The Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (or EKBY by its Greek initials) has its roots in the Goulandris Natural History Museum. The Museum was established in Athens in 1964 as a non-profit institute for research, public awareness, information, and education in the conservation of the natural environment. Its present premises (3,500 m2) include a large herbarium, zoological and geological collections, exhibition halls, a library, and laboratories .
EKBY has adopted the policies and nature conservation principles of the Museum. It was established in 1991 by the Museum with European Community funding and the support of the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), following an application by the Greek Ministry of Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works. EKBY is based at Thermi, close to the city of Thessaloniki, where its facilities are located.
EKBY’s overall objective is to promote the sustainability of renewable natural resources in Greece and in the rest of Europe and the Mediterranean region.
The specific objectives are:
· To advance scientific knowledge.
· To monitor the initiation and evolution of activities related to agriculture, fisheries, energy, industry, transportation, housing, and tourism which may harm natural ecosystems, and to contribute to the sustainable performance of these activities.
· To provide scientific and technical information and consultation, especially to the Greek government and to collaborating environmental agencies in the European Union.
· To raise public awareness of the natural, economic and cultural values of wetland and terrestrial systems and encourage a positive attitude to them.
· To promote education and training in the sustainable development and management of renewable resources.
· To provide the competent authorities with documented arguments for policies and laws leading to sustainable development as well as with services relevant to the wise management of natural resources in actual field conditions.