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Promotion of Alternative Tourism Routes within Chelmos-Vouraikos Geopark in the framework of the European Project “INHERIT”


Promotion of Alternative Tourism Routes within Chelmos-Vouraikos Geopark

in the framework of the European Project “INHERIT”

 

Within the framework of the European project INHERIT and the cooperation of the University of Patras with the Management Body of Chelmos - Vouraikos, the creation of ten (10) videos and one (1) brochure was completed. The aim of this material is the promotion of the project, the information of the tourists about the alternative tourism routes in the area of the Geopark but also the wider promotion of these routes. The creation of the videos and the brochure took place as an action within the project "INHERIT". It should be noted that the videos were created according to the specifications of Greek National Tourism Organisation and the brochure will be distributed in printed form.

The European project INHERIT is implemented under the "INTERREG MED" Programme. The project involves 15 partners and 3 support partners from 10 Mediterranean countries headed by the Peloponnese Region.

The project aims to protect and promote the natural heritage of Mediterranean coastal and marine tourist destinations. Also an important objective of the project is the establishment of “INHERITURA” areas, coastal areas of the Mediterranean with a natural heritage, tourism areas, with high tourist activity, which take actions to protect and exploit the environment through bottom-up activities.

For the University of Patras, the candidate area "INHERITURA" is Chelmos-Vouraikos National Park, where the pilot actions of the INHERIT project are expected to take place. Promoting the area as an “INHERITURA” area will bring a number of benefits such as increasing traffic to the area while simultaneously increasing recreation and food service activities, creating an added value for the owners of the area and creating branded agricultural products with the aim of generating an additional income by promoting them to the local market.

The videos are on the project's YouTube channel and can be viewed HERE

You can see the online version of the brochure HERE

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Firefighting system installation for fire protection and prevention of Chelmos-Vouraikos National Park and its areas of responsibility.

Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body, in the framework of the Act “Funding of Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body for management actions for protected areas, species and habitats"», in the Operational Programme “Transport Infrastructure, Environment and Sustainable Development 2014 – 2020”, installed a firefighting system (with fire tank) in the two service pickup trucks, for fire protection and prevention of Chelmos-Vouraikos National Park and its areas of responsibility.

Based on the Guarding Plan of the Protected Area of Chelmos - Vouraikos National Park, the scientific staff of Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body, as well as the Forest Protection Specialists implement a program for the recording, monitoring and protection of the biodiversity of the area. During the summer season, Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body assists the forces of the Fire Service, with the main aim of preventing forest fires.

Purpose of the operation of Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body is the conservation of biodiversity, natural resources and the recognized ecological value of the natural ecosystems within the wider area of the mountain range of Chelmos and the Vouraikos river, as well as its new areas of responsibility. These protected areas are of great scientific interest and therefore their protection from human intervention is intended, and in some cases imperative.

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Celebrating World Environment Day 2020

Celebrating World Environment Day 2020

World Environment Day (WED) was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972. Two years later, in 1974 the first WED was held with the theme "Only One Earth". The theme for World Environment Day 2020 is “Time for Nature”, with a focus on its role in providing the essential infrastructure that supports life on Earth and human development. Every year on June 5th, WED is celebrated to encourage awareness and activism on issues related to the environment and its rescue, worldwide, engaging governments, businesses, celebrities, and citizens to focus their efforts on major environmental issues, which affect the well-being of peoples and economic development throughout the world.

To celebrate WED, Management Body of Chelmos-Vouraikos, through its representatives, participates every year in various events, such as information visits to schools and exhibitions with photographic and informational material about the biodiversity of the protected area, and also hosts visitors, adults and students, to the protected area and the information center of the Management Body, informs about the ecological and aesthetic value and the special protection regime of the protected areas and distributes information material about the rare flora and fauna species of the protected area.

This year, a special year due to the measures against the dispersal of COVID-19, the difficulty of participating in live events, and on the occasion of World Environment Day, Management Body of Chelmos-Vouraikos, presents on its website, for the first time, the information brochure “ALTERNATIVE TOURISM ROUTES, CHELMOS-VOURAIKOS NATIONAL PARK, UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARK”, the publication of which took place as an action within the project “INHERIT”.

The European project INHERIT (https://inherit.interreg-med.eu/) is implemented under the "INTERREG MED" Programme. The project involves 15 partners and 3 support partners from 10 Mediterranean countries headed by the Peloponnese Region. The project aims to protect and promote the natural heritage of Mediterranean coastal and marine tourist destinations. Also an important objective of the project is the establishment of “INHERITURA” areas, coastal areas of the Mediterranean with a natural heritage, tourism areas, with high tourist activity, which take actions to protect and exploit the environment through bottom-up activities. For the University of Patras, the candidate area "INHERITURA" is Chelmos-Vouraikos National Park, where the pilot actions of the INHERIT project are expected to take place. Promoting the area as an “INHERITURA” area will bring a number of benefits such as increasing traffic to the area while simultaneously increasing recreation and food service activities, creating an added value for the owners of the area and creating branded agricultural products with the aim of generating an additional income by promoting them to the local market.

See the information brochure

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EARTH DAY 2020

EARTH DAY 2020

Every year, on April 22, events are held around the world to celebrate Earth Day. Earth Day has reached more than 190 countries and is celebrated by more than 1 billion people each year, sending a message to governments and their fellow human beings that the battle for the environment is necessary, it is a battle for the future of the Earth and our future. Earth Day effort had been proposed by peace activist John McConnell during a 1969 UNESCO conference in San Francisco. McConnell reserved the date of March 21, 1970, the first day of spring, and events took place each in San Francisco, and other cities.

Chelmos-Vouraikos Geopark, member of Global Geoparks Network (GGN), participates in the celebration of the EARTH DAY 2020 to raise sensitization for OUR planet! Human health and planetary health are inextricably linked. As many communities are losing significant individuals, as many more people become sick from the virus in many countries around the globe, while other start to see the successful results of the fight against the virus, as millions of people are suffering the economic hardship and billions are living in confinement we want to send you a message of solidarity and encouragement, we want to tell you that you are not alone!

The theme selected long ago for Earth Day 2020 is climate action. The enormous challenge — but also the vast opportunities — of action on climate change have distinguished the issue as the most pressing topic for the 50th anniversary of EARTH DAY. Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable. Today, Geoparks join our efforts with institutions and individuals worldwide to underline that we all need to act now! If we don’t demand change to transform our planet and meet our climate crisis, our current state will become the new normal — a world where pandemics and extreme weather events span the globe, leaving already marginalized and vulnerable communities even more at risk.

As referred previously, human health and planetary health are inextricably linked. To protect one, we must protect the other. Millions rallied behind this idea to create the first Earth Day in 1970, and, 50 years later, we must rally behind it again. Especially this year, when we are forced to sit in our homes, to protect our lives and the lives of our fellow human beings, the celebration of Earth Day 2020 takes on a very symbolic character. We are far from each other, but we care each other because we live together in the same house, the Earth.

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Newsletter, Issue 10 - December 2019

See the Newsletter-Issue 10 (Period: July - December 2019)

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Participation of Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body in the Berlin International Tourism Fair ITB (Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin) 2020

Participation of Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body

in the Berlin International Tourism Fair ITB (Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin) 2020

From Wednesday, 4 to Sunday, 8 March 2020, the International Tourism Fair ITB Berlin 2020 will be held, as annually, in Berlin, presenting the entire travel sector. UNESCO Global Geoparks will have a special presence in the exhibition aiming at promoting and highlighting areas designated as UNESCO Global Geoparks as sustainable tourism destinations.

Chelmos-Vouraikos Geopark will be presented on the special stand of the Global Geoparks Network, in which Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body will participate with its representatives. The participation of Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body is a particularly important event for the promotion of the area of Chelmos-Vouraikos Geopark as a sustainable tourism destination and aims to support the local economy through the development of alternative forms of tourism, such as Geotourism. It is remarkable that the Berlin International Tourism Fair is the largest international tourism exhibition in the world and is a top event in the travel industry, annually with thousands of visitors, tourism professionals and journalists from around the world.

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20 Years Anniversary of European Geoparks Network (EGN)

This year we are celebrating 20 years since the establishment of the European Geoparks Network and 20 years celebrating Earth History!

75 Global Geoparks from 26 countries across Europe work together to preserve and valorise their Geological Heritage by developing specific forms of tourism and promoting the sustainable development of agricultural areas through Geotourism.

The European Geoparks Network was established in 2000 and aims to investigate and involve the most important geological monuments from all European countries. All members of the Network are holders of the distinctive mark "European Geopark", which has been registered in all European countries.

The Network operates through a) the continuous electronic communication of the members, b) the organization of two meetings a year each time hosted in a different Geopark, c) the organization of the annual conference presenting the new applications for network membership and the participation in joint programs. Within this framework, Network members work together to exchange practices and experiences and joint actions to protect Europe's geological heritage, to exploit and promote geological natural monuments, to develop alternative forms of tourism and to promote the sustainable development of Geopark regions through Geotourism.

For more information about European Geoparks Network visit here: http://www.europeangeoparks.org/

See all the EGN members here: http://www.europeangeoparks.org/?page_id=168

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“International Mountain Day”

“International Mountain Day”

UNESCO Global Geoparks in Greece and Cyprus celebrate “International Mountains Day”. Countries around the world are celebrating "International Mountain Day" on December 11th to raise public awareness of mountain-related issues, as December 11th was established to highlight the vital role of mountains to people's lives and to remind the international community its responsibility to protect them.

December 11th was established in 2003 by the United Nations as "International Mountain Day" and has its roots in "Fragile Ecosystem Management and Sustainable Mountain Development" which is the Chapter 13 of Agenda 21 the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development in 1992.

As stated in Agenda 21, Chapter 13, “Mountains are an important source of water, energy and biological diversity. Furthermore, they are a source of such key resources as minerals, forest products and agricultural products and of recreation. As a major ecosystem representing the complex and interrelated ecology of our planet, mountain environments are essential to the survival of the global ecosystem”. It is also said that "the mountains are a storehouse of biodiversity and endangered species."

International Mountain Day symbol: The first left triangle has a blue diamond on the top symbolizing ice on the top of the mountain. The central triangle that has an orange circle inside it symbolizes the minerals and resources in the mountain. The triangle on the right has a green triangle on the bottom right that symbolizes forests and crops in the mountains.

The area of responsibility of “Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body” includes Killini, Chelmos, Erymanthos, Panachaiko, Barbas and Klokos, which are the most important mountainous areas of Northern Peloponnese. Canyons, Caves, Ravines, Springs, Lakes, Rivers and Torrents are typical of the natural mountain landscape of the region and result in the formation of a lot of different habitats, hosting a valuable flora and fauna, including an important number of local and Greek endemic, rare and threatened plants and animals. The area is one of the 5 UNESCO Global Geoparks in Greece and contains a mosaic of geological features of global importance. “Chelmos-Vouraikos UNESCO Global Geopark” hosts unique landscapes that fascinate the visitor. It is a destination and attraction for thousands of visitors all year round, offering an unparalleled escape from the everyday life.

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The symbol of "International Mountain Day"

 

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The imposing eastern slope of “Neraidorachi” of the mountainous massif of Chelmos (2340m).

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Integration of the Operation “SUPPORT TO SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURES OF CHELMOS-VOURAIKOS UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARK” in CLLD/LEADER 2014-2020

Integration of the Operation“SUPPORT TO SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURES OF CHELMOS-VOURAIKOS UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARK”in CLLD/LEADER 2014-2020

Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body, following the call of the local action group (LAG) DEVELOPMENT AGENCY OF ACHAIA S.A. for the submission of applications, integrated the Operation entitled “SUPPORT TO SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURES OF CHELMOS-VOURAIKOS UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARK” in Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020, Measure 19:Support for LEADER local development”, Sub-measure 19.2: “LEADER support for the implementation of operations under the community-led local development strategy”, Action 19.2.4: Basic services and village renewal in rural areas, Sub-action 19.2.4.3: “Support for investment in public services and infrastructures of leisure and redevelopment of spaces within settlements, tourist information and small-scale tourist infrastructures (e.g. public spaces, promotion of areas, cycling routes)”, with the total budget of 130.000,00 €.

The Operation is co-financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and will be implemented in the following Subprojects: 1. Development of Geological Mapping of Chelmos-Vouraikos Geopark, 2. Production of printed and digital information material for Chelmos-Vouraikos Geopark and 3. Signage of Chelmos-Vouraikos Geopark.

The purpose of marking the Geotopes and giving prominence to the Geo-trails is to inform, educate (welcome and information signs), and orient (direction signs), creating the required feeling of security for the visitor and giving him the opportunity to plan its course.

Through the implementation of the project it will be possible to give prominence to the geo-trails throughout the Geopark, which will promote the alternative forms of tourism in the area, through the combined promotion of geodiversity and biodiversity, as well as the promotion of sites with archaeological, religious, historical and cultural interest.

Signage with welcome, information and direction signs is required for promoting Geotopes of Chelmos-Vouraikos UNESCO Global Geopark, which have a unique geological history and they are unique landscapes and sites of cultural heritage and tourism interest.

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MEETING for INFORMATION AND AWARENESS for the celebration of the “International Day for Disaster Reduction”

The Meeting for information and awareness for the “International Day for Disaster Reduction” took place with great success and a great audience, at Saturday, 16 November 2019, at BYZANTINO Hotel in Patras. The meeting organized by the Geotechnical Chamber of Greece (Branch of the Peloponnese and Western Greece) in cooperation with the Management Body of Chelmos-Vouraikos – Unesco Global Geopark and the Department of Geology of the University of Patras .

The event, among other, was honored by the presence of the members of Parliament Mr. A. Kastaniotis, Mr. I. Fotilas and Mrs Ch. Alexopoulou , the Vice-Regional governor of the Region of Western Greece Mr. P. Sakellaropoulos, the Mayor of W. Achaia Mr. S. Mylonas, the Mayor of Erymanthos Mr. Th. Mparis, the former Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice & Crisis Management Mr. M. Skandamis, the Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Achaia Mr. G. Petratos, the former Regional Governor of W. Greece Mr. A. Katsifaras, the former Prefects of Achaia Mr. S. Seretis and Mr. D. Katsikopoulos and the former Mayor of Patras Mr. A. Karavolas.

Greetings on the opening of the meeting were given by the official attendees. Mr. Gregory Iatrou, Chairman of Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body and Emeritus Professor of the Department of Biology of the University of Patras, delivered a speech presenting Chelmos-Vouraikos National Park and UNESCO Global Geopark as an area of responsibility of the Management Body. Mr. Iliopoulos G., Associate Professor of the Department of Geology of the University of Patras delivered a speech entitled “Chelmos-Vouraikos UNESCO Global Geopark and Natural Disasters”. Afterwards, speeches delivered by Mr. Zelilidis A., Professor and Chairman of the Department of Geology of the University of Patras about “Geologists' contribution to the prevention of floods, landslides and coastal erosions”, by Mr. Katsaros D., Forester MSc PhD, Director of Civil Protection of the Decentralized Administration of Peloponnese, Western Greece and the Ionian about "Innovative practices in the service of civil protection" and by Mr. Nikolakopoulos K., Associate Professor of the Department of Geology of the University of Patras about “New technologies in dealing with natural disasters”. Finally, speeches delivered by Mr. Sokos E., Associate Professor of the Department of Geology of the University of Patras delivered a speech entitled “The seismic hazard in the area of Western Greece” and by Mr. Depountis N., Assistant Professor of the Department of Geology, University of Patras entitled “Landslides: A timeless phenomenon with unpredictable consequences”.

The purpose of the meeting and of all the presentations was to inform and raise public awareness of the prevention and reduction of natural disasters and the effects of climate change. An urgent need for cooperation between responsible agencies and the state was also showcased.

The International Day for Disaster Reduction was started in 1989, after a call by the United Nations General Assembly, celebrating how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters. “Sendai Seven" campaign was launched in 2016 by UNDRR which is centred on the seven targets of the Sendai Framework.

This year’s theme is based on Target “D” of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030: “Substantially reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption services, among them health and education facilities, including through developing their resilience by 2030”.

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