Seminar with the theme “Recording Invasive Alien Species as a Key Management Measure”

The seminar with the theme “Recording Invasive Alien Species as a Key Management Measure” was held with great success and resonance on Tuesday, May 30th, 2023, at Amphitheater A of the Department of Forestry and Natural Environment at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh). The event was organized by the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia-Thrace as part of the LIFE ATIAS Program.

With the aim of providing updates on the actions and progress achieved in the implementation of the project, the seminar was conducted in a hybrid format. Participants included representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Energy, the Management Bodies of Protected Areas (M.P.A.), Local Government Services (Regional Authorities, Environmental Offices of Municipalities), Forestry Departments, Forest Directorates, and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Other stakeholders also took part in the event.

Following greetings from the Secretary General of the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia-Thrace, Dr. Ioannis Savvas, and the President of the Department of Forestry and Natural Environment at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Mr. Alexandros Dimitrakopoulos, speeches were delivered by:

  • The scientific coordinator of the program, Mr. Dimitrios Bakaloudis, on the topic “Understanding the abundance and distribution of the American mink as essential elements of management in Northern Greece.”
  • Ms. Alexandra Stefanidou from the Laboratory of Forest Management and Remote Sensing of the Department of Forestry at AUTh, discussing “Recording the presence of invasive species with citizen participation and mapping their distribution in the study area.”
  • Ms. Elena Loukaki, a member of the company HOMEOTECH., Partner of the program, presenting “Invasive species recording system and early warning LIFE ATIAS/ European Alien Species Information Network EASIN.”
  • Mr. Orfeas Rousos and Ms. Anna Tsouka, representatives of the INVALIS project team, covering “INTERREG INVALIS 2018-2023: Exchange of experiences and conclusions regarding the recording of invasive alien species.”
  • Ms. Lydia Albanou, Ph.D. in Biology for the National Park Delta Axios-Loudias-Aliakmonas, of the Management Body of Protected Areas of Central Macedonia, with the topic “The spread of alien species in protected areas: causes and results of ecosystem degradation.”
  • Mr. Nikos Doumpas, responsible for the iSea programs, discussing “Citizen science as a tool for recording alien species and promoting the consumption of edible alien species as a mitigation measure – Pick The Alien.”

Finally, a highly interesting and constructive discussion took place, during which participants exchanged views and suggestions on the topics discussed, addressing queries that arose during the event.