Improving Environmental Policy

Geographical location:

Europe/Middle-East > Southern Europe > Greece

European Union's Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas speaking at a WWF Greece environmental policy event. Greece.
© WWF Greece / George Vellidis

Summary

The present policy programme concerns the support of WWF Greece's core environmental policy work, which has been designed along 2 axes:

- Work on major nature conservation policy issues, mainly the implementation of the European Union (EU) Water Framework Directive (WFD) in Greece.
- Pursuit of specific environmental policy targets, mainly relating to Greece's policies on funding for nature conservation, toxics, agriculture and the EU Structural Funds.

Through this programme, WWF Greece aims at improving its lobbying capacity for specific policy targets related mainly to WWF's international strategy.

Background

During its 12-year fruitful conservation presence in Greece, WWF has mainly focused its activity on field projects. The policy component of the conservation programme has remained attached to issues relating to the considerable experience gained from the field; a strategic decision which has allowed the development of integrated proposals in issues such as protected area management and forest policy.

In this framework, WWF Greece has invested important financial and human resources in work on the EU WFD implementation. In 2002 and 2003 WWF Greece invested considerable resources in monitoring the implementation of the directive and achieved very important results. The creation in 2002 of a fund for the support of conservation work and protected area management bodies, and the legal establishment of 25 protected area management bodies were based on proposals and lobbying work by WWF Greece. Hence, one component of WWF's present policy programme will continue to target the implementation of key EU legislation on protected areas.

The need for expansion of WWF's policy agenda to issues that bear considerable importance from the environmental point of view, but not directly related to the field, is crucial for WWF's effectiveness. This aim has been partly achieved through the creation in July 2002 of the position of the Environmental Policy Campaigner (EPC) within the Conservation Department, with funding from the MAVA Foundation. Important policy interventions have also been made possible through the participation of WWF Greece in 8 monitoring committees of EU Structural Funds programmes, namely Fisheries, Environment, Community Support Framework, Eastern Macedonia-Thrace, Cohesion Fund and INTERREG III between Greece, Bulgaria, Albania and Cyprus.

Objectives

1) Promote the implementation of the EU WFD focusing on the aspects of protected area and water basin management.

2) Pursue specific targets regarding the need for modernisation of Greece's policy on funding for nature conservation, toxics and the ongoing revision of the national forest and EU agricultural policies.

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