World Wetlands Day 2008 -- Greece



The Management Agency of Kotychi Lagoons and Strofylia Forest celebrated World Wetlands Day 2008 by hosting an open day set amidst the umbrella pine forest of Strofylia and Prokopos Lagoon. Members of local environmental groups as well as middle school students from the neighboring village of Lappa attended the day's events.

Picture 1.Translated Ramsar WWD material

Picture 2. Environmental education activities

Visitors were greeted with a brief introduction on the protected area and the theme of this year's World Wetlands Day 2008. Some free time was provided so that everyone could have a look round and examine all the information provided in the leaflets, posters and hand outs that had been prepared. The day's activities kicked off with a session on bird-watching where participants had the opportunity to observe and learn about the region's waterfowl. With the help of volunteers from the Hellenic Ornithological Society, both children and adults managed to spot loads of herons, grebes, coots, a marsh harrier as well as a variety of ducks. Those with a flair for the arts or construction had the chance to participate in environmental education activities such as origami duck making, creating paper fish, puzzles and drawing.

Picture 3. Bird-watching

Then we were all off on a guided walk along the banks of Prokopos Lagoon. Meandering along the educational footpaths, the Management Agency's tour guide spoke of the vital ecological and economic importance of wetlands worldwide and of their role in sustaining the livelihoods of local communities in particular. Our walk eventually led us into the Umbrella Pine forest (Pinus pinea) where the discussion then revolved around the special characteristics of the umbrella pine and its dependence on permanent and seasonal wetlands. Both students and adults showed a genuine interest and concern about the threats faced by the wetlands and forest and committed to take action by volunteering and by helping to find effective solutions to these problems.

Picture 4. Guided walk at Prokopos Lagoon

Picture 5. Guided tour in Strofylia Forest

Picture 6. Overview of Prokopos lagoon

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