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  • TECHNICAL WORKSHOP FOR NESTOS RIVER CANDIDACY IN MAB/UNESCO PROGRAMME,19-20.10.2017, NESTOS,GREECE

    On the 19th and 20th of October, the UNESCO Chair Con-E-Ect in collaboration with Nestos River Management Body organize the Workshop under the title: “Optimizing ecotourism development and conservation in Nestos river. The role of local communities”in Chryssoupolis Kavala, Greece. The workshop is co-designed with the local authorities of the area and is aiming in giving to the local communities to understand, the benefits and perspectives of introducing Nestos entire drainage basin as a MAB...

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  • UNESCO Chair Con-E-Ect gets... connected!

    The UNESCO’s vast network of Chairs and Networks specialized in the Natural Sciences held their first meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, from 05 to 07 July 2017 in order to unite their efforts towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The conference “Mobilizing UNESCO Chairs in the Natural Sciences for Policy Action Towards the 2030 Agenda” marked the first official meeting of the UNESCO Chairs and Networks in the Natural Sciences. The UNESCO Chair Con-E-Ect was...

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  • "Con-E-Ect" UNESCO Chair participates in the strategic plan of the Municipality of Drama

    The Municipality of Drama, Greece, in 2016, opened "Drama Urban Agenda" and has a strategic plan for sustainable urban development. Drama’s urban integrated project (ITI) is 100% funded in current Programming Period by National and European Funds and consists of several projects for CO2 reduction and climate change. The core project is a bioclimatic reconstruction of a district in the central market of Drama and the connection of the two municipal parks of Drama. The "Con-E-Ect" UNESCO Chair...

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  • Face-to-face instruction for the course “Digital storytelling for the environment”

    The Environmental Education Centre of Vistonida and the team of adult trainers ICT4ALL (Dimitra Theodosiadou, Christos Pappos, Angelos Konstantinidis, Agoritsa Papachatzi, Nikos Papadopoulos, Eirini Marna, Smaragda Karasimopoulou), in cooperation with the UNESCO Chair Con-E-Ect of the Department of Forestry and Natural Environment Management of the Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology organized a blended learning course on “Digital storytelling for the environment – riparian...

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Vision

Riparian and deltaic ecosystems are of major ecological interest, for they fulfill many ecological functions and provide important ecosystem services. Nevertheless, due to their exploitation by humans over the course of the centuries, they have been severely degraded. The importance of conserving and protecting the riparian and deltaic ecosystems of Greece has been duly acknowledged both in the framework of the European Union and other international normative instruments, since they have been designated as “Natura 2000” areas and “RAMSAR” sites.

The establishment of the “Water Framework Directive 2000” further cemented European policies towards attaining sustainable ecological management. However, the managing authorities and environmental organizations active in the area work in an intensive albeit fragmented manner to preserve the natural beauty of the region. Moreover, the potential of ecotourism to induce sustainable development benefits is neither well perceived nor fully explored and optimized by local populations.

Establishing a UNESCO Chair in the EMaTTECH will enable the scientific staff, with extensive experience in numerous environment-related international projects, to conduct further research in the field of riparian and deltaic ecosystems. Furthermore, it will enable them to record the indisputably rich natural and intangible cultural heritage of the region, with a view to contributing to its safeguarding, assessing it through educational activities and integrating it into a Strategy Framework.

Specific components to be considered include, among others, flora and fauna, hydrological data, cultural traditions, historic events, ecotourism principles and civil protection mechanisms. The creation of this Chair, especially in a time of economic crisis, will not only enhance the expansion of the sector of ecotourism, through the active involvement of a Network of local and national stakeholders, but will also produce scientific research results of immense importance for the international community.

Overarching Objectives

The objective of the Chair is to join forces with national, regional and international stakeholders, in order to elaborate an International Common Strategy Framework for the Conservation and Ecotourism of Riparian and Deltaic Ecosystems. The Framework’s targets will be accomplished through promotion of research by collecting and assessing data, dissemination of research findings, training and awareness-raising activities addressed to various target groups, so that, finally, all stakeholders will harmonize their actions towards the sustainable management of the riparian and deltaic ecosystems via the development of ecotourism. The creation of this Chair, dealing with crucial humanity issues, will be of immense importance not only for the Balkan region, but also for the international scientific community.

The long-term objective of the UNESCO Chair on “Conservation and Ecotourism of Riparian and Deltaic Ecosystems” is to create a Common Strategy Framework that will govern the protection, study, development and ecotourism of deltaic and riparian environments.

By capitalizing on the natural “laboratory”, which is created by the great number of deltaic and riparian environments of the area around the UNESCO Chair, by drawing on the abundant existing research and inventory material and, finally, by counting on the valuable contribution of national partners, a Strategy Framework for the deltaic and riparian environments of this region will be created, which will serve as an Assessment Tool of Ecosystems for Greece. In order to forge this Framework of national caliber, the scientific results from the implementation of numerous competitive international projects, funded by EU and international organizations and conducted by the scientific team of the Department of Forestry and Management of Natural Environment will be fully applied.

Should the Assessment Tool of Ecosystems for Greece bear fruit, there will be a systematic effort to use the results and outputs of the initial national framework, in order to form, by means of deduction, a set of operational checklist references with the broadest application in as many contexts as possible. This procedure will prioritize taking into consideration the different conditions prevailing in those parts of the world where this framework could be put into practice, which will be considered in such a way that there will be no conflict neither with the local and/or regional educational, scientific and cultural contexts, nor with the UNESCO’s mandate and principles.

In particular, by fully engaging the wide Network of Partners of the EMMaTECH on a regional and international level and by implementing cutting-edge ecohydrological, geomorphological, financial and agrotechnological models, which have been developed either by the scientific team of the Department of Forestry and Management of Natural Environment or by scientists from US and Western Europe Universities, who cooperate with the scientific team, the Chair aspires to establish a Common Strategy Framework for the Sustainable Management of Riparian and Deltaic Ecosystems and the Development of Ecotourism, which will be implemented worldwide and will constitute the coping stone of its endeavours.

 

Mission

The Chair UNESCO Chair Con-E-Ect is hosted at the Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology (EMATTECH), and specifically to the Department of Forestry and Natural Environment Management, which is the legal entity. It consists of the academic and research staff of EMATTECH and associate collaborators who work on a volunteer basis to fulfill its objectives and it aspires to bring together distinguished researchers of international range to share their know-how and to work pro bono on innovative solutions of riparian management.

The Chair Con-E-Ect will be active in the region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace; a region with a unique ecosystem in Europe, which stretches over an area of 200 km and consists of five major riparian and deltaic ecosystems, it will also highlight concerns that involve global matters for riparian and deltaic ecosystems, such as the protection of rare ecosystems, their endangered species and cultural uniqueness, as well as the growth of their local communities based on “green” (environmentally friendly) approaches.

The mission of the Chair is to join forces with national, regional and international stakeholders, in order to elaborate an International Common Strategy Framework for the Conservation and Ecotourism of Riparian and Deltaic Ecosystems. The Framework’s targets will be accomplished through promotion of research by collecting and assessing data, dissemination of research findings, training and awareness-raising activities addressed to various target groups, so that, finally, all stakeholders will harmonize their actions towards the sustainable management of the riparian and deltaic ecosystems via the development of ecotourism. The creation of this Chair, dealing with crucial humanity issues, will be of immense importance not only for the Balkan region, but also for the international scientific community.

The Chair will conduct activities related to education, research, institutional development and provide scholarships to students and visiting professors. Among others, the Chair will undertake the publication of a series of codes of conduct for sensitive ecosystems, taking first into account the specific bioclimatic zone of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace and, depending on the progress of the project, the different bioclimatic zones on a global level with the help of experts from various research and scientific institutions from the different bioclimatic zones of the planet. The Chair will also be responsible for the creation of an exemplar "Cultural Ark"; a database that will include information related to the cultural and historical heritage of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, its preservation and promotion. Last but not least, the Chair will publish a series of educational material and disseminate educational practices and procedures related to ecosystems.

Strategy

To implement the Chair’s objectives the strategy will center upon the following four Axes:

  1. Research
  2. Conservation - Sustainability
  3. Dissemination – Education - Training
  4. Best Practices

The Axis entitled “Research” will produce as outcome the development and conclusion of research projects on issues related, among others, to Ecohydrology, Management of Riparian and Deltaic Areas, Ecophysiology, Aquatic Environments, Transport and Deposition of Organic and Inorganic Pollutants in and outside the River Channel, that will be published in SCI journals and presented at international conferences. This Research will be carried out by the Scientific Team of the Chair and will be funded under Research Programmes, which in turn are funded either by the EU or by national scientific bodies (such as the General Secretariat for Research and Technology, GSRT). The research results will definitely enrich the scientific knowledge worldwide in the field of deltaic and riparian ecosystems, which will lead to the adoption of guidelines and the publication of operational checklist references that will contribute to their better protection and their ecologically-balanced development.

The Axis entitled “Conservation-Sustainability” will produce as outcomes the publication of a series of behavior codes on sensitive ecosystems, taking first into account the specific biogeoclimatic zone of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace and, as the Project progresses, the biogeoclimatic zones on a global level; at this second phase, the contribution of the Regional and International Network of Partners will be of crucial importance, for the knowledge and expertise of scientists from various research and scientific institutions from all the biogeoclimatic zones of the planet will be fully taken into consideration. These behavior codes will provide advice and guidance on the maintenance of the ecosystem health through methods of detoxification (phytoremediation) or through optimal management methods, which ensure that the ecosystems remain undisturbed within a context of a strong environmental sustainability. This axis also involves the creation, through research and recording, of a “Culture Ark”, which will include data related to the intangible cultural heritage of the region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace (traditional occupations and professions, local know-how, traditions, literary production, legends, oral history, local linguistic idioms, local vocabulary related to the specific ecosystems and the relevant local activities), in an attempt to showcase and safeguard, on one hand, the cultural wealth of the region and to optimize it, on the other hand, to the benefit of sustainable environmental management. The role of local women as main practitioners of many of these traditional occupations and essential bearers of knowledge and know-how will be duly acknowledged and highlighted.

The Axis entitled “Dissemination – Education – Training” will generate both a series of educational material and a variety of training practices and procedures related to the ecosystems in question. In particular, the familiarization with these ecosystems, the establishment of a culture of respect towards them and the mild touristic development within the surrounding area of these ecosystems, will constitute the basic areas of interest. Special thematic sections will focus on civil protection assistance (addressed to those populations affected by different sorts of natural hazards and disasters, namely floods and wildfires), on ecotourism development (mainly addressed to youth and unemployed local populations who want to get involved in the field) and on awareness-raising activities concerning the conservation of these ecosystems (mainly addressed to school students).

The Axis entitled “Best Practices” will generate a series of text books, which will be presented either during awareness-raising events hosted at the EMMaTECH or in other relevant international events. The first in the series of text books will be based on the specific case study of the riparian and deltaic ecosystems of the region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace and will be accompanied by a relevant Manual Guide. Subsequent editions of text books will shed light on case studies of particularly disturbed and degraded riparian and deltaic ecosystems, which were gradually restored and managed to avoid ecological disaster, due to special handling and the use of Best Practices. Accordingly, case studies of balanced and optimally conserved ecosystems from the very beginning, which enjoy mild touristic development and management, will also be presented. In both cases, the text books will contain the relevant Manual Guides. The structure, style and form of these text books will be thoroughly elaborated and their dissemination will be orchestrated in such a way that the Best Practices, which they refer to, can be widely and individually used to ensure optimal results.

Chair

emmanouloudisDr. Dimitrios Emmanouloudis is a Professor at Department of Forestry and Natural Environment Management of Emattech, Greece. He is the director of the Laboratory of Mountainous Water Management and Control & of Laboratory of Geology and Petrography. He is currently Vice President of Emattech responsible for International and European Affairs. He holds a PhD degree in Forest Engineering from the Forestry Department of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (1990) while he also made post doctoral research at Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, on erosion measurement techniques (2003). He is a Forester-Hydrologist with specialized knowledge on estimating the degradation of soils by erosion, the prevention of natural disasters on natural land ecosystems as well as in the study of factors that impact natural disasters using modern technologies. He is the main author or co-author of four books: («Evolution, Monitoring, Simulation, Management and Remediation of the Geological Environment and Landscape», WITpress Southampton, Boston, «Preventing, Monitoring and Confronting Debris Flow phenomena» WITpress Southampton, Boston, «Environmental Education Courses with Emphasis on Rhodopes Complex», Emattech, Euro-Mediterranean Torrents: Case Studies on Tools that can Improve their Management, Nova Publishers USA). He was also the coordinator of 12 international projects financed from International organizations like E.U., UNESCO, Hellenicaid etc. The total budget of the above mentioned projects is over  5.000.000 Euros. He has more than 60 publications, in various international journals with SCI index, congresses and conferences. He is also a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Engineering Science and Technology Review (Jestr) and of many scientific organizations including International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), Inernational Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS), Ιnternational Comission on Continental Erosion (ICCE), International Committee on Tracers (ICT), International Association of Hydraulic (IAHR) and European Water Research Association (EWRA). He holds also the titleof “Ingeniero de Montes de Honor”, appointed from Universidad Politechnica de Madrid (2011). Recently (June of 2016), appointed by UNESCO as Chair Holder of UNESCO chair CONEECT, which is dealing with “Conservation and Ecotourism of Riparian and Deltaic Systems.

Deputy Chair

zaimes

Dr. George N. Zaimes is the Deputy Chair of the UNESCO Chair Con-E-Ect for the Conservation and Ecotourism of Riparian and Deltaic Ecosystem that is hosted at the Department of Forestry and Natural Environment Management (EMaTTech), Greece. He is also an Assistant Professor in the Management of Mountainous Water, Riparian Areas and Geomorphology of the Department of Forestry and Natural Environment Management of EMaTTech and an Associate with School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA. Dr. Zaimes has been working on riparian ecosystems close to two decades with experiences from the United States, Greece, Spain, Turkey, Romania and other countries of the world. He is also been teaching graduate and undergraduate courses regarding environmental issues since 2000 in the United States, Greece, Germany and Spain. He received his PhD in the interdisciplinary Water Resources Program from Iowa State University, Ames, USA. He also received his Bachelor and MSc from Iowa State University from the Departments of Forestry, and Natural Resources Environment and Management, respectively. Finally, he has a Ptyhio from Department of Forestry, Kavala Institute of Technology, Greece. In the past he was Vice-Director of the MSc program Management of Water Resources in the Mediterranean of the Department of Forestry and Natural Environment Management, EMaTTech.  His main research interests are riparian areas management, conservation and restoration, watershed and stream management and restoration, climate change and riparian areas, climate change and the hydrological cycle, hydrogeomorphology, ecohydrology, erosional process, hydrology, ecotourism, water pollution, non-point pollutants, urbanization and riparian areas, urbanization and water quality, urbanization and climate change, conservation practices for soil protection, bioengineering techniques, management and control of mountainous water, flood management, drought management, hydrological modeling urbanization and streams, management of terrestrial ecosystems, management of semi-aquatic ecosystems, management of urban natural ecosystems, surface, rill gully and stream bank erosion and protected areas. He has been managing projects for more than 10 years and has received several grants from funding agencies from the United States, European Union and Greece. Overall he has been involved in more than 25 research funded projects and has established collaborations with institution from more than 30 countries and in four continents. Finally he has been very active in publishing as he is the author of several book chapters, numerous publications in scientific journals (more than 45), while also presenting to more than 70 conference worldwide and being a reviewer in more than 30 SCI scientific journals.

Other team

UNESCO Con E Ect organization chart

UNESCO Con E Ect organization chart pillards

Where we are and work

The “Con-E-Ect” UNESCO Chair is located in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, a region of a unique, in Europe, ecosystem which spreads over an area of 200 km and comprises five major riparian and deltaic ecosystems. The objective of the Chair is to join forces with national, regional and international stakeholders, in order to elaborate an International Common Strategy Framework for the Conservation and Ecotourism of Riparian and Deltaic Ecosystems. The Framework’s targets will be accomplished through promotion of research by collecting and assessing data, dissemination of research findings, training and awareness-raising activities addressed to various target groups, so that, finally, all stakeholders will harmonize their actions towards the sustainable management of the riparian and deltaic ecosystems via the development of ecotourism. The creation of this Chair, dealing with crucial humanity issues, will be of immense importance not only for the Balkan region, but also for the international scientific community.

Our partners

The Network for Environment, Culture and Tourism in Asia-Pacific Region (NECTAR) that involves the following principles: 

  1. Protecting and promoting the environment, water and all kinds of natural resources, flora and fauna by investigating, researching and acting;
  2. Educating, training, advising, counseling and cooperating with local and central governments, as well as with populations in urban and non-urban areas for mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery against natural and manmade disasters;
  3. Protecting and promoting culture(s), traditions, historical values and monuments in topic, regional, national and international level;
  4. Supporting and promoting activities for tourism, especially those with respect to the environment (ecotourism) and the local economy; 
  5. Supporting and Promoting the “Con-E-Ect” UNESCO Chair that elaborates an International Common Strategy Framework for the Conservation and Ecotourism of Riparian and Deltaic Ecosystems.

Contact us

Unesco Chair

Mail Address

UNESCO CHAIR-Conservation and Ecotourism of Riparian and Deltaic Ecosystems
Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology (main campus)
Agios Loukas
65404 Kavala
Greece

Tel: +30 2510462150

Fax:+ 30 2510462150

 

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