22 Sept. 2002 breaking news @ monachus-guardian.org

Government Inaction Jeopardises Marine Park

An apparent reluctance by the Greek Ministry of Environment and Public Works to honour its financial commitments to the flagship National Marine Park of Alonissos-Northern Sporades (NMPANS) is severely jeopardising monk seal conservation efforts in the area, according to sources in Athens.

Deputy Minister Rodoula Zisi reaffirmed the government’s commitment to the NMPANS during a high-profile visit to Alonissos on 15 March 2002 [see Sporades receives ministerial commitment, TMG 5(1) May 2002]. Then, on 5 June, World Environment Day, the Minister of Environment, Vaso Papandreou, stated that “we are not celebrating the environment only to forget it for another year.”

Although Ms. Zisi has successfully pursued the establishment of the Park’s management body through the Greek Parliament, no government funding has been made available to vital conservation efforts in the Sporades since June 2001. With the funding crunch now reaching a crisis point, guarding, monitoring, education and public awareness activities are facing imminent collapse. Making matters even worse, the crisis in the NMPANS coincides with the critical high summer tourist season, when threats to the Park and its vulnerable monk seals are most apparent.

We urge concerned readers to make their views known directly to the Minister and Deputy-Minister of Environment by filling in the automated petition form below.

Petition closed 30 Nov. 2002

(if any)