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17th February 2017: 14th February 2017: A historic day for transboundary Prespa

22 September 2016: The Juniper Forests captured the interest of the “students” of the two summer schools, implemented this summer in Prespa

13th September 2016: 100 wetlands and 7 countries in 1 afternoon – the 1st Pelican census covering all of SE Europe and Turkey

15 February 2016: Our life in a wetland! Primary school students from across the transboundary Prespa basin show us what the wetland looks like through their eyes

8 October 2015: Walk in the forests of Prespa with your phone aw a guide!

23 July 2015: United by pelicans

9 February 2015: "Karagiozis, the protector of Prespa!"

2 February 2015, World Wetlands Day: I'ts time for ratification of the Agreement on the transboundary Prespa Park

21 January 2015: Second Dalmatian pelican falls victim to illegal hunting in the Evros Delta

15 April 2014: The Society for the Protection of Prespa is the “Best of the Best” once again!

21 March 2014: The re-introduction of animal husbandry as a conservation measure for the Grecian juniper woods of Prespa

31 January 2014: Prespa Park: at the crossroads of sustainability

3 July 2013: The very first nationwide Pelican Census in Greece!

3 April 2013: Striving to enhance the natural values of the Prespa region, for biodiversity and people, through joint actions across borders

1 February 2013: Prespa Park 2000-2013: time to take new initiatives

10 December 2012: Manual for the protection of fish and fisheries in Prespa

9 October 2012: The thrilling journey of migration!

9 August 2012: Only Greece is now delaying implementation of the International Prespa Park Agreement

The cooperation of the countries of SE Europe is imperative for the protection of the pelicans

8 May 2012: Transboundary Prespa puts fish and fisheries centre stage

3 February 2012: The Society for the Protection of Prespa is celebrating World Wetlands Day with events in Thessaloniki and across the borders in Prespa

23 January 2012: Environmental organisations denounce out-of-control illegal hunting in the Prespa National Park

6 October 2011: With a seal of approval from the European Union, the International Agreement for the Prespa Park is now in the hands of the three states that share the Prespa basin

15 April 2011: Learn all you need to know about keeping the treasures of the lakes safe from harm

2 February 2011: Ratification of International Agreement for the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Prespa Park still pending one year after

21 May 2010: Prespes: An ecosystem that still resists

2 February 2010: The three countries and the European Commission commit to cooperate for the protection and the sustainable development of the Prespa Basin

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Friday 15 December 2017, 19:25

23 January 2012: Environmental organisations denounce out-of-control illegal hunting in the Prespa National Park Print E-mail


Uncontrolled illegal hunting in the Prespa National Park has exceeded all limits and is no longer a case of a few isolated instances but a regular and systematic occurrence. The latest incident happened on 18th January, when a Warden from the Prespa National Park Management Body, together with a Forestry Warden, found a large group of hunters in the Park. They were found in a zone of the park where hunting is prohibited, and also within the 500m prohibited zone at the border between Greece and FYROM. Moreover the incident happened in the middle of a severe freeze, which means that hunting was prohibited due to snow covering the ground*; facts which demolish any possible claim to legitimacy on behalf of the hunters.

Similar events have occurred repeatedly in the past and, despite the limited legal authority which local environmental agencies have to prevent illegal incidents within the protected area, the Wardens of the Prespa National Park Management Body perform their duties to the highest standard. Nevertheless they have repeatedly suffered abusive attacks from illegal hunters who defiantly ignore any form of censure and will not comply with the protective measures for the Prespa National Park that have been provided for in Greek law. In the most recent instance, the Warden’s report describes how his life was threatened as he tried to persuade the illegal hunters they should respect the law, a fact which goes beyond any norm of legally acceptable behaviour, and which intimidates the Wardens, discouraging them from carrying out their lawful duties.

The environmental organisations The Society for the Protection of Prespa, ARCTUROS, The Hellenic Society for Environment and Cultural Heritage, The Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature, The Hellenic Ornithological Society, Callisto and WWF Greece, denounce uncontrolled illegal hunting in the Prespa National Park and call on the state to take urgent measures to wipe out illegal activities in protected areas, and also to strengthen the powers of the Park Management Body so as to enable them to carry out their duty to protect this precious, yet vulnerable, area.

The Director of the Society for the Protection of Prespa, Myrsini Malakou, has given the following statement:

“One of Prespa’s relative advantages is its bountiful natural environment, and for so many years this has been the foundation on which everyone here has based the development and future of the region. Through the combined efforts of both residents and organisations alike, Prespa is considered exemplary, in truth a ‘safe haven’ for biodiversity that has been internationally recognised and acclaimed. The repeated instances of illegal hunting, which have never been expressly and decisively dealt with, are not just destroying our environment but are also tarnishing the image of our region, setting back both tourism and development. We call on the state to do what is self-evidently necessary and protect us from these lawbreakers, to reinforce the Park Management Body and give the Wardens meaningful authority. We call on the Hellenic Hunters Confederation to grasp the gravity of the situation and to respond without delay, because what it characterises as ‘isolated incidents’ are in reality our everyday experience of life in Prespa and we cannot tolerate this situation anymore.”

For further information:

Myrsini Malakou: Director, Society for the Protection of Prespa, 23850-51211
Marianna Vlassi: Head of Communications, Society for the Protection of Prespa, 6947 692357
Vasso Petridou: ARCTUROS, 6937 422537
Daphne Mavrogiorgou: Hellenic Society for Environment and Cultural Heritage, 6977 205351
Giorgos Politis: Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature, 210-3314563
Malamo Kormbeti: Hellenic Ornithological Society, 6946249450
Iliana Bousiaki: Callisto, 6972 694147
Ioli Christopoulou: WWF Greece, 6937 935031

* Forestry Department Decision, protocol number 19.12.2011 70546/4882 – ‘Prohibition of hunting in case of snowfall for the hunting season 2011-2012.’


 

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