Greece: Land of Diversity – The Hellenic Initiative Canada

Greece: Land of Diversity

Explore the characteristics of the Greek natural environment, human influence over the millennia and the factors affecting this biodiversity.

DID YOU KNOW? Greece is the home to a spectacular biodiversity, unique in Europe, especially when one considers the relatively small size of the country: some 36,000 species of animals and plants are found in the country, representing 23% of the total of all European species, and more than 2% of the species of the entire world.

This presentation will explore the reasons that have made this wealth possible, such as the
natural features of Greece’s environment and the influence of human beings over the millennia on the land, and it will provide essential information on Greek flora and fauna, especially on the endangered
and protected species, and will also include important facts that are often unknown to the general public.
It will then focus on the threats to Greek natural heritage. These may be direct, such as the loss and degradation of natural habitats; unsustainable practices; soil, water and air pollution; climate change; invasive alien species; and forest fires, or they may be indirect factors which negatively affect biodiversity. These would include the continued lack of ecological knowledge; the poor integration of protection measures into sectoral policies; a lack of vision, and poor application of sustainability measures in the different economic sectors; cumbersome and overlapping administration; the underfinancing of nature protection; incorrect and poor enforcement of existing legal and institutional provisions, and impunity for the perpetrators of environmental crimes.

Finally, it will highlight the work of the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature, the oldest Hellenic environmental NGO that has been constantly striving for the past 70 years to address these threats.



Greek Naturalist, Nature Photographer & Author

Nikos Petrou is a well known naturalist, nature photographer and author. Since the late 1980s he has been photographing nature and wildlife, travelling extensively throughout Greece and other countries. To date, he has published 15 major books, the result of long years of research and fieldwork. He also systematically publishes articles, mostly on current environmental issues, and is a frequent speaker at seminars, conventions and symposia, in Greece and abroad.

During these years he has also been involved in conservation, mainly with the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature. Since 2005 he is a member of the HSPN Board of Directors and, after 2009, he is continuously elected its President. He is also responsible for overall coordination of its European and international projects. Since 2016 he is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).


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