Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process: Mediterranean kick-off seminar – Day 1
Yesterday was the first day of the Mediterranean kick-off seminar for the Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process. The seminar is being hosted in Thessaloniki, Greece. Our Network Project Manager, Jaume Tormo is attending the seminar. Read Jaume’s update from Day 1.
After the welcome from the hosts and Greek ministry, François Kremer (European Commission) presented the aims and goals of the Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process, Neil McIntosh (ECNC) presented the chairs for the Day 2 sessions and Stella Vareltzidou (Axios Management Authority) talked about the field trip.
During the field trip we hade the opportunity to visit some coastal wetlands near Thessaloniki, including rainfed lagoons, salt marshes and sand dunes. The management of the protected area is a complex maze of stakeholders, land owners, farmers, government and nature conservation organisations.
Among others, the protected area is used by mussel growers, farmers (cows and sheep) and farmers who grow rice. All of them have contrasting needs. While the mussel growers will benefit from the protection of river beds, wetland rice farmers and stockbreeders are completely opposed to conservation measures. In fact, overgrazing by cows is one of the main threats to the conservation of the salt marsh habitats and sustainable grazing will be a useful tool for the management of the wetlands.
During the bus trip, an interesting discussion arose about what to do when two European directives want different (sometimes opposite) results from the same protected area.
View pictures from the field trip on our Facebook Page.