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Information Center

All the services of Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body are housed on its own premises, at a building at Street Agiou Alexiou 35, in Kalavryta.

On the first floor of the building is the Information Center, a hall well equipped to make presentations or lectures / informational discussions with visitors and students. There is also a visitable exhibition with rich photographic material. The Exhibition was created within the framework of the Operational Program "Environment" 2000-2006, Measure 8.1 "Protection and Management of Biotopes-Habitats-Protection Areas of Special Natural Beauty", aiming at the promotion of the Chelmos-Vouraikos National Park.

In this hall, visitors are informed about history, geography, fauna, flora, rare or protected species, their legal protection status, population and social features, monuments and natural beauties of the region, and furthermore, for the problems that exist in relation to its management and rational development.

The purpose of the Information Center is to create a communication channel for the immediate and complete information and awareness of residents, visitors and users of the National Park.

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Personnel

The detailed staffing of the Management Body is as follows:

 

Personnel table by specialty

Full Name

Specialty

University Education/ Secondary Education

Office

Koumoutsou Eleni

Environmentalist

University Education

Project Coordinator-Management

Rousinos Georgios

Forester

University Education

Office of Business Planning

Topouzidis Nikolaos

Geologist

University Education

Office of Business Planning

Filippakopoulos Christos

Administrative

University Education

Office of Administrative and Financial Services

Geropoulou-Gerou Paraskevi

Assistant Accountant

Secondary Education

Office of Administrative and Financial Services

Papageorgiou Georgios

Forest Conservation Expert

Secondary Education

Department of Supervision and Guarding

Gounarakis Konstantinos

Forest Conservation Expert

Secondary Education

Department of Supervision and Guarding

Rigogiannis Panagiotis

Forest Conservation Expert

Secondary Education

Department of Supervision and Guarding

Zervas Christos

Forest Conservation Expert

Secondary Education

Department of Supervision and Guarding

Koulouki Maria

Forest Conservation Expert

Secondary Education

Department of Supervision and Guarding

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Collaboration with other Bodies

Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body carries out public benefit actions related to environmental awareness and public awareness. In order to achieve this goal, the Management Body collaborates with the Municipalities of Kalavryta and Aegialia.

Also important is the cooperation of the Management Body with the services of the area (Forest Authority & Fire Service,) with local associations such as “Association of Mountaineering and Skiing of Kalavryta” and “Friends of Odontos Rack Railway”, with the “Environmental Education Centre of Kleitoria – Akrata”, with schools districts and schools of primary and secondary education in the wider region, the “Hellenic Ornithological Society” and other organizations.

Also, the Management Body, in a constant effort to carry out its overall project, as defined by Law 2742/1999 (article 15) and Law 4519/2018 (article 4), cooperates with the competent bodies in issues associated with the National Park and Chelmos-Vouraikos Geopark. As part of this effort, the Management Body establishes cooperation agreements which define the rules and the framework for cooperation between the contracting entities.

Specifically:

(1) Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body, with Western Greece Region, Municipality of Kalavryta, Achaia Development Agency SA, Cave of the Lakes, Kalavryta Hotel Association, Association of Mountaineering - Skiing – Climbing and Environmental Protection of Kalavryta, Kalavrita Holocaust Victims Association, Kalavryta Ski Center, Museum of  Kalavrita Holocaust, and a lot of other local cultural associations, through their representatives, and in cooperation with Chamber of Achaia and Odontotos rack railway Diakopto – Kalavrita, in April 2019, concluded a cooperation agreement and established a network called "Regional Network of the Pilot Region of Kalavrita", recognizing the necessity of implementing a framework of actions in administrative, operational, educational, scientific and research level to enhance the efficiency and sustainability of Small and medium-sized enterprises, and to develop entrepreneurship, focusing on the concepts of synergy, networking, extroversion, innovation and volunteering.

(2) Chelmos - Vouraikos Management Body, as a management authority of the homonymous Geopark and Development Agency of Epirus S.A., in December 2018, as a management authority of the Geopark of Vikou-Aoos, concluded a cooperation agreement for common issues concerning "Chelmos-Vouraikos" and "Vikos-Aoos" Geoparks, aiming at a more efficient operation, management, protection and promotion of the two Geoparks in the context of their integration into the UNESCO Global Geoparks.

(3) Chelmos - Vouraikos Management Body and Troodos Development Company, as a management authority of Troodos Geopark, in December 2018, concluded a cooperation agreement aiming at the wide cooperation between the two entities on issues of common scientific interest related to Chelmos -Vouraikos Geopark and Troodos Geopark, and in particular, at the exchange of technical and scientific knowledge and good practices on the management and protection of the geo-diversity, the promotion of the geological heritage and the sustainable development of the areas, mainly through the development of geotourism, in the context of the integration of these areas into the UNESCO European and Global Geoparks Network.

(4)  Chelmos - Vouraikos Management Body and the Geotechnical Chamber of Greece, with the Branch of the Peloponnese and Western Greece, in November 2018, concluded a cooperation agreement, aiming at a wide cooperation between the two entities, on issues of common scientific interest related to the National Park and the Geopark of Chelmos-Vouraikos and in particular, at the provision of technical and scientific knowledge on geotechnical issues within the Protected Area of Chelmos-Vouraikos, in the context of the integration of the area in the European and Global Network of Geoparks under the auspices of UNESCO. They are committed to collaborate on issues related to the National Park and the Geopark of Chelmos-Vouraikos, such as for the provision of scientific knowledge and advice on geotechnical content, for the protection, management and promotion of geotopes within the boundaries of Geopark's responsibility, the protection of natural monuments and natural heritage, the use of good practices in crops, livestock farming and forestry.

(5) The European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas leads to a recognized certification which promotes the practical application of the concept of “sustainable development”. In December 2016, Chelmos-Vouraikos National Park was distinguished by international certification by the European Federation of National Parks and Protected Areas (EUROPARC FEDERATION), located in Regensburg of Germany. The involvement of society and local agencies is a necessary condition for the process of drafting and adopting a strategy for the sustainable tourism development of the region. Strategic planning is a participatory and multilevel process that focuses on the data and needs as they are today and tries to connect them to the desirable situation in terms of tourism development. Based on the above framework and on the initiative of the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Chelmos - Vouraikos Management Body Dr. Iatrou, the local agencies (Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body, Municipality of Aegialia, Municipality of Kalavryta, Agricultural Dairy Cooperative of Kalavryta, Kalavryta Hotel Association, Regional Development Fund of the Region of Western Greece, Achaia Development Agency SA, Kalavryta Ski Center, Public Benefit Corporation of the Municipality of Kalavryta-Cave of the Lakes, Environmental Educational Centre of Kleitoria – Akrata, Tourism Development and Promotion Committee at municipality of Kalavryta, Tourism Development and Promotion Committee at municipality of Aegialia, Quality of Life Committee of municipality of Kalavryta, Quality of Life Committee of municipality of Aegialia, Association of Mountaineering - Skiing – Climbing and Environmental Protection of Kalavryta), through their representatives, with a Memorandum of Cooperation for the development of a sustainable tourism model, agree for the adoption of a sustainable tourism model in the area of Chelmos - Vouraikos. National Park.

(6) Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body and the Department of Geology of the University of Patras - Laboratory of Palaeontology with Dr. Georgios Iliopoulos, Geologist, Assistant Professor, in January 2016, concluded an agreement aiming at the wide cooperation between the two organizations on issues of common scientific interest related to the National Park and the Geopark of Chelmos-Vouraikos and in particular to the provision of technical and scientific knowledge, in the context of the region's integration into the European and Global Geoparks Network under the auspices of UNESCO and the recognition of the site as UNESCO Global Geopark on 17/11/2015, with the creation of a new program of the Geosciences Organization and Geoparks and Geoparks Program.

(7)  Chelmos- Vouraikos Management Body cooperates with Tsakiri Maria, Biologist MSc, as an External Support Partner to the Office of Business Planning of the Management Body, since 2016 up today, by participating in actions related to the continuity of the monitoring programs, the collections of floristic material, compiling scientific material about the design of thematic labels, posters and newsletters, drafting, editing and translating texts in order to enrich and continually update the content of the website of Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body, etc.

(8) Chelmos - Vouraikos Management Body collaborates overtime and successfully with professors, postdoctoral researchers and PhD candidates of the Sections of Animal Biology and Plant Biology of the Department of Biology, at the University of Patras, for the provision of technical and scientific knowledge in the field of flora and fauna and as a consequence the conservation, protection and management of the Protected Area of Chelmos-Vouraikos.

 

 

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Board of Directors

Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body is a legal person of private law, which is under the supervision of the Ministry of Environment and Energy. It is managed by a 11-member Board of Directors whose composition ensures the representation of the Central Administration (Ministries), Local Government of all levels (Region, Municipalities), Productive Classes, Environmental Organizations and Scientific Community.

The 11-member Board of Directors has been appointed according to the Decision 451 / 26-01-2010 of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (Government Gazette 47 / 11-02-2010) as amended and in force.

It consists of:

the Chairman of the Board of Directors: Dr. Grigorios Antoniou Iatrou, Professor of the University of Patra, as a Special Scientist,

and members:

1. Dimitra Dimostheni Koutra, Biologist, employee in District of Environment and Spatial Planning as a representative of the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, with her deputy Georgios Nikolaou Chronopoulos, Forester of the Forestry Authority of Aigio.

2. Anastasios Christou Vagenas, Agriculturist, District Rural Development Agency of Achaia, as a representative of Ministry of Rural Development and Food, with his deputy Nikolaos Ilia,, Kosmas, Agriculturist, District Rural Development Agency of Achaia.

3. Ioanna Sokrati Alexandropoulou, Chemist, as a representative of Ministry of Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport & Networks with her deputy Loukas Georgiou Gouriotis, Town planner/Engineer, Special Scientist.

4. Christos Dimou Dimopoulos, Forest Director of Kalavryta, as a representative of Decentralized Administration of Peloponnese, Western Greece and the Ionian, with his deputy Panagiotis Smiliotopoulos, Forester, Head of Directorate of Coordination and Inspection of Forests.

5. Theodoros Konstantinou Nasiotis, Regional consultant of the Regional Unity of Achaia, as a representative of the Region of Western Greece (Regional Unity of Achaia), with his deputy Christos Konstantinou Mpounias, Regional consultant of Regional Unity of Achaia.

6. Andreas Vasileiou Karachontzitis, Regional consultant of Korinthia, as a representative of the Region of Peloponnese (Regional Unity of Korinthia), with his deputy Panagiotis Trifonos Papagiannakopoulos, Agriculturist, as a representative (alternate member) of the Region of Peloponnese (Regional Unity of Korinthia).

7. Vasileios Georgiou Christopoulos, deputy Mayor, as a representative of Municipality of Aegialia, with his deputy Theofanis Prokopi Stavropoulos, deputy Mayor.

8. Nikolaos Miltiadi Magkafas, Municipal Counsellor, as a representative of Municipality of Kalavryta, with his deputy Dimitrios Georgiou Chouliaras, deputy Mayor.

9. Spyridon Panagioti Stamatopoulos, Mayor of Municipality of Sikyon, as a representative of Municipality of Sikyon, with his deputy Panagiotis Ioanni Fiakas, deputy Mayor of Municipality of Sikyon.

10. Georgios Nikolaou Kanellis, teacher, as a representative of non-governmental environmental organizations (Oikologiki Kinisi Patras -Patras Environmental Movement) with his deputy Niki Kardakari, member of the Board f Directors of Hellenic Ornithological Society).

The composition of the Board of Directors of the Managing Bodies will be changed by Law 4519/2018, Article 5 and will be governed by a seven-member Board of Directors.


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International Collaborations

Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body, wishing to contribute to the promotion of alternative tourism, environmental education, environmental protection and environmental promotion, in October 2009, after request and evaluation, became a member of the European Geopark Network (EGN) and the Global Geopark Network (GGN) with the support of UNESCO. Following two further successful evaluations (2013 and 2015), the area of responsibility of Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body, continues to belong to the network of UNESCO Global Geoparks.

The Global Network meets every 2 years, while the European Network meets twice a year to develop and promote joined actions. Network members are evaluated every four years by Network specialists and other International Organizations specialists to ensure high quality features in each region. Through their participation in the Geoparks Network, they have the abillity to collaborate and apply best practices as well as to participate jointly in projects and programs for the development of quality standards for all products and practices of Geopark. Network membership does not provide a specific legal status but is basically a label, a quality label.

It should be noted that Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body participates systematically and actively in meetings, events and international conferences organized with participants of Geoparks - members of UNESCO's European and Global Geopark Network.

In addition, Chelmos-Vouraikos National Park was distinguished by the international certification "European Charter for Sustainable Tourism" by the European Federation of National Parks and Protected Areas (EUROPARC FEDERATION), located in Regensburg, Germany. Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body has managed to join in an international network of protected areas that have received this distinction and is the second protected area of Greece after the National Park of Tzoumerka, Peristeri & Arachthos Gorge,, which received the distinction. It suffice to mention that 157 regions from 19 countries are the members that certified with the "European Charter for Sustainable Tourism".

More information about the network can be found on the website: https://www.europarc.org/sustainable-tourism/

Certification for the "European Charter for Sustainable Tourism" has a five-year validity (2016-2020). It is an important tool for the promotion of the entire area that it has been designated as National Park and Geopark, but also for the local community, ensuring that tourism contributes to balanced economic, social and environmental development. The effort was carried out within the Environmental Park (EPA) - Environmental Parks of the European Territorial Cooperation Programme Greece - Italy 2007-2013 of the Regional Development Fund of the Region of Western Greece.

Through these networking tools, Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body contributes to the promotion of alternative tourism, environmental education, environmental protection within the National Park, with multiple benefits for the local community. This establishes the recognition of the Chelmos-Vouraikos National Park as an area with a special geological heritage that enjoys international recognition. The major sights of our region are shown in international magazines and books and advertised in international tourism exhibitions.

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