Who is involved

WetMainAreas’ partners are state bodies, scientific organizations and regional authorities from Albania, Bulgaria, Greece and FYROM with environmental expertise and broad geographic coverage. The partnership has been strategically developed to capitalize on existing resources, bring scientific and reliable wide accessible outputs and ensure sustainability and maximum possible integration into action. It involves Research Partners, User Partners and 2 Observer Partners.

Research partners coordinate and implement the core part of the technical and technological work including creation of the harmonized scientific knowledge basis, the guidance on tourism/culture & management/conservation and the 4 pilot demonstrations and project dissemination. User Partners coordinate the uptake of scientific knowledge into policy and planning, reflecting three different levels of administration: national (in Albania), regional (in Greece), local (in Bulgaria). The 2 Observer Partners complement user dimension of the partnership involving the national competent authorities from Greece and FYROM.

University of Forestry, Faculty of Ecology and Landscape Architecture has 35 years’ experience in ecology, biodiversity and environmental protection with well-developed scientific infrastructure and equipment. It actively participates in national and international scientific programs and projects, funded by national and international scientific funds. The executed scientific projects over the past 5 years are more than 200. Academic staff develops more than 80 projects annually, published around 300 scientific publications and participated in more than 40 scientific forums.

Goulandris Natural History Museum/ Greek Biotope – Wetland Centre has long standing experience on wetland identification and mapping, at national and European level.  Recently has verified the European High Resolution Layers on Wetlands and Water Bodies (European GMES/GIO land). Currently is a partner of the “Sattelite based Wetland Observation Service –SWOS” HORIZON 2020 project. Further is a pioneer partner of the Ramsar regional wetland initiative.

Faculty of Economics, South-West University “Neofit Rilski” has strong experience in field of environmental protection and tourism. It has experience in different projects financed by European Territorial Cooperation “BG-GR” and “BG-FYROM”, by 7th Framework Programme, LIFE+, World bank, CEEPUS, DAAD, PHARE, DAPHNE III, INTAS, COST, etc.

National Observatory of Athens with its unique expertise on Earth Observation and its innovative infrastructure brings significant potential to carry out the wetland identification over the 5 countries using the new European Sentinel 2 images. Sentinel 2 data can be freely accessed through the Hellenic National Sentinel Data Mirror Site, designed by European Space Agency and NOA and hosted at NOA.

National Environmental Agency is a state agency, carrying out management, coordination and information functions on the environmental control and protection in Albania. Recently has participated in JointWaters project for compliance with WFD.

Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality, “St. Kliment Ohridski” University, Ohrid is among the medium-sized, comprehensive universities and offers a range of studies in the area of Economics, Biotechnical and Technical Sciences and ICT, Tourism, Education, Health Care, Law Studies and Security.

Thessaly Region is regional authority with competencies in nature protection, control, spatial planning and development. In the project it reflects the needs and uptake of knowledge at the regional level of administration.

Municipality of Gotse Delchev reflects the needs and uptake of knowledge at the local level of administration. It makes benefit of the project in order to conclude to a policy publication focusing on the natural, cultural and aesthetic value of the region’s wetlands for protection, spatial planning and eco-tourism development promoting both wetlands of Natura 2000 sites as well as smaller wetlands outside protected areas.

An Advisory board of three other parties (The Bulgarian Ministry of Environment and Water, The Coordinator of the Ramsar regional initiative in the Mediterranean and The Coordinator of the SWOS research project) ensures the quality of the activities.