The Laboratory of Environmental Management and Industrial Ecology (LEMIE) is one of the Laboratories of the Department of Production and Management Engineering of the Engineering School of Democritus University of Thrace. LEMIE provides training for undergraduate and postgraduate students of the Faculty of Engineering in environmental management, industrial ecology, environmental technology, industrial process systems and principles of sustainable development in Engineering. The main objective of LEMIE research activities is to increase the environmental sustainability of industrial systems through the development and adaptation of sustainable practices and strategies. LEMIE aims at realistic and applicable solutions based on holistic and innovative approaches and tools of Industrial Ecology. The research activities and interests of LEMIE extend to the following subjects:
Note: The Management Body of the Nestos Delta and Lakes Vistonida – Ismarida (NP – EMATH) from Greece is not any longer member of the BIO2CARE consortium.
The Municipality of Nestos is located at the eastern most point of Macedonia, in the regional unit of Kavala with Chrysoupoli as its capital city. It has a size of 679 square kilometres and a population of approximately 22.330 inhabitants. It is a place of unparalleled beauty with a diverse geophysical landscape. It has a rich mountainous mass with traditional villages, forests with beeches, chestnuts and cornuses, running waters, picturesque bridges, paths and passages. In this extraordinary puzzle are added the historical Chrysoupoli, the archaeological trade city of Pistyros, ancient Topeiros of Roman Via Egnatia, Lithochori with the burials of the horses, the imposing Monastery of Nikites, the Delta of Nestos, Keramoti with the emerald waters and the fine white sand as well as the largest riverside forest in Europe, Kotza Orman.
The wetland complex of our municipality is one of the most important in Greece, due to high biological, aesthetic, scientific, educational and geomorphological value. The habitats of the Nestos Delta show an exceptional variety and make up a mosaic that favours wildlife. Our main objective is to enhance the natural environment and protect the habitats of rare flora and fauna that inhabit and breed in the area.
The area around the Nestos River is full of history, which, starts from the Palaeolithic Age. Thracian territory until the time of the Macedonians and constantly inhabited in the years of the Roman and Byzantine Empires, the area around Nestos remains a bounteous archaeological field for research and study.
Due to large scale irrigation projects, Chrysoupoli is nowadays the center of agricultural production on the western side of the Nestos Delta. Agricultural cooperatives standardize and export a large number of agricultural products to foreign markets. For the first time also the Nestos geothermal field is exploited by a company specialized in the production of decorative and floricultural plants, while the progress of craft units continues, like the famous distillery Mpampatzim. In the mountainous settlements of Lekani, with the great grazing areas, organic livestock breeding is still blooming. In addition, the municipality of Nestos is also a key transit node, as in its bounds operates the airport "Megas Alexandros", as well as the port of Keramoti, through which is ensured a freight and passenger traffic to Thasos by ferry.
Nowadays, Nestos area is dominated by the cultivation of corn, rice, watermelons, beans, apricots, peaches and potatoes (mainly within the Lekani area). The kiwis, the asparagus of Nestos is considered to be of top quality and they are the most important exported agricultural products.
At the lagoons of Keramoti (Vassova, Erateino, Agiasma) stand out the fish hatcheries with sea breams, crabs, mussels, sardines and mullets. Near the village Avramilia are cultivated vineyards giving high-quality grapes and wine [Chardonnay, Syrah, Merlot, Malagouzia, Agiorgitiko, Assyrtiko and Sauvignon) whereas high-quality honey is produced in Monastiraki.
The Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (EKBY)has its roots in the Goulandris Natural History Museum in Thessaloniki, Greece.
The Goulandris Natural History Museum (www.gnhm.gr) was founded in 1964; by its statutes (Presidential Decree 1220/B/2002), it is mandated to conduct research and education activities. According to the same legislation, the object of the Foundation is the “promotion of natural sciences and the simultaneous education of man, so that through knowledge he may return to the respect of nature as the sole source of life”.
EKBY was established by the Museum in 1991 with funding from the European Union and the Ministry of the Environment. Its facilities are located at The Farm of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki; with an area of 1,200 square meters, they include office spaces, a laboratory, a library with reading room, a lecture hall, meeting spaces, etc.
The overall objective of EKBY is “to promote the sustainable management of renewable natural resources in Greece and other areas of the Mediterranean and Europe”.
EKBY has extensive experience in the implementation of EU legislation and policies, including the Water Framework Directive, the Habitats Directive and Biodiversity Strategy, as well as in surveillance and monitoring of sites/habitats/species, monitoring waters bodies, management planning for Natura 2000 sites and other protected areas, environmental interpretation, public awareness, education and training. It maintains rich archives with environmental information and operates the biodiversity portal (www.biodiversity-info.gr) with more than 200,000 visits per year. Its contribution has been acknowledged by the EU (e.g. Best LIFE and Natura 2000 awards).
The National Confederation of Disabled People (N.C.D.P. or ESAmeA), PB5, is an umbrella organization representing the disability movement of Greece. The N.C.D.P. was founded in 1989, as a non-profit legal entity, by organizations of people with disabilities and their families in order to copy with issues of common interest related to any kind of disability and therefore, is a strong, independent representative body for all disabled people in the Greek state. It has more than 450 member-organizations that deal with all kinds of disabilities.
The Confederation is administrated by people with disabilities and the parents of those who are unable to represent themselves. Itsstructure and organization are based on respect towards all kinds of disability.
The N.C.D.P. of Greece has officially been recognized as the national partner of the Greek State dealing with disability issues, promoting policies so that those concerned are included socially, economically and politically in the everyday life of the country.
TheN.C.D.P.’s missionis to combat discrimination against people with disabilities and protect their constitutional and human rights as well as the rights of their families. Its goal is the equalization of opportunities for people with disabilities in all areas of life, including the area of employment.
At a national level, as the most representative organization for people with disabilities and their families, the N.C.D.P. participates actively in decision-making and stands for people with disabilities in the dialogue with the Greek State. It is organizing strategies, controlling the implementation of legal measures and makes suggestions to the Greek State regarding education, lifelong learning, employment, Information Society and accessibility issues. Also, one of the main activities of the Confederation is the coordination of the actions of its member organizations not only in national level but also in regional and local level.
The Confederation aims to put disability in a political framework emphasizing its political and social dimensions. For the N.C.D.P., the political action taken by the Greek State should include the model of human rights for disability that describes disability rather as a social issue. Any restriction for people with disabilities should not be considered a consequence of their physical or mental incapability but a consequence of society’s incapability to understand the needs of people with disabilities. Thus, last years the N.C.D.P. has been worked very hard for the implementation of the provisions of the United Nations Convection on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which was ratified by the Greek State in 2012 (Greek Law 4074/2012). Concluding that accessibility and employment play crucial role in the social inclusion of persons with disabilities, the N.C.D.P. has given emphasis on the implementation of the article 9 “Accessibility” and 27 “Work and Employment” in national level.
The N.C.D.P. has a service – which is called “Claiming Together” – through which persons with disabilities can easily have access (via telephone calls or emails) to information regarding employment, social protection, social security and so many other issues etc. The N.C.D.P. also has an advocacy service which supports persons with disabilities in case they might face problems in the employment area.
The N.C.D.P. is a founding member of the European Disability Forum (E.D.F), which is the umbrella organization of persons with disabilities and their families in European Level. The European Disability Forum deals with disability issues in the European Union (EU) and represents disabled people in their dialogue with the EU public authorities.
The Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Waters – Blagoevgrad (RIEW – Blagoevgrad) is PB6 in the BIO2CARE project, where it is represented by Mr. Angel Georgiev, Director.
RIEW – Blagoevgrad is a subdivision and an administrative structure of the Ministry of Environment and Waters, ensuring the implementation of the state policy on environmental protection at regional level.
The main responsibilities of Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water – Blagoevgrad are:
The objectives of RIEW – Blagoevgrad’s controlling activities derive from the mission and strategic objectives of the Ministry of Environment and Waters for preservation and improvement of the state of the environment, reasonable and effective use of natural resources and ensuring the reproduction, preservation of the diversity and restoration of the ecosystems and the services they provide.
Pursuant to the Protected Areas Act, conservation of wildlife in Rila National Park is the responsibility of the Park Directorate, which is a specialized regional authority of the Ministry of Environment and Waters.
The Park Directorate has among its goals to preserve and maintain biological diversity and protect wildlife, and to foster scientific research as well as opportunities for developing tourism and ecologically sound sources of livelihood for the local population.
All activities within the Park are carried out under the direction of a ten year Management Plan, approved by the Council of Ministers (Cabinet) of the Republic of Bulgaria.
Park staff is authorized to control the operation and supervise the activities of any organizations, institutions, conservationists and users within the Park territory. They also monitor the biological resources of the Park. Park personnel assist visitors, provide for their safety, enforce rules and prevent violations.
The National Park Directorate comprises a Central Office, based in Blagoevgrad, and eight local branch offices responsible for management of the respective nine Park sections: Blagoevgrad, Belitsa, Yakoruda, Belovo, Kostenets, Borovets, Beli Iskar, Govedartsi, and Dupnitsa. Visitor Centers operate at the Resort Complex of Panichishte and town of Samokov and provides information and guidance to tourists and visitors to Rila National Park.
Since 2001, Rila National Park Directorate has been successfully implementing the Rila National Park Management Plan. The Management Plan is a strategic document that describes the significance and value of the Park’s biological diversity, as well as specific threats and conservation methods.
Zoning, as a method of identifying areas with specific regimes, norms and activities, is also of considerable importance in managing the Park’s resources and human activities.
The South-West University is a state institution that offers training in Bulgarian and English in 71 Bachelor's, 100 Master's and 74 specialized PhD programmes. With its 38-years history the South-West University of Neophyte Rilsky has subjugated a leading position in the scientific and educational space both in Bulgaria and Eastern Europe. It is located in Blagoevgrad, the economic, cultural and educational centre of South-Western Bulgaria.
On 26 July 2012, the National Assessment and Accreditation Agency at the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria granted the South-West University of Neophyte Rilsky the highest assessment grade with the maximum duration validity of 6 years, which is effective until 2018.
The basic structures of the University include:
SWU employs over 800 lecturers including professors, associate professors and assistant professors. They provide modern modes of training following the Bulgarian traditions in education and research on the one hand, and meeting the contemporary European standards in the fields of science, arts and sports, on the other. The University provides training in different scientific fields for about 14 000 students of whom 700 are international students coming from various countries such as Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Serbia, Albania, Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, Japan, Pakistan, Yemen etc. The University provides board and accommodation in three canteens and two renovated dormitories. Its library possesses over 200 000 volumes, an e-reading room with free access to the data bases of EBSCO Publishing, Science Direct, SCOPUS, Benham Science and ProQuest Central. The Career Centre provides quality aid and services to help the South-West University students obtain adequate professional advice as well as support for the university graduates in finding suitable positions at the labour market.
The Pirin Tourism Forum (PTF) is a Bulgarian non-governmental organization established in 1997 as the successor of the three-year Project for Eco and Sustainable Tourism in Pirin and Rila (PREST, 1994-1997) funded by the British Environmental Know How Fund at the initiative of the Bulgarian Ministry of Environment. The founders were municipalities from Blagoevgrad District and the Pirin National Park Directorate. The PTF acted as the regional tourism board for Southwest Bulgaria for about 13 years. At present, it rather has the character of a product organization focused on the development of sustainable tourism all over Bulgaria but also in the border areas of neighbouring countries.
The organization has implemented a number of projects, as a beneficiary or partner, together with other NGOs, local authorities, protected areas administrations, cultural and educational institutions, etc. Among the implemented activities, many have been performed for the first time in Bulgaria, e.g. the inventory of the resources for rural tourism of all the 254 villages of Blagoevgrad District in 2000. The organization has also provided consultancy and expertise to various partners, and has participated in the development of the first Tourism Act of Bulgaria, the first National Ecotourism Strategy, the first Management Plan of the Pirin National Park, etc.
The types of activities of PTF are: (1) strategic planning in the fields of tourism and environment protection incl. Management Plans of protected areas; (2) development of human resources for tourism, incl. trainings, information and awareness raising, dissemination of good practices, exchange and study trips, etc.; (3) inventory and evaluations of tourism and environmental resources; (4) development of tourism services and products with focus on heritage interpretation, incl. thematic trails, visitor centers' expositions, folklore demonstrations, culinary tasting, etc.; (5) information provision of tourism, incl. tourism databases, dissemination of printed and electronic information, signposting, etc.; and (6) tourism marketing, incl. production of advertisement materials and souvenirs, Web sites, fam trips for media and tour operators, participation in travel fairs, etc.; (7) environmental education and research, incl. development of educational programmes and guidebooks, training of trainers, analysis of the components of environment, etc.; (8) project preparation and management.