A celebration of Greek biodiversity
11 December 2013 | Article
Greece is a very diverse country and the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature (HSPN) has decided to celebrate this by publishing the large folio Greece. The Land of Diversity. This special publication aims at providing information and increasing public awareness regarding Greece’s invaluable natural inheritance.
Documented with recent data, and showcasing numerous examples, the book contributes to the efforts of halting biodiversity loss through public education. The book, richly illustrated with over 600 photos, presents in detail the factors contributing to the existence of a unique mosaic of habitats and species in Greece, its flora and fauna, as well as the threats to biodiversity at global, regional and national levels. It also explains the EU and national frameworks for biodiversity conservation and informs about the current situation in Greece. The second part of the book focuses on specific issues, such as Greece’s endangered species and their threats, and illustrates specific conservation cases.
The book highlights that efforts to protect biological diversity are currently facing great difficulties in Greece. Aside from more usual problems, the current economic crisis is posing new threats to nature. This crisis is pushing the environment, and biodiversity conservation in particular, very low among the national priorities. Such situation reinforces the deeply-rooted belief of many Greeks that natural resources are private property to be used at one’s will.
The HSPN is the oldest environmental NGO in Greece. It was founded in 1951 by a group of trekkers, mountaineers and scientists intimately acquainted with Greek nature. Since its earliest years, the HSPN played a decisive role in the establishment of National Parks, in the setting up of protected areas, in the protection of threatened flora and fauna species, and in raising awareness among the Greek public about the natural heritage's value and the need to protect it.