The Strymonikos Gulf is rich in natural resources, landscapes and cultural features. The project area covers 1076 km² (land: 262, sea: 813). The resident population is 16,860, but rises to over 150,000 in summer. In addition to tourism, the area's activities are fisheries, aquaculture, forestry and mining. Pollution and environmental damage have increased in recent years and tourism is expected to grow. Authorities are aware of the need for forward planning. However, the implementation of sustainable development is contrained by the complex jurisdictions of the various administrative bodies involved in the development of the area, the fragmented land-use planning and the insufficient environmental awareness at all levels of decision making. The aim of the project is to demonstrate the benefits of coordinated action for the conservation of coastal zones, by promoting the concerted management of the Strymonikos coastal zone.
The activities of the project include the description of the project area, regarding its abiotic, biotic, social, economic and administrative features, the planning and initiation of a monitoring programme for the zone's marine environment, the evaluation of environmental problems, the preliminary selection of domains of intervention and management measures. A Coordination Scheme, involving bodies responsible for the project zone's management, is established, which sets protection and management aims, decides on priority measures and coordinates their implementation.
The project includes environmental awareness activities, such as publication and distribution of awareness material, organization of conferences on concerted sustainable management of coastal zones, presentation of the project and of the EU policy regarding the sustainable use of coastal zone resources, media work etc. Furthermore, an Information Centre has been established, which supports these activities.
- Better planning of management strategies and programmes of environmental protection.
- The identification of sustainable practices.
- Development of cooperative instruments and the promotion of social dialogue.
- Raised awareness of the values of the zone.
- Better regulation enforcement.
- Sharing of experience in Greece and in the context of the demonstration programme.