The WWF is one of the largest international organizations for the protection of the environment.
WWF Greece was founded in 1991 and is an independent Greek NGO, as well as an active member of the international WWF network. The mission of WWF is to halt the degradation of the natural environment and build a future where people will live in harmony with nature, through preserving the planet’s biodiversity, the sustainable of use of renewable energy sources, and the reduction of pollution and post-consumer waste.
From 1991 until now, WWF Greece, developing its actions along particular lines that pertain to nature and mankind, has demonstrated a marked presence in the “field” and environmental legislation, securing the appropriate legal framework for the protection of important habitats and species in the country. In the course of these 30 years, the WWF, with the invaluable contribution and collaboration of citizens, institutions and organizations, has designed and implemented a total of 240 programs, as well as more than 300 legal interventions, pertaining to critical environmental issues.
Gyaros has been included in the Natura 2000 European network of nature protection areas; in 2017, it was designated the first Marine Wildlife Reserve in Greece and, in 2019, a Marine Protected Area (MPA), as the capstone to WWF Greece’s efforts, in collaboration with the relevant organizations.
The aim of the program entitled “Safeguarding the sustainability of the Marine Protected Area of Gyaros through supervision, advocacy and awareness-raising” is to create a model marine protected area, which will function effectively for the benefit of both the people and the natural environment, and which will serve as an example for promoting the protection of Greece’s natural wealth.
Taking a comprehensive approach to the protection of the MPA of Gyaros, the program is developed along three main pillars of action: a) the operation of a model monitoring system, combining remote surveillance (radar, IR camera, drone), patrolling, and monitoring data from passing vessels, b) instituting, by means of a Joint Ministerial Decree, and delegating the operation of the monitoring and security system to the Hellenic Coast Guard, and c) information and educational activities regarding the marine environment, and actions pertaining to the scientific study, promotion and increased visitability of Gyaros (e.g., monitoring the condition of the fish stock in the area, preserving and restoring the flora, virtual tours, etc).