A legal shield grants from now on the protection of the emblematic Egyptian vulture in Greece

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SAP workshop/HOS - V.Saravia

The endorsement Species Action Plan (SAP) for the Egyptian vulture in Greece has finally become true after the Deputy Ministers of Finance and Environment and Energy put their signatures on the relevant document. This much awaited National Action Plan was published on the 25th of October in the Official State Gazette. It establishes a set of concrete conservation actions needed to ensure the conservation of the species and will be implemented during a five year period when it will be reviewed.

The Hellenic Ornithological Society -with the help of its project partner, WWF Greece - managed to deliver this successful result after several years of efforts and of close collaboration with the Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy. The drafting and approval of this SAP was one of the most important actions of the LIFE Project "The Return of the Neophron" and had undergone an extensive consultation process with all local relevant bodies and stakeholders, such as Forestry Services, Management Bodies of Protected Areas, scientific community, environmental NGOs, hunting associations, stockbreeders, municipal and other relevant local and national authorities.

Although the Egyptian vulture is strictly protected both by national and European laws, this SAP -foreseen in the National Law for Biodiversity (law 3937/2011)- ensures the implementation -together with the much needed funding- of several conservation actions specifically targeting the most important threats this species faces in Greece (e.g. illegal use of poison baits, electrocution, lack of awareness, etc).

The Egyptian vulture's National SAP was approved together with that of the Lesser White-fronted Goose and the Regional Action Plan for the Lesser Kestrel (region of Thessaly), a huge feat for the conservation of Greek biodiversity as these are in fact the first Action Plans to be officially endorsed by the Greek Government.

According to Mr. Panagiotis Latsoudis, President of the Hellenic Ornithological Society (HOS): "This news is of extreme importance as this is the first time that Greece officially approves Action Plans for the protection of endangered species. Although SAPs have been drafted in the past, none had been endorsed due to the lack of a concrete legal framework. HOS awaits with expectation the implementation of these three Action Plans whose budget has already been approved by the Green Fund. The adoption of these Joint Ministerial Decisions now opens the way for the establishment of National Action Plans for the remaining 254 endangered species of vertebrates in Greece."


More information:

Konstantina Ntemiri
HOS Policy Officer
Phone. +30 210 8228704 & +30 210 8227937

e-mail: kntemiri@ornithologiki.gr


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