ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION SOCIETY
Foundation and Purpose
The Environmental Protection Society (EPS) was founded in 2000. It is a civil non-profit company based in Kastoria and with operation in the region of Western Macedonia.
Main aim of the society is the environment’s protection, informing and awareness of citizens and the advocacy of principles of sustainable development and social prosperity in Kastoria and Western Macedonia in general.
The specific purposes of ESP in thematic clusters are:
- Natural Environment Protection
- Natural Environment protection, respect and protection of all life forms.
- Treatment of wild animals and birds and release of them back to their natural habitats in the wild.
- Participation in initiatives for the protection of environment and cultural heritage in general.
- Environmental improvement of citizens’ quality of life in the district of Kastoria and Western Macedonia.
- Support of environmental activities in Greece and abroad.
- Informing and awareness of the public
- Awareness of public opinion, organization of actions against decisions that damage the environment.
- Efforts to cultivate an ecological conscience, studying and development of ecological knowledge by all known means.
- In order the physical environment remains intact, they should be information and cooperation committees for technical and scientific assistance to local and regional initiatives in issues about the protection of environment, the rational use of natural resources and alternative environmental development.
- Promotion of sustainable development and collaboration with the local community
- Social equilibration of the city, Kastoria’s city protection, conservation and designation and county precious history and cultural heritage.
- Enhancement of anthropocentric programs in the social sector, the primary health care, the basic education and in the youth and women professional training.
- Enhancement of programs for environment protection, rural development, housing and logistics.
- Enhancement of programs in small infrastructures and local business initiatives to reduce unemployment and part-time jobs.
- Enhancement of programs for human rights, sex equality, democratic institutions building, local communities’ reinforcement and enhancement of programs for participation in the satellite development.
Conformation and Structure
The Environmental Protection Society (EPS) is managed by a three-member administrative council. The general co-coordinative organ is a three-member co-coordinative secretariat, which is responsible for the process of actions planning and information of partners general meeting.
Members of the society are organized into thematic groups whose coordinators are members of the administrative council:
- Group for environmental protection
- Group for the audience informing and awareness
- Group for promotion and sustainable social development
The company’s general organizing is mainly based on members’ and its friends volunteering contribution through the operation of thematic groups. Secondarily, it is based on the implementation of programs and funded actions.
Head Office of the company and its activities is the Wild Animals Care Center which consists of:
- Rooms for planning and management
- Sleeping quarters for volunteers and partners
- Establishments of care and wild animals short-time hospitality
- Convention hall of environmental informing about Kastoria’s lake suitable for meetings, events and activities of environmental education
- Large outdoor venue for open and populous events
Activities of Environmental Protection Society
Company’s activities per thematic group are the following:
- Natural Environment Protection
- From 2000, it operates the Wild Animals and Birds Care Station, the unique in the Western Macedonia region in co-operation with great care centers, such as ANIMA, EKPAZ and Environmental Center ARCTUROS. The aim of Care Station is the care and relocation of all wild animals and birds which was brought to the station being injured or weak, orphaned or sick ones. During company’s eighteen years of operation more than 4500 care incidents have been recorded and more than 65 species have been relocated, after they were nursed.
- During the last decade, it has taken an entire role in more than 100 accidents with wild animals at road axes at the provincial road network of Western Macedonia and especially in accidents involving big animals like bears, wolves and roe
- From EPS members of Environmental Protection Society are also members of the immediate intervention group according to Common Ministerial Decision about measures for incidents of bear approach and interaction between bear and human in residential areas and in co-operation with Forest Protection Service and all bodies and organizations in charge. Over the last years, EPS in co-operation with Police and Forest Protection Service has intervened in more than 80 incidents of bear approach in residential areas.
- Co-operation with “Bonatti J&P AVAX S.r.l.” in the purview of society’s program about Environmental Monitoring for Natural Gas Pipeline Construction (TAP) in the region of Kastoria (2017-2018).
- Systematic recording of important animals and plants species in this region with emphasis on birds in co-operation with Hellenic Ornithological Society. A series of actions have been taken jointly. EPS participates in:
- a national network of monitoring important bird areas as observer responsible for Kastoria lake
- panhellenic Bird recording such as dalmatian and white stork
- aquatic birds’ counts in the middle of winter
- recording of breeding rookeries of herons and great cormorants
- Applying pressure, EPS intervenes in the following insightful matters for solution:
- emergence at national level of the problem related to invasive species diffusion with effects to regional ecosystems. The diffusion was the result of 50.000 minks that had been released into the countryside of Western Macedonia in 2010.
- emergence of the fact that Albanians enter illegally the region of Grammos for lumbering, collection and transport of uncontrolled quantity of wood, aromatic and pharmaceutical herbs even with the intention of export to European countries such as Germany, Italy and much more.
- Awareness of the public and informing the public
- Society’s continuous and incessant activity is the awareness of public and public informing through:
- guided tour for schools, visitors and group with special needs in convention hall of environmental information
- organizing events such as special meetings, seminars and culture, society and natural environment conferences
- annual (end of July) photography exhibition of wildlife photographers of Western Macedonia and other regions
- interviews, press releases and announcements in local newspapers and participation in programs and specials of all mass media and social media
- society’s website (eppkas.gr)
- participation in events and activities of other bodies in the area
- Educational programs such as:
- program of environmental education and awareness for students of schools in the region of Kastoria in 2008 the purview of the program: “Actions for employment assistance with active participation of NGO”
(Ministry of Employment and Social Protection/European Union Support Program 2006-2010)
- the program “Green Classes” which included tour of 300?? Students of ?? schools in Kastoria lake who had been informed about animals and plants of the region and they had participated in bird watching.
- Promotion of sustainable social development
- Co-operation with bodies of first and second-degree bodies of local subsidiarity and productive bodies about issues concerning:
- Environment and culture
- Environment and employment
- Environment and economy
- Communication and co-operation with the local community on issues concerning the environment and human rights