes, particularly renewable and energy conservation programmes. The Centers also provide and collect energy related information. 

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works promotes the Law for the Promotion of Renewable Energy Sources. Law 2244/94 enables independents and self-sufficient producers to use renewable sources for the generation of electricity, improves the rate at which kilowatt hours (KWH) are purchased by the Public Power Corporation, and ensures long term contracts for the independent and self-sufficient producers. Ministerial Decision YBET 8295/95 regulates the issue of the corresponding licenses. Law 2234/94 promotes operational industry projects, where energy efficiency is included in the target investments. According to Law 1512/85, which provides incentives for energy conservation, Greek legislation is currently being harmonized with the European Directive SAVE (93/76/EC) for the stabilization of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and energy efficiency of buildings.

National Legislation (Laws, Ministerial Decisions, Presidential Decrees, Ministerial Cabinet Actions) Greece has also incorporated in National Law a great number of EU directives and many EU regulations which are directly applicable and binding for our country as for all Member States. 

 Energy:

Law 2773/99  (Official gazette of Greek Republic A 286/22.12.99) “Liberalization of the Electricity Market-Regulation of energy Policy issues and other provisions”, along the lines of the Directive 96/92/EC.

 Law 2244/94 which is partially amended by Law 2773/99 and related Ministerial Decisions 8295/95, 8907/96,2230/99 and 12160/99 concerning “Regulation of issues connected with the production of electrical power from renewable sources of energy and conventional fuel and other provisions”.

 Act No 2364/95 for the import, transport and distribution of Natural Gas in Greece.

 Energy related aspects of Atmosphere:

Presidential Decree No 1180/81 Regulation aspects regarding the establishment and operation of industrial installations and their protection measures against emissions to the atmosphere.

Frame Law No 1650/86 Concerning environmental protection from projects and activities.

Common Ministerial Decision No 69269/5387/90. Classification of projects and activities, analytical content of the environmental impact assessment studies according to classification, definition of the content of specific environmental studies.

Common Ministerial Decision No 58751/2370/93. Determination of measures and terms for the limitation of atmospheric pollutants  Sox, NOx and particulate from LCPs.

Ministerial Cabinet Action No 99/87 regarding atmosphere quality target and limit values in SO2 and particulates.

Ministerial Cabinet Action No 25/88 regarding atmosphere quality target and limit values in NO2.

Ministerial Cabinet Action 98/10/87 and 25/88  regarding atmosphere quality limit value for lead in atmosphere.

Joint Ministerial Decision 21475/4707/98 for the implementation of the Save Directive 93/76/EC, for the reduction of CO2 emissions by means of energy efficiency improvement in buildings.

The following fiscal instruments are in force in Greece:

The Operational Programme for Energy (OPE), which is co-funded by the Greek Government and the Community Support Framework II (CSF II), is an integrated structural intervention to the national energy system (more information is provided in the Greek Report on sustainable energy submitted in October 1999).

The Operational Programme for Research and Technology II (OPRD II), which is co-funded by the Greek Government and the Community Support Framework II, supports among different measures, the research infrastructure of scientific institutes and private bodies for RES and RUE national research and development.

The Development  Law 2601/98, which foresees inter alia the subsidization of industrial activities relative to energy saving, exploitation of agricultural, industrial and municipal wastes and effluents, the creation of mechanisms for energy saving, the use of solid fuels in the form of biomass and the production of energy by annual or perennial plants (more information is provided in the Greek Report on sustainable energy submitted in October 1999).

The mechanism of Third Party Financing (TPF), through which the economic risk of investments in the field of renewable energies and energy conservation is undertaken by a third party (mainly the Energy Services Company/ESCO) instead of the end user.

Private producers of electricity, generated from renewable sources or co-generation, can sell their power at guaranteed prices, expressed as a percentage of PPC tariffs (Law 2244/94).  

The National Action Plan for Energy Conservation in the Built Environment (Energy 2001) provides tax breaks for promotion of energy efficiency and use of renewable.

Financial assistance is provided to household investments. In 1995, a 75% tax exemption was introduced on the costs of buying and installing household appliances using natural gas. In the early 1990's a combination of measures was in force to encourage the replacement of old cars with new cleaner ones.

Economic measures applied:

    ·   A new legislation covering all types of vehicles has been adopted, which provides for the taxation of vehicles  according to the environmental technology they are equipped. New vehicles with anti-pollution technology are granted a reduced tax. Under these provisions, hybridic cars are exempted from duty.

    ·    A differentiated excise duty is applied on more environmentally friendly unleaded petrol.

    ·    A standard amount of money, calculated per liter of petrol and gas oil, is destined to a special fund covering environmental goals.

    ·    Natural gas is exempted of excise duty when not used as a propellant. 

    ·     LPG is specially treated according to the derogation in force allowed by a Council    decision.

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 and a National Action Plan for the Abatement of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and other Greenhouse Gas Emissions. These are 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. They aim to rationalize energy consumption without affecting the population's standard of living and uses a bold investment policy to promote new energy generation means (natural gas, renewable energy sources) to replace conventional fuels. In Greece, a "spontaneous" course of events (in other words, in the absence of abatement measures) would lead to an increase in emissions in the order of 27% CO2 by the year 2000. As stated in the National Action Plan, the Greek Government, after taking into consideration both economic and social parameters, accepted that a realistic objective for Greece is the restriction of the overall increase of CO2 emissions to 153% during the 1990-2000 period.

The National Action Plan for Energy Conservation in the Built Environment, named Energy 2001, implemented by the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, intends to change existing production and consumption patterns through the promotion of building construction techniques and services aimed at energy conservation and the integration of renewable energy technologies. The Action Plan is to be applied through specific legislation providing an incentive policy for energy saving measures in existing buildings (heating, cooling, DHW, and lighting) as well as policies, policy instruments, measures, and new standards for new buildings. This National Action Plan was completed with the participation of recognized bodies, representatives of Greek universities, and research centres. Training and information dissemination programmes are being carried out under the framework of the legislation for Energy Conservation in the Built Environment.

The Public Power Corporation (PPC) is applying specific policies for environmental protection and improvement of energy efficiency, in particular in the development of the country's hydro potential and exploitation of renewable energy sources (wind, geothermal and solar energy). Hydro power contributed 3,764 GWh in 1995, an increase of 25% since 1994. According to Public Power Corporation's expansion plan, 0.8 GW large-scale hydro capacity should be added to the existing 2.5 GW hydro capacity by the year 2000. The National quantitative targets for RES in primary energy/electricity to year 2000 are as follows: hydro 733 ktos, wind 68 ktos, solar 156 ktos, and geothermal heat 20 ktos. According to the PPC programme, the total consumption of natural gas will reach 3.5 billion Nm3 by the year 2005 (1.5 billion Nm3 for electricity generation, 1.0 billion Nm3 for industrial uses and 1.0 billion Nm3 for the needs of domestic and other sectors).

As far as the exploitation of wind energy is concerned, the PPC is the only agency to plan important wind farm installations. Due to the specific legal framework, until recently in effect, the contribution of the private sector was limited to the installation of a limited number of wind generators to meet specific private requirements. Wind energy is expected to increase considerably, though still at a marginal level. This increase will be quite substantial in the country's insular regions where power generation costs from conventional fuels are particularly high.

Public Power Corporation's (PPC) environmental policy main objectives PPC shows serious concern for environmental issues, knowing that protection of the environment is a matter of a great ecological, social and economical importance. PPC is trying to create the conditions for harmonious coexistence between sustainable development and environment. As a result, the environmental factor is a major component of its overall policy and of its daily operational activities.   The company has implemented extensive environmental protection and reclamation projects, aiming at minimizing implications to the environment from its activities since 1990 and then.

The Public Power Corporation’s environmental policy is based on the following main objectives:

Sustainable energy policies - the Center of Renewable Energy Sources

The Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CRES), a public entity founded in 1987, which functions independently, under the auspices of the Ministry of Development - GS for Research & Development, is servicing the aims and axes of the Government’s policy for Renewable Energy Sources (RES) and Rational Use of Energy (RUE). CRES is a well-established European energy institution (active member of EUREC Agency, THERMIE-OPET and SAVE-EnR network) and acts as the official consultant of the Ministry and as the national coordinating organization for RES and RUE topics. The new business plan of CRES, completed in 1997, determines its new era, where it will act as a catalyst for the widening of the Greek RES market. The total budget of the 31 projects and studies of CRES, which have been selected or proposed under the framework of CSF II for Greece –

Operational Programme for Energy (OPE), amounts 16.6 MECUs. CRES also provides technical assistance in the co-ordination of regional and local activities of RES and RUE projects (e.g. management and inspection of the activities of regional, prefecture and urban energy centers). CRES also coordinates the operation of Regional Energy Centers.  Policy on RES and Energy Efficiency (EE) is developed jointly by the Ministry of Development - Directorates for Energy Policy, Renewable Energy Sources and Energy Conservation, General Secretariat of Research and Technology, PPC, and the Center for Renewable Energy Sources. CRES plays a key role in coordinating the Government’s activities in renewable energy development and research. Operating under the supervision of the Ministry of Development, CRES carries out programmes on wind energy, biomass, geothermal energy, active and passive solar, photovoltaic, and small hydro. CRES is also a member of the consortium, which, as the "Independent Agent" for the Operational Programme for Energy, controls the accounts for project disbursements.

The existing national economic and socio-political conditions as well as the relevant strategic options, such as the promotion of RES and RUE technologies primarily affect energy policy in Greece. This policy is increasingly influenced from the evolution at a European level.

The basic principles of the national energy policy are:

·        The short and long term securing of sufficient energy sources at a reasonable cost

·        The acknowledgment of the social dimension of energy issues and of the fundamental right of every citizen to use freely energy for his activities

·        The formulation of proper conditions for the unhindered operation of the market and the ensuring of the competitiveness of different productive activities

·        The respect to the environment and to the rights of future generations

·        The independence from external energy factors, thus the rational development of indigenous energy sources, including Renewable Energy Sources (RES) and Rational Use of Energy (RUE).

 

The Greek energy policy gives priority to the development of RES and RUE in order to improve the indices of the national energy balance and to reduce adverse impacts of energy use to the environment. On the basis of such an ambitious and strict policy, the following positive results are expected:

·      The reinforcement of the safety of energy supply

·    The differentiation and internationalization of the traditional activities of national energy utilities (PPC, DEPA).

·       The long-term reduction of electricity prices and the total satisfaction of end-consumer needs due to the forthcoming free competition conditions in the electricity sector.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects 

In 1994, the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Technology launched three programs in Greece that contain, inter alia, measures and actions to promote the dissemination and development of clean production technologies. These are five-year programs (1994-1999) that provide primary policy goals in the areas of industry, energy, research and technology. The National Energy Programme promotes energy efficiency, rational use of energy, use of renewable energy sources, and the use of natural gas (total budget: 566,300 kECU). It seeks to integrate environmental issues into all energy policies. The introduction and promotion of natural gas in the National energy system is a major infrastructure project. According to the Energy Programme, the expected annual energy saving at the end of the programme in 1999 will be 700 kTOE (energy efficiency, use of natural gas) and the expected substitution of primary energy will be 200 kTOE (renewable energy sources). Voluntary agreements, third party financing, and demonstration projects of new energy efficient technologies are also under consideration.

Under the “Energy 2001” programme, Joint Ministerial Decision 21475/4707 introduced measures and conditions for the improvement of energy efficiency in buildings, to apply in combination with a policy of incentives. This decision applies to both existing and new buildings. More specifically, newly erected buildings shall be erected according to the Code of Rational Energy Use and Energy Saving (CREUES), which is expected to be issued in 2001 in accordance with article 26 of the General Construction Code, replacing the current thermal insulation regulations. Among this Code’s provisions is minimization of the use of conventional forms of energy in buildings, while at same time promoting the use of sustainable energy sources in buildings, through their bioclimatic design. 

In the framework of  its environmental policy, Public Power Corporation (PPC) keeps up with the evolution on CO2 emission limitation issues in order to control the greenhouse effect, and cooperates closely with the Ministry of Development and the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, for the Greek position configuration.    The fundamental principle on which PPC bases its position is the one of the percentage emission reduction per unit of production increase. According to PPC’s development perspectives and the most recent data on energy demand, electrical energy production will increase by 28%, for the time period 1997-2002, while the respective CO2 emissions will increase by only 14%. Also, for the time period 1997-2005 the electrical energy production will increase by 40%, while the respective CO2 emissions will increase by only 21%.  This important limitation of CO2 emissions compared to the increase of the energy produced, is due to PPC’s strategy measures (included in the PPC’s development plan), and they refer mainly to:

·        introduction of natural gas, as a new fuel, in power generation

·        exploitation of hydropower potential

·        development of renewable energy sources

·        conservation and rational use of electricity

·        implementation of efficient lignite technologies

 

Fuel standards in Greece are approaching E.U. norms. Leaded fuel is being phased out, and special restrictions have been set regarding the content of aromatic compounds in gasoline. In 1998, unleaded gasoline had an estimated 46% market share. Sulphur concentration in diesel fuel used in road vehicles was reduced from 0.3 to 0.2 % by weight in 1994, and was further reduced to 0.05% in 1996, in conformance with E.U. directive 93/12. In the early 1990s a vehicle scrapping programme resulted in 350000 cars being replaced by new vehicles equipped with catalytic converters.  An exhaust gas emission inspection programme for road vehicles requires all passenger cars to be tested yearly and taxis and buses twice a year. This programme now applies to most regions of the country.  

The Operational Programme for the Energy (OPE), which is co-funded by the Greek Government and the Community Support Framework II (CSF II), is an integrated structural intervention to the national energy system.  OPE, through its allocated actions and economic incentives, contributes to the implementation of important projects of the electricity production sector, enforces investments in the field of rational use of energy - energy efficiency and drives the promotion of renewable and other indigenous energy sources.  The Programme has a duration of five (5) years and a total budget of 295 billion GRD, from which 37% is the E.U. contribution, 30% is the national public contribution and the rest 33% is the private sector own contribution.  The Programme Management Advisor estimates that national energy consumption will be reduced by 0.7 Mtoe annually, as a result of all the measures undertaken within the OPE.

The Development Law 2601/98, which foresees inter alia the subsidization of industrial activities relative to energy saving, exploitation of agricultural, industrial and municipal wastes and effluents and the creation of mechanisms for energy saving.  Moreover the law foresees the use of solid fuels in the form of biomass and the production of energy by annual or perennial plants (energy plantations) and the subsidization of industries or companies for the production of electricity through the exploitation of indigenous renewable energy sources. It was the first step towards recognizing the fact that this kind of investments should be subsidized as productive. Investment subsidies range from 40-59%, depending on the geographical location of the investment, while loans at reduced interest rates, tax credits and increased depreciation rates are provided.

Policies and Programs for Energy Efficiency improvement

The energy intensity in Greece, unlike in most other IEA Member countries, has been growing in all sectors except industry.  This fact suggests that various energy efficiency programs are needed aiming at moderating and rationalising energy use in Greece.     The main activities of the Government in energy efficiency are:

    ·        Energy conservation investments through the Operational Program for Energy

    ·        Data collection and statistical analysis.

    ·        Participation in the EU Project on Energy Efficiency Indicators.

    ·        Energy auditing program.

    ·        Domestic appliance labeling program.    

    ·        “Energy 2001” program for energy conservation in buildings.

    ·        Transport improvements – capital stock and infrastructure

    ·        Support of 17 Regional Energy Centers

 

The responsibility for these programmes rests primarily with the Ministry of Development. The Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works is responsible for the Energy 2001 programme. The Center for Renewable Energy Sources (CRES), a research organization under the auspices of the Ministry of Development, plays an important role in implementing Government programmes in energy efficiency and in collecting data relating to energy efficiency.

Although the climate in Greece is relatively mild, energy use for heating of buildings accounts for about 60% of domestic energy use and 50% of commercial energy use. Most housing was built before the enactment of the Thermal Insulation Code, and thus few residential buildings are insulated. In the summer, increased use of air conditioning is leading to increased demand peaks.  The “Energy 2001” programme is the main action taken to comply with the European Directive on reducing carbon dioxide emissions through building energy efficiency programmes (93/76/EC). Legislation supporting the programme contains the following main elements:

·          Building construction standards

·          Promotion of renewable energy in building construction and refurbishment

·          Building energy certification

·          Specific, obligatory energy saving measures for public buildings.

 

Status   

The electricity generation system in Greece consists from the interconnected mainland system, the systems of the islands of Crete and Rhodes and the independent power stations of smaller islands. The production from the indigenous lignite fired power plants is approximately 70% of the total production while almost 10% comes from hydro units and the rest from imported fuels.

Greece's geography and climate provide a large potential for renewable. According to the Greek Action Plan for Climate Change, the largest future contributions are likely to come from wind energy, solar thermal, biomass for district heating and electricity generation, and small hydro installations.

There are many windy sites suitable for wind generators, especially on the islands in the Aegean Sea. The Government optimistically estimates an upper limit of some 2000 MWe potential for wind power, as compared with 27 MWe installed as of 1996.  Greece's abundant sunshine has the potential to provide a greater contribution to energy supply, mainly through hot water heating. Greece has about 2.2 million square metres of collector area, or 30% of the EU total according to CRES and EUROSTAT. The Government estimates that the market potential for solar hot water heating is approximately ten times today's 0.1 Mtoe equivalent.

Photovoltaic systems can also be implemented to provide cost-effective electricity in distant areas, while grid-connected central stations could assist the weak grids of the islands in the Aegean Sea.  An important PV application are the 400 systems installed by the Hellenic Navy for the electrification of lighthouses and a hybrid PV/small hydro system designed for the electrification of a monastery in Mountain Atlas.  The market potential for PVs in Greece mainly refers to stand-alone systems in remote areas for electrification and agricultural use.

Interest for biomass power progressively increase.  The most important application is that of a 7.4 Mwe / 9.9 MWth co-generation plant utilizing the biogas produced during the operation of the Athens Sewage Water Treatment Plant.  Hydroelectric power is exploited in some 20 hydroelectric installations larger than 1 MWe and six mini-hydro plants. PPC plans to build at least seven new large hydro plants with a total capacity of 645 MWe by the year 2005.  Several small-hydro plants are to be funded under the OPE.  The following table gives a complete figure of the situation of RES in Greece.

 

Types of RES

 

1990

 

 

1994

 

 

1997

 

 

Installed capacity MW

electricity generated GWh

Installed capacity MW

Electricity generated GWh

Installed capacity MW

electricity generated GWh

Total hydro

2407

1772

2524

2605

2524

4343

Large hydro

2377

1712

2482

2501

2482

4223

Small hydro

30

60

43

105

41

126

Wind energy

2

2

27

37

27

36

Biomass

 

0

0.5

1

0.5

0

Photovoltaic

0.2

0

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

Geothermal

2

0

0

0

 

 

Other RES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1990

1994

1997

Total electricity production (TWh)

 

36.45

 

 

Total electricity production from RES (GWh)

1774

2644

4385

Total electricity consumption (TWh)

 

37.13

 

 PPC covers effectively the electric needs of Greek citizens by responding continuously to the increase of demand which from 88KWh per capita in 1950 reached 3900 KWh in 1998.

Challenges  

The Ministry of Industry, Energy and Technology plans to establish a Center for New Energy Technologies to promote innovative environmentally sound energy technologies, support the transfer of technology, improve the capacity for the development and management of technologies, and develop networks with other organizations at National and international levels. Lack of human capacity, information, and financial resources are considered the main obstacles towards the transfer of environmentally sound technologies.

The main problem of environmental degradation is air pollution in the big cities of Greece (Athens & Thessaloniki),  which is caused by the heavy traffic and diesel oil used in the heating systems of buildings.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

The Public Power Corporation (PPC) places great emphasis on communication with the public by disseminating information aiming at explaining its activities. It launches media campaigns for energy saving, mainly through television, PPC customer service offices and advertising leaflets.

 The Ministry for the Environment makes efforts to spread awareness, giving priority to information, education and training programmes, directed primarily at the younger generation and intended to enrich their education on environmental issues. The Ministry is sponsoring a number of pilot projects such as the installation of two photovoltaic systems for demonstration purposes at a High School and the creation of a "Solar Schools Network" to install 50 small photovoltaic systems at 50 secondary schools around the country (in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Greenpeace).

 Environmental awareness programmes are followed by all levels of PPC's personnel in order to be informed on environmental issues concerning the Corporation's activities. These programmes also aim at explaining the personnel's responsibilities and duties in this field and encourage the discussion of their ideas and suggestions.

The Center of Renewable Energy Sources raises public awareness for renewable sources and energy efficiency through information packages for high schools and the general public.

Information   

Information related to energy and energy-related issues is gathered mainly by CRES and the competent Ministries and is disseminated at both domestic and international levels mainly through government publications. This information is made available to the public through the publications of the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, and also through the Ministry’s website: www.minenv.gr    The Public Power Corporation also follows the Common Ministerial Decision No 75308/5512/90 which defines the way of public information for the content of the Environmental Impact Assessment studies of all projects and activities of the company concerning current and new ones.

Research and Technologies   

The Research and Technology Programme provides measures to promote environmentally friendly technologies and forms of energy, improved materials, and new production and manufacturing methods.  The program also promotes cooperation between research and production institutes.  The Energy Operational Program of the Ministry of Development is mainly oriented toward financing energy efficiency projects.  Financing methods are now under legal regulation, such as Technology Performance Financing or Third Party Financing and are expeected to facilitate even more energy production and energy efficiency, as well a transfer and introduction of environmentally-friendly technonologies.

The Centre for Renewable Energy Sources (CRES), which is supervised by the Ministry of Development, operates a database with information on Greek projects involving organizations and scientists active in the fields of renewable energy sources and the rational use of energy. It is connected with the Commission of the European Communities' databases SESAME and CORDIS via HELLASPAC and ARIADNET.

The Centre of Renewable Energy Sources is a member of the Organization for Promotion of Energy Technologies (OPET). The contribution of the OPET network in promoting energy technologies is quite significant. The OPET network was created under the framework of the THERMIE programme of the Commission of the European Communities (Directorate-General for Energy, DGXVII). Its target is the promotion of innovative energy efficient technologies for environmental protection. Its fields of application are: renewable energy sources; rational use of energy; solid fuels; and hydrocarbons.

Specifically, the activities of the Division for Renewable Energy Sources and Rational Use of Energy are European seminars; campaigns; market studies; databases with the addresses for dispatching information material; collaborating with the European Union (EU) General Directorates I and XVI under the programmes PHARE (technical support to the developing countries) and regional development respectively for exchange of experience and transfer of know-how; and combining local and sectoral characteristics, and specific measures for energy saving.

As for geothermal energy, the exploitation of the substantially high enthalpy potential has come to a halt following serious errors committed in the past in an experimental unit which triggered a general feeling of apprehension amongst the population. Research in geothermal energy sources started in 1970 by the Public Power Corporation (PPC) with the aid of foreign experts. It has been estimated that there is a high geothermal potential especially in the islands. Thus, the PPC plans to exploit the most important geothermal energy sources in the country. In addition, the General Secretariat of Research and Technology has completed a study on "Environmentally Sound Technologies in Greece: Progress of Research and Technology, Economic and Social Impacts".

Annual electricity production from hydro-electric power has increased from 1772 GWH in 1990 to 4343 GWH in 1997. Annual electricity production from wind power has increased from 2GWh in 1990 to 36 GWH in 1997. Electricity production from biomass, and Geothermal energy has been very low up to now. However a 7.4 Mwe / 9.9 MWth co-generation plant utilizing the biogas produced during the operation of the Athens Sewage Water Treatment Plant is currently constructed.   Total annual electricity production from RES (GWh) has increased from 1774 GWH in 1990 to 4385 GWh in 1997, as was previously described in the answer to question 17.

The Public Power Corporation is actively involved in the research and installation of photovoltaic units. Existing units include four photovoltaic units with a capacity of 225 KWP in 4 islands and 90 other photovoltaic units in 24 smaller Aegean islands. The target for the period 1994-2003 is the installation of new photovoltaic systems with a total capacity of 1000 KWP.

 Efficient   Lignite   Technologies

        PPC’s common policy is the construction of new production units with the best available technologies that will have the less possible emissions. Especially for lignite that is the only indigenous fuel, new lignite burning technologies are being examined in order to improve its energy efficiency that would result in further emission decrease.  PPC examines and proceeds to a pilot implementation of a group of measures that have as target the improvement of lignite station efficiency throughout technological upgrade of boilers, turbines, lignite crushers, cooling systems and other equipment.

 More specifically PPC takes the following measures :

 ·          amendments at the boiler lignite miles, replacement of the super heater and reheated main steam piping, improvements of unit regulation systems, improvements of the Induced Draft Fans (IDF) and Forced Draft Fans (FDF), improvements at the unit electrical equipment, etc, in order to increase the reliability and availability of its installations

·          amendments and improvements at unit boilers, reduction of the infiltration air at the boilers, repairing of the main steam condensers, repairing and improvement of the cooling tower heat exchange surfaces , improvements, amendments, replacement of old steam turbine parts, in order to increase the efficiency and the unit nominal capacity, etc in order to improve the efficiency and consequently to operate the units more economically and to reduce the environmental impacts

·          improvement of Kardia SES (units III/IV) existing Electrostatic Precipitators and addition of high technology new ones, improvement of the existing E/P equipment and taking of measures for the volatile particles emission reduction, construction of pipe conveyors for the ash transportation, taking a range of measures for the hazardous wastes disposal, planning of ash exploitation, land restoral works at ash disposal areas, systems and networks for the continuous measurement of pollutants concentration, etc in order to reduce the environmental impacts from units operation. 

 

Apart from that, advanced pulverized fuel (PF) technology in Florina new power station (North-Greece) is planned and also advanced technologies are under consideration, as fluidized bed combustion (FBC) and integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC).

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation  

The Center for Renewable Energy Sources collects and analyses primary energy data as well as socio-economic and technical data pertaining to energy use. It has a complementary role as the national co-coordinating body for the EU Project on Energy Efficiency Indicators under the SAVE programme. This project aims to harmonize data collection, develop and implement a common method of analysis of energy efficiency on an international basis, and compare results among EU Member countries. The study identified lack of pertinent data as a considerable obstacle. As of early 1998, results from this programme cover the period 1980 to 1992. CRES intends to extend the results to the present. A programme of energy auditing is managed by CRES. The programme provides money and technical assistance for energy auditing in buildings, small and medium enterprises, and industry. As of November 1997, about 50 audits in buildings and 50 in industrial processes had been performed.

As an EU Member state, Greece is obliged to implement the EU Directives concerning labeling of appliance energy efficiency (92/75/EEC and subsequent implementation directives). The legislation for refrigerators and freezers and for washing machines has already been adopted.  Moreover CRES has been supported through the SAVE programme in order to make consumers and retailers aware of the usage of the new energy label.

The Public Power Corporation (PPC) has a long tradition of co-operation with electricity companies, especially in the Balkan countries. The main area of co-operation has been the study and construction of interconnections among the electricity systems of various countries, followed by the development of commercial relations through the exchange and the buying/selling of electric power. Moreover PPC has ratified Agreements of Co-operation with electricity companies in other countries. These agreements also include provisions for the exchange of experiences and consultative services covering the whole range of activities in which electricity firms are engaged, from the stage of planning the development of electricity systems to the study, construction and operation of works in the production, transmission and distribution of electric power, as well as the necessary supportive activities, such as economic, accounting and financing support, education, etc.

The Public Power Corporation (PPC) has secured the energy autonomy of the country by having power plants whose installed capacity reached 10997 MW at the end of 1999 while their net power output reached a total of 44777 GWh. PPC’s customers at the end of the year 1999 were 6419 million, and consisted of residential, agricultural, commercial, industrial and other consumer users.  The proactiveness of PPC towards sustainable development and climate change is demonstrated by its participation in the “Energy Wisdom Programme”, a Programme of Co-operation between the association of EU electricity companies (EURELECTRIC) and the European Commission (DGXVII/DGXVI). The Programme foresees the voluntary participation of electric utilities with the aim to achieve significant and measurable improvements in energy efficiency and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Greece is about to start the process for the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, and is drawing up the third National Communication to be submitted to the U.N. in 2001. This National Communication comprises policies and measures for the implementation of the Protocol and the realization of the target  which our country is committed to.   Greece is prepared to go ahead with the ratification of the Montreal and Beijing amendments, and is applying the relative E.U. Regulation (EC) 2037/2000.

Greece cooperates with the other EU member states in the dissemination and promotion of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency projects. The Ministry for Development tries to incorporate and promote EU programmes such as ALTENER, SAVE, JOULE-THERMIE, SYNERGY, TACIS, PHARE, Research and Development Programmes, and new policies such as MEDA or the Energy Charter.

EU Directives and many regulations which are directly applicable and binding for Greece include:

*     *     *

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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FORESTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The General Secretariat of Forests and Natural Environment, an integral part of the Ministry of Agriculture, is responsible for all forestry issues. Research in the field is undertaken by the National Agricultural Research Foundation through its two forestry related institutes in Athens and Thessaloniki. The Central Forest Service is responsible for planning, coordination, and assurance of appropriate financial resources. The regional services are in charge of forest management, protection, improvement, engineering works, and production.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Greece has regulated the sustainable management of forests through legislation, and since 1937, forest management is being conducted through management studies and plans. These efforts are being complemented with the creation of two Laboratories (through the implementation of the 3rd Community Structural Fund) for the certification of the sustainable origin of forest products and their quality. The laboratories (with a budget of 2 billion GDR) will be set up in Athens and Thessaloniki and the certification as well as the labelling will be of a voluntary basis. These laboratories will cover apart from the domestic needs (whole of Greece), the needs of other Balkan countries as well, that do not have such infrastructure.

Regulation 2080/92 (the policy of which will be continued with the new regulation 1257/99) provides for the reforestation of agricultural areas by their owners and farmers through sanctions and economic incentives provided by the European Agricultural Orientation and Security Fund up to 75% of the total cost of expenditure. The regulation also provides for:

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

A strategy plan for forestry was established in 1986 and a development programme in 1989. Greece favours the implementation of the forest principles adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) as well as the provisions of Agenda 21. A forest inventory terminated in 1992 covers forest distribution and characteristics, volume and quality of the growing stock, and the increment and natural mortality of the forest. Major groups are ad hoc participants in decision-making on forestry matters at all levels. The concept of sustainable forestry is well developed in forest management since the beginning of scientific development of forestry.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available

Status 

Forest fires are the most serious cause of deforestation, destroying on average 300 km2 of forest annually even though intensive efforts manage to substantially reduce their effects. Encroaching urbanization is a rather moderate cause of deforestation, while the effects from logging and the need for fuel-wood have had a light impact. Land ownership patterns, grazing rights on public lands, and land speculation are the main obstacles to effective reforestation.

Various activities in the fields of seed technology, tree breeding, torrent control, erosion restraint, and desertification are helping the fight against deforestation while others like National park improvement, grazing population, and eco-tourism are demonstrating the social values of the forest.

Until recently, around 20,000 Ha in Greece has been reforested. The regional forest services have been reforesting non-vegetated forest areas that, during the last decade, have risen up to 35,000 Ha. Moreover, there are 47 local forest nurseries, with a total surface area of 350 Ha, where 20,000,000 trees of various species are annually being produced. From these, the 50% is provided for covering the needs of reforestation activities and programmes of the Service, the 30% covers the needs of programmes carried out by other parties (schools, military services, local authorities, other organisations etc) and the rest 20% stays in the nurseries.

Challenges

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

Pan-European Forest Certification Council (PEFCC) focuses on the reinforcement of the positive image of forestry and timber as a renewable raw material. Moreover, it contributes to the promotion of the economically viable, environmentally sound and socially beneficial management of forests according to the 6 criteria recognised under the Helsinki Council. It also ensures customers and the interested general public that forests are being managed according to the 6 Helsinki criteria that follow conservation:

  1. and appropriate increase of forest resources and of their contribution to the global carbon cycle.
  2. of the health and vitality of the forest eco-system.
  3.  and encouragement of the productive functions of forests (timber and other products).
  4. and  protection and appropriate increase of the biodiversity of the forest eco-system.
  5. and increase of the protective functions within forest management (especially in soil and water).
  6. of the other socio-economic functions and conditions.

These aforementioned criteria are being supplemented by 24 qualitative and quantitative goals.

Information 

A large amount of national information already exists on forests and national progress towards sustainable forest management within the United Nations system and other intergovernmental organizations. Reference is made, in particular, to the following sources:

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

Greece has applied in order to become a permanent member of the PEFCC (Pan-European Forest Certification Council), in which Greece has been participating until today as an observer. The aim of the PEFCC is:

The CITES Convention regarding the international trade of endangered species and specimens of endemic flora and fauna, has been signed by Greece in 1992 and has been ratified with Law 2055/92. The Parties of the Convention have agreed on the compliance and implementation of common rules, regulations and specific processes for the transfer and trade of the aforementioned species, in order to protect, on the global level, the endemic endangered species of flora and fauna.

The increase of forest areas in Greece is regulated through the implementation of the EU Regulation 2080/1992 and the promotion of reforestation actions on non-vegetated forest areas.

Greece has regularly participated in the IPF process with representatives from the General Secretariat of Forests and Natural Environment of the Ministry of Agriculture.

*     *     *

This information was provided by the Government of Greece to the 5th and 8th S                                                                                                                      

  essions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: May 2000.

For information on sustainable development in Greece, including forests, click here.

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FRESHWATER

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

In Greece, the Ministries of Environment, Health and Welfare, and Agriculture are primarily responsible for the management of water resources. Local bodies are responsible for the water supply of cities.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Law 1739/87 establishes the institutional framework for the management of water resources. Several resolutions have been enacted to supplement this law, in accordance with European Union (EU) directives. Projects that might influence the quality of water are subject to environmental impact assessments.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans   

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects 

The objective of Action Programme 1.1 of the Operational Environmental Programme of Greece is the development of a National Monitoring Network for the quality of inland waters and coastal waters. The Programme is complemented by special action to monitor the pollution loads of the water environment. The overall budget for Action Programme 1.1 is 9 MECU which covers the following specific actions: development of the National Monitoring Network for the quality of surface waters, underground waters, waters in transboundary rivers, drinking water, and bathing waters including a central laboratory for the calibration and coordination of regional laboratories involved in the monitoring networks; National monitoring system for urban and industrial wastes; and assessment of sensitive regions with respect to the treatment of liquid wastes.

Action Programme 2.1 of the Operational Environmental Programme aims at developing the infrastructure for the management of the quality, in connection with the quantity, of waters at the National scale. The programme provides considerable weight to the treatment of liquid wastes at the National scale with the construction of waste treatment facilities in settlements larger than 15,000 inhabitants. The overall budget of 40.5 MECU is for specific actions related to: the development of a Master Plan for the management of the quality and quantity of inland waters; a programme for the management of water resources associated with drinking facilities; development of a National management scheme for urban and industrial liquid wastes; the development of Support Centers for the Operation of Waste Treatment Facilities; the development of pilot studies for the re-use of treated wastes; construction of waste treatment facilities (third phase) in sensitive regions; implementation of innovative and adjusted technologies for the treatment of urban liquid wastes in selected areas; construction of facilities for the treatment of industrial wastes; a programme for the integration of clean technologies in industrial practices; and a programme for the recycling of industrial waste.

The Programme HYDROSPOPE complements Action Programme 2.1. It provides the required environmental information for the development of the Master Plan and specific regional management plans for the inland waters in Greece. The Programme is based on a major environmental network and data base consisting of hydrological and meteorological information at the National scale. The overall budget of the programme accounts for 5 MECU for 3 years. In addition, the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare is completing a two-year monitoring programme for bottled water.

Status 

Maximum levels for toxic substances have been defined to protect groundwater from pollution, for example for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and heavy metals. Standards are available for the disposal of industrial waste and waste water. Near Athens, water protection zones have been determined to protect the city's water supply. Water management also includes monitoring of water quality, institutional, and coordination measures, cleaning measures, and control of pollution sources. It has been necessary to carry out studies on the disposal of liquid and solid waste from bird and cattle breeding, and their effects on soils and groundwater. Studies have also been conducted on the effects of fish breeding on the water ecosystem. Studies have been completed on the water management of the Louros-Arachthos Basin, the Hepirus, and the lagoons of Kavala, Xanthi, Rodope, Arta and Preveza.

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  

A National network of regional laboratories has been organized to obtain more reliable data on water quality. The network aims to improve the monitoring of the quality of transboundary rivers, other surface waters, and drinking water. Control stations have been established at the entry positions of transboundary rivers from other countries. An annual report on the quality of surface waters used for drinking is being published and forwarded to the EU, which supports the network.

 

*     *     *

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.

Click here to access The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

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LAND MANAGEMENT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

Within the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, the Directorates of:  Regional Planning and the Environmental Planning are responsible for the planning and management of land resources. The administrative machinery for controlling the spatial location of activities which produce pollution and disruption is strengthened and expanded through environmental impact assessments. In addition, the regulatory framework regarding the determination of the ability of the environment to withstand the burden of specific human activities is strengthened.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The new Law for "Spatial planning and sustainable development" was approved in 1999. The "General Spatial Plan" of national importance, which will be approved by the Greek Parliament in the year 2000, set specific goals, concerning conflicting issues in land use management. Through these goals are aimed at the sustainable use of land, and the minimization of the negative environmental impacts. Such conflicts refer mainly to the urbanization trends of the coastal zones, which are the focus of several productive activities and residential areas for second homes as well.

The transformation of forestland into other land uses is prohibited by the Constitution. There are some exceptions concerning the social infrastructure and the transportation system networks.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The coordination among the responsible bodies for land resources management is partially achieved through the legislated mechanisms for participation in the planning process at the national, regional and local level, under the procedures of approving the spatial and urban plans. Local, prefectural and regional authorities, through their amendments during the decision making process, express their opinion before the final decision.

A new planning framework at the national and regional level was recently established in Greece through a new law for "Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development" which was approved by the Greek Parliament in October 1999. This framework provides guidelines for various socio-economic programmes and for urban level planning, and contributes to the upgrading of the integrated land use management, through the coordination of sectoral policies towards the sustainable use of land resources.

Up to now, an integrated research and study programme of national, regional and sectoral character, enabled the coordination of sectoral policies in such areas as the allocation of the productive activities, the public infrastructure of national and regional importance and the transportation system. The land use management of coastal zones, as well as the protection of natural resources, landscapes and sites, the preservation of cultural heritage and the renewing of the urban network, were the main targets for planning strategies. Many relevant programmes were supported by the Structural Funds and were successfully implemented during the period of the 2nd Programme for Regional Development 1994-1999.

The spatial planning and development of mountain areas and of other less developed areas in Greece is of primary importance, in the framework of the General Physical Planning and Sustainable Development Programme. The General and the Regional Spatial Plans also provide the main guidelines for the development of the Western part of the country, which is characterized by depopulation trends and other regional problems related to the remoteness of those areas.

The conservation of the landscape, of the pristine forests and other forest areas, the environmental particularities and the cultural resources of the mountainous areas of Greece, constitutes one of the main priorities of the Greek spatial planning policy.

Local plans are approved at the local level.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

In Greece, the local and prefectural authorities are directly elected by the people. The Regional councils are bodies consisted of indirectly elected members from local authorities of the first and second tier, labour unions and scientific organisations. The General Secretary of the region is appointed by the central government.

Public participation is required within the approval procedures of the spatial and urban plans according to the planning level. Specifically, the new law for Spatial Planning has established a Council for the approval of the National Spatial Plan, which consists of representatives from major organisations of the public and private sector. The expression of the opinion of this Council is required before the approval of the Plan.

Reforms in local government, and new mechanisms for participation and social awareness have activated major groups and the public. Spatial planning is being promoted for the protection of resources from exhaustion, destruction, and pollution, along with their rational use by expanding current programmes with special planning studies. The objective is to define the regulatory framework for the protection of vital zones of park and forest land, coastal areas, important agricultural land, water reserves, etc., and to define zones for development in environmentally sensitive areas facing pressures from tourism, urban expansion, and second homes. Priority is given to peri-urban and coastal areas, islands, and areas with a strong cultural identity.

The facilitation of active involvement and participation of all those concerned, is a critical point in Greece for the acceptance and implementation of the local plans and the proceedings for imposing land uses in the areas outside the official plan. Due to the land ownership rights which the majority of the people have, this feature creates usually problems in the process of land use management, taking into account the environmental impact of the building rights outside the official plan.

Programmes and Projects 

A substantial pillar of the Operational Environmental Programme of Greece is Action Programme 4.1 Land Use Planning. It aims at supporting the sustainable development of Greece, defining activities by site or region, and reducing pressures on the natural or human environment.  Specific actions under this Programme include: promotion of special land use planning schemes for coastal areas, small islands, settlements, and urban areas; definition of areas for controlled exploitation of natural resources; and development of an Observatory for Land Use Planning.

Action Programme 3.3 of the Operational Environmental Programme of Greece reflects a new spirit in the environmental movement of Greece, as it is the first time that significant amounts are being invested for the protection of natural sites. The Programme is expected to support protection measures for 100 Greek biotopes (25% of the total) which are included in the NATURA 2000 list. The Action Programme 3.3 covers the following specific actions: programme for the protection and management of wetlands; programme for the protection and management of forest ecosystems; programme for the protection of biotopes through the development of eco-tourist activities; and anti-erosion measures at selected sites.

A significant measure in sustainable land resources management is the creation of the National Cadastre, a project which has already begun. Action Programme 5.1 of the Operational Environmental Programme of Greece aims at developing a special cadastre for ecologically sensitive areas which protect forest areas from destruction, as well as from land use modifications which usually take place at the expense of forests. The Programme will also support the agricultural policy of Greece, and the protection of owners' rights for both public and private entities. The Programme, which will built on the existing Coordination of Information on the Environment (CORINE) programme and will include the cadastre for archaeological monuments and sites, covers 15,000 km2 of ecologically sensitive areas in the vicinity of municipalities.

Action Programme 5.2 of the Operational Environmental Programme of Greece has a central role in the development policy of Greece. It is expected that the Programme will support the land use planning efforts of the Ministry of Environment for urban sites, with special emphasis given to the protection of urban open and green spaces when it is completed. The Programme refers to 200 municipalities with a total urban area of 5,000 km2. It also includes the National System for Earth Information, a major database with the geographic or property limits of landfills.

Action Programme 5.3 of the Operational Environmental Programme of Greece aims at supporting the agricultural policy of Greece as well as protecting the environment from agricultural activities. It is expected that the Programme once completed will allow the Central Government to implement an integrated economic policy for agriculture. The total agricultural area to be registered is 15,000 km2 in the administrative limits of 300 municipalities.

The 3rd Socio-economic Programme for Regional Development 2000-2006, increases the distribution of public economic resources in favour of the less developed regions, aiming at improving the regional welfare level towards an economic and social cohesion and the creation of new incomes.

Status 

Except the public infrastructure of large scale that is in progress in order to improve the accessibility of the remote regions, the viability of rural areas is of first priority for the sustainable agriculture, the protection of productive lands and the promotion of new activities as eco-tourism. The protection and enhancement of natural landscapes might generate new opportunities for employment, together with other development programmes of small and sustainable scale, concerning activities for recreation, culture and entertainment.

Due to the huge number of villages and small towns in Greece, the control of urban expansion and unauthorized settlements outside the legislated plans, is of great priority. These phenomena are confronted with specific restrictions against illegal building outwards the official plans, and by the Urban Planning Enterprise which is in process. Urban planning policies promote organized building by creating new summer residential areas, as well as the sustainable land use management by imposing land use restrictions to areas without official plans, but with the strongest urbanization trends. The protection of farmland, natural landscapes, forest land, etc., is the basic target of the General Spatial Plan.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information 

Through the new law for Spatial Planning, an information network system is established concerning spatial planning, for measuring spatial transformations and changes in the framework of the national goals for regional development. The establishment of a "Spatial Planning Observatory" is in process as well.

Suitable regional indicators are being established, aiming at evaluating the implementation  results of regional planning and development towards sustainability and the reduction of the environmental impact from the trends of urbanization within coastal zones and urban system.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing 

In the periphery of the metropolitan areas (areas with agricultural and forestland) taxation is differentiated according to the use of land, as an incentive for preservation.

Cooperation

Data collection and the organization of information systems, education and training in the integrated approach, and strengthening institutions and technological capacity have been initiated. Pilot projects are planned. Under the European Union (EU) Environmental and Regional Development Programme (ENVIREG), study groups have been established and geographic information system (GIS) mapping introduced. Under the EU LIFE program, environmentally friendly technologies and materials are being introduced.

Cooperation is in progress with UN and EU bodies. Greece participates in the Mediterranean Blue Plan of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and in the LIFE and ENVIREG programmes of the EU. International cooperation could be improved through better coordination, better legislation, the promotion of information systems, and public participation.

 

*     *     *

This information was provided by the Government of Greece to the essions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: May 2000.

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MOUNTAINS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies      

The Ministry of National Economy has included in its policy the sustainable management of mountain areas. Also, both the Ministries of: Environment; and Agriculture are  involved in the sustainable management of mountain areas.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

Law 1892/90, which was amended by Law 2234/94, aims to encourage the economy and development of mountain areas. The law covers and supports the productive process.

Each mountain region is examined separately in accordance to its physical, historical, and man-made characteristics. The specific protection and management proposals are legislated by means of Presidential Decrees. Legislation for the mountains of Penteli and Hymettus has already been enacted while Presidential Decrees for the mountains of Aigaleo and Lavreotiki are pending. The mountain Parnitha and mountain regions in western Attica are currently under study.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

The program for mountain development focuses on improvements in the transport infrastructure and on the extension of water and electricity supply. In all mountain areas, measures have been taken for the conservation, regeneration, and expansion of forests. Measures have also been taken to induce the local population, especially the young, to remain in mountain areas by promoting alternative livelihood opportunities through the development of eco-tourism, mountain tourism, and agro-tourism; and the promotion of the use of local resources, for example mineral resources.

Status 

The mountain regions of Attica constitute one of the area's most important environmental resources. Their significance is owed not only to their ecosystem, aesthetic, and recreational value, but most importantly to the indispensable role they play in the area's climatic conditions, air pollution abatement, storm flooding alleviation, etc. The Organization for Planning and Environmental Protection of Athens has undertaken the development of a comprehensive programme which: a) creates various levels of protection zones and delineates the physical boundaries of each zone; b) establishes land use allocations and building restrictions in accordance to the desired degree of protection for each zone; and c) provides the framework for restoration and management of the mountain region.

Traditional local employment schemes are being strengthened and rural production is being improved through the development of the agricultural water supply network and the promotion of ecological products (without chemicals and pesticides). Eco-labels are provided for these products.

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

The International Conference on the Protection of the Mountain Areas of Greece--From Pindos to Olympus was convened by the Ministry for the Environment and the Mountain Wilderness organization (Greek Branch).

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This information was provided by the Government of Greece to the f5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

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OCEANS AND COASTAL AREAS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of the Environment, Physical Planning & Public Works - Directorate of Physical Planning, and Department of Nature Protection is responsible for integrated coastal zone management.

The Ministry of Mercantile Marine has full responsibility for marine pollution prevention and for combating marine pollution incidents. The Ministry of Mercantile Marine established in 1972 the Marine Environmental Protection Division (MEPD) at the Headquarters of the Hellenic Coast Guard. The MEPD is an administrative unit empowered with full coordination function in case of marine pollution incident. The Merchant Ships Inspectorate and the various local Port Authorities carry out the executive functions relating to the inspection and survey of Greek and foreign ships calling at major Greek ports, and the issuance of certificates for ships. The responsibility of handling minor marine pollution incidents rests with the Marine Environmental Protection Offices operating in all the above Port Authorities in collaboration with the 15 Regional Marine Pollution Combating Centres, established in selected areas at risk, which have experienced staff, appropriate anti-pollution means and equipment.

MEPD has the following operational structure:

The head is the Director of the Division, which is divided in 4 operational sections:

Section A: Marine Pollution Response

Main tasks are:

Section B: Planning and National Legislation

Main functions are:

Section C: International Affairs

Main tasks are:

Section D: Logistics and Training

Main functions are:

In addition, the Ministry of Development has some responsibilities in the marine environment protection through the:

  1. Directorate of Water and Natural Resources
  2. Directorate of Industrial Planning and Environment

as well as for the sustainable use and conservation of marine living resources (both of the high seas and under national jurisdiction) through the Directorate of Water Natural Resources (National Parks and Sensitivity mapping), jointly with the Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Fisheries.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The National Legislation on integrated coastal management revolves around the following:

The National Legislation for marine environmental protection includes:

According to the above legislation polluters face Criminal, Administrative and Disciplinary Consequences.

Criminal Consequences:

Any person found guilty of an oil pollution incident by the competent Criminal Court is punished with imprisonment from 10 days to 5 years.

Administrative Consequences:

These are fines imposed on polluters by the Port Authorities up to the amount of 2.000.000 drs. The Ministry of Mercantile Marine has the authority to impose a fine up to 150.000.000 drs. In the case of a very serious marine pollution incident. In case of marine pollution caused by land installations a similar fine of up to 100.000.000 drs. can be imposed by the Minister of Environment.

Disciplinary Consequences

Greek seamen responsible for marine pollution are tried before the Disciplinary Tribunal of Merchant Marine and, if found guilty, punishment varies from temporary suspension to permanent disqualification and discharge.

Civil Liability

The polluter pays principle is always applied for the restoration of damages caused by pollution.

For Water Resources Management there is Law 1739/87 for (art. 12) while responsibilities of Water and Natural Resources Directorate are contained in the Presidential Decree 381, Gov. Gaz. 168 (16.6.89)

The codes of practice, standards and the guidelines, established by the Greek Government, are mandatory.

Fishing activities in Greece are compatible with integrated environmental management. The Ministry of Aegean prepared the Integrated Operational Plan for the development of the Aegean aiming at the sustainable development of the islands of the Aegean.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Coordination is undertaken through the National Contingency Plan (NPC) which was established in 1973 and is responsible for the preparation and organisation of all the necessary steps for the involvement and activation of public and private stakeholders in case of an incident. The system of NCP is under revision in accordance with the OPRC90 provisions. The revised NCP shall be published as a Presidential Decree. All the local port Authorities shall elaborate their own Local Contingency Plans (LPC).

International experience and practice prove that whatever cautions are undertaken, incidents of marine pollution cannot be totally eliminated. Therefore, preparation is an essential requirement with respect to immediate intervention as well as for minimisation of response time.

To date the NCP is the only existing national mechanism. There is a proposal for the establishment and appointment of a coastline management organisation responsible for coordination among the different organisation according to the programme of the Organisation of Athens (which has undertaken an integrated planning strategy for the metropolitan and coastal areas of Athens under the responsibility of the Ministry for the Environment). Such proposal is important, as the programme refers to a coastal zone that cuts through eleven municipalities, involves twenty Ministries and Public Authorities, and hundreds of Non-governmental and private organisations.

The NCP and the LCPs provisions are periodically revised in accordance with the provisions of the International Convention OPRC90.

Since 1988 a national campaign to monitor the quality of swimming water has been established (EU Directive 76/160/EEC) under the framework of a programme undertaken by the Ministry for the Environment, aiming at protecting the environment and safeguarding swimmers' health. The findings are published annually in a comprehensive report on the status of coastal and marine areas. The 1997 campaign audited 1217 coastal areas under the supervision of the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry of Health.

Furthermore, the Organisation for Planning and Environmental Protection of Athens has proposed a plan concerning protection, restoration, sustainable development and management of the 45 km of the South-east coastline.

Another long-term monitoring programme is MED POL (Assessment and Control of Pollution in the Mediterranean Region), resulting from an agreement between the Greek Republic and UNEP. It involves sampling and analyses in several locations in enclosed bays, islands and open sea. The basic oceanographic and meteorological parameters are monitored along with micro-organisms, heavy metals, petroleum products, plankton organisms etc.

Special actions have been undertaken for the protection of sensitive areas and endangered species such as the sea turtle "Caretta - Caretta", the monk seal "Monachus monachus" etc.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

Environmental NGOs such as the Ecological Society of Recycling, the Network Mediterranean SOS, the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Marine Environment, and others are engaged by the responsible Ministries in the rehabilitation works of coastal areas.

Programmes and Projects 

Attica’s coastline protection and management programme focuses on the following:

The Ministry of Mercantile Marine laid out the following target areas and related programmes in the National Contingency Plan:

Pollution Prevention

Protection of characterised sea areas and protected species

Proper legislation measures have been enacted which have taken into consideration the particular characteristics of sea areas where protected sea species live or shelter, as well as places that constitute vital areas and animal shelters

Development of a new "anti-pollution" view of the people (especially youth)

Public awareness measures so that an improved code of behaviour is adopted towards marine environment as a source of life and wealth, and assisting and taking part in activities of protection and preservation

Instantly combating incidents, which will be achieved by:

Status 

Greece has a coastline of more than 15,000 km and about 3,000 islands. Sixty percent of the population resides along the coastal areas, seventy percent of Greek industry is located along the coastline, which is also exposed to the ninety percent of the tourist flow.

The coastal areas are currently used mainly for tourism, fishing and some urban development.

There are different methods in use to encourage sustainable use and conservation of marine living resources such as:

  1. Inventory of the existing marine living resources
  2. Monitoring and evaluation of marine living resources
  3. Management of the available water resources for conservation of marine living resources (especially of delta areas, lagoons etc.)
  4. Establishment of the sea parks of N. Sporades complex of islands and of Zakynthos Island
  5. Adoption of special measures for the protection and the sustainable management of RAMSAR designated areas and of coastal sensitive habitats where endangered marine mammals and rare species live, nest, reproduce or pass by.

The main consequences from sea-based activities on the sustainable management of the coastal areas are limited mainly in busy shipping lanes, commercial ports and in regions with substantial shipyard activities such as Piraeus, Elefsis, Chalkida, Patra, Syros etc.

The main sources of marine pollution are anthropogenic untreated sewage, industrial effluents and agricultural activities. During recent years the situation has been substantially improved due to the establishment and the operation of urban sewage treatment plants in almost all-coastal cities and of industrial treatment plants.  The primary sources of sea based pollution of the marine environment are accidental oil spills and the operational illegal discharges from ships.

In Salonica, the Organisation of Thessaloniki is rehabilitating the coastal zone of the city (from the Port to the Kalamaria beach) and doing other related works in the area that will draw people back to it (conversion of dock storehouses in cultural scene, promotion of sea transportation, etc.).

As for the protection of the environment, the Organisation of Thessaloniki is dealing with coast cleaning, pollution issues of the port activities, management of municipal and industrial waste, and waste treatment plant conditions of operation.  The Organisation of Thessaloniki is also responsible for the management of the fragile habitats of the Deltas river flowing into the Thermaikos gulf, declared Special Protected Areas.  Lastly the Organisation of Thessaloniki proposed a plan for the creation of an underwater road to deviate the main traffic from the city's centre, adding the appropriate criteria and standards so that the coastal and marine area will not be negatively affected and the sustainability of the city will be improved.

The Marine Environmental Division has already established 11 Regional Stations, aiming to an immediate response to pollution in the most vulnerable areas. These stations are staffed with qualified personnel and well equipped to enable immediate intervention and control of any pollution incident.

Furthermore, the surveillance of the country’s sea and coastline is made possible by the Hellenic Coast Guard’s crafts, aircrafts and vehicles provided to the Port Authorities. The pilots of the Civil Aircraft and Hellenic Airforce as well as the Hellenic Navy airplanes and helicopter pilots also offer surveillance by air 24 hours a day. Every time pollution is identified and located, the MEPD or the R.C.C.- Piraeus are informed immediately. In these cases also Private businesses and Oil companies make their equipment available. The MEPD’s Central Store of Antipollution Equipment is immediately alerted and ready to be sent to the polluted area according to the importance of the incident.

The Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, in cooperation with the Local Authorities of the country, has co-funded several projects with the 2nd Community Support Framework, aiming at the rehabilitation of coastal areas by removing waste, bulky objects, dead sea weeds, etc and including mainly the following actions:

In all of the above the planning is such that the environmental sustainability and the ground structure and coast relief will not be affected.

Furthermore, several Local Authorities have been funded for the acquisition of such coast cleaning equipment and several Prefectures have been funded for coast cleaning projects.

Under the framework of the European Union's (EU) Environment and Regional Development

Programme (ENVIREG), waste-water processing thresholds are being established in a large number of coastal towns. Environmental Impact Assessment studies apply to marine and coastal activities. The Ministry of Merchant Marine controls waste dumping in the sea from ships and aircraft. Inspection of ships is taking place and the phenomena of sea-colour change or incidents of fish deaths are examined. The Ministry also organises educational seminars on a continuous basis for Port Authority personnel, universities, local authorities, army authorities, and the public.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

During 1996, 1997 and 1998, the Ministry for the Environment ran awareness-raising campaigns during the summer months in the framework of the Programme for the quality of swimming waters. The campaigns have been run through TV spots, regional announcements for the cleaner coasts (based on the results of the monitoring), as well as through the "Blue Flag" award programme.

The Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association, a non-governmental organization, has co-funded with the EU several projects concerning environmental protection (under LIFE and MEDSPA). Under the LIFE project 3 educational videotapes were produced that were distributed for free at schools all over Greece (these videotapes were produced in both Greek and English). Also every summer information material is distributed through the Ministry of Mercantile Marine and the Port Authorities in coastal areas and islands around Greece, in the framework of a continuing public awareness campaign that HELMEPA started in 1983.

Universities and other institutions undertake research projects related to oceans and coastal areas.

The National Centre of Marine Research, in cooperation with the Institute of Marine Biology of Crete, is participating in the Topic Centre of the European Environment Agency for the marine and coastal environment.

Information   

Statistics on pollution incidents and penal sanctions since 1980 are available. New software for collecting, evaluating and disseminating available data is under development. A computerised programme has been developed for the creation of environmental maps in a GIS environment, including data for the Hellenic coastline and the depth of the Greek seas. This system is expected to be completed at the same time as the Local Contingency Plans.

A new Web site is under development. Users will have free access to the information made available.

Research and Technologies 

See under cooperation 

Financing 

This sector is mainly financed from the national budget. Additional funds are provided from external assistance (European Union Funds).

In 1994, a special account called the Blue Fund was established aiming at offering financial support and the necessary resources for the enforcement of preventing and combating Marine Pollution in Greece. All money derived from fines imposed on polluters consistent with the legislation for marine environment and coastline protection, is collected and allocated to this fund.

This allows for the following to be supported:

Cooperation

A proposal for the EU Council Directive on port reception facilities for ship-generated waste and cargo residues is at the final discussion stage. The proposal aims at the establishment of EU common requirements to improve the availability and use of port reception facilities.

Regional and international cooperation is conducted within the framework of International instruments to which Greece is party. This includes:

International cooperative scientific programmes:

Through the MEPD (Marine Environmental Protection Division) Greece also participates in the works of:

Other International Conventions ratified by Greece which relate to oceans and coastal areas include:

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This information was provided by the Government of Greece to the seventh session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development.  Last Update: November 1998.

For the Greek National Profile to CSD V, including coastal management in Greece, click here.
To access the Web Site of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, click here:

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TOXIC CHEMICALS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies     

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

See under cooperation

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   

Seminars have been held to inform administrative executives and representatives from industry on the consequences of adjusting National legislation to EU legislation. Training has been provided on issues of classification. A computerized National Register of Hazardous Substances and Preparations has been established.

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

Greece has promoted the application of all relevant European Union (EU) legislation on toxic chemical management through a special program of collaboration with the EU. This includes: Directives 67/548 and 92/32 on the classification, packaging and labelling of new chemical substances; Directive 93/67 on the assessment of the hazards of new chemical substances; Regulation 793/93 on the assessment of hazards of existing chemical substances; Directive 88/379 on the classification and labelling of preparations; Directive 76/769 on restrictions of the marketing and use of certain hazardous substances and preparations; Regulation 2455/92 on the export and import of certain hazardous products; and Directives 87/18 and 88/320 on the application of Good Laboratory Practice. Thus, Greek legislation has been harmonized with EU legislation. Control is carried out under the framework of National and EU programmes.

The program to apply EU legislation at the country level amounted to 700,000 ECU. The National Chemical Laboratory of the State is the focal point for the EU Committee on International Harmonization of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals.

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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.

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WASTE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

Solid Waste and Sanitation

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

See under Cooperation

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans     

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

Action Programme 2.5 of the Operational Environmental Programme of Greece aims at resolving one of the major environmental problems of Greece, namely the management (collection, treatment, disposal) of solid and toxic wastes. The Programme promotes the required actions for the implementation of the new directive for landfills, and gives considerable weight to the cleaning of coastal areas and swimming sites. The overall budget for Action Programme 2.5 is 41 MECU. Specific actions under the Programme include: development of an integrated National programme for waste management; restoration of abandoned landfill sites and construction of new landfills; development of an extended recycling programme; construction of composting plants; implementation of innovative techniques for the collection, treatment, and disposal of waste; a study on the implementation of the packaging directive; coastal zone cleaning with emphasis on tourist sites.

The National Programme for Waste Management (excluding the Attica region and Thessaloniki) aims at improving the existing waste management system at the National scale. The Programme is supported by both community (Structural Funds and Cohesion Funds) and National funding, with an overall budget of 115 MECU. The Programme includes local and regional waste management programmes, construction of new landfills, construction of a composting unit, construction of waste transfer stations, restoration of old landfills, recycling programmes, equipment, coastal zone cleaning programmes, and construction of sites for the disposal and treatment of agricultural products, hazardous wastes, and hospital wastes.

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

Schools in Greece are involved in recycling programs. Encouragement is given to initiatives by local government organizations of specific autonomous geographic units (for example islands) to collaborate in the collection, disposal, and recycling of waste. The EU supports Greece's efforts in the area of waste management.

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

In Greece, National legislation has been harmonized in recent years with European Union (EU) regulations on waste management. Responsibility for waste management has been delegated to local authorities. At the National level, technical specifications for the safe handling of waste are being determined. A system of permits has been introduced for the collection and transport of solid waste. The EU Eco-Label Award Scheme has been introduced at the National level. Legislation has been issued aimed at reducing air pollution from waste incineration plants. Threshold values have been established for heavy metals in sewage sludge used in agriculture. Programmes are being introduced for the reduction of weight and volume of packaging material. In accordance with EU Directive 91/156, the establishment of an integrated network of waste disposal is being planned. Activities have been initiated to promote waste prevention and recycling. Recycling programs are being implemented for paper, glass, and aluminium. Awareness campaigns are being conducted.

 

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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.

 

Hazardous Waste

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

See under cooperation

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

In Greece, the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was signed in 1989 and ratified in 1994. The Joint Ministerial Resolution 72751/3054/85 on toxic and dangerous waste, issued in compliance with European Union (EU) Directive 78/319, provides measures for the prevention of such waste, and its recycling and reuse. EU legislation has been adopted concerning the supervision and monitoring of transboundary movement of hazardous waste. Further directives on hazardous waste are being incorporated into National legislation.

The EU Eco-Label Award Scheme has been implemented at the National level with a view to minimizing certain waste products. National legislation provides for the planning and management of toxic and dangerous waste, procedures for the transport of dangerous waste, special permits for the disposal and storage of dangerous waste, and measures for building facilities for toxic residues at ports. Activities producing dangerous waste and facilities for disposal of dangerous waste require an environmental impact assessment and special permit. Controls are in place. Planning on the management of hospital waste has been completed. Regulations on the collection and disposal of batteries and accumulators are being established. Two facilities are under construction for the controlled storage of solid toxic waste and mud.

* * *

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 waste management, click here.
For direct link to the Web Site of the Basel Convention, click here:

 

Radioactive Waste

No information available.

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