Samothraki Nature Observatory : An Idea Developing...

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Samothraki Nature Observatory : An Idea Developing...

Beginning of May 2014: Preparing for the trip to Samothrace.

Samothrace Nature Observatory – Παρατηρητήριο Σαμοθράκης: scientific network supporting nature conservation in Samothrace

Samothraki is an island with a well-known cultural landscape and rich biodiversity, located on the northeastern border of the Aegean Sea. The island needs immediate "attention" to better promote conservation and sustainable development. Sumathras has some environmental problems due to poorly planned development affecting the natural environment. Unfortunately, despite steps taken to establish protected areas on the island, these pressures and problems are poorly addressed (Natura 2000 website). In general, sensitive residents and academic visitors are aware of major issues affecting the island's natural environment; These include: overgrazing, poor water management, poorly planned construction, flashy architecture, uncontrolled tourism development, exploitation of wetlands, poorly managed forests, poaching and overfishing. The natural heritage and biodiversity of Samothraki should be used, but this should be done carefully based on scientific understanding and guidance.

Despite the aforementioned anthropogenic threats to the nature of the island, Samothrace still has a rich and wild character. It has attracted scientists and research teams to the island for many years, studying various aspects of nature and culture. Our group at IMBRIW-HCMR took the first steps to create a connected network of scientists and residents who would contribute to the conservation of Samothrace ; We call this free sample "Samoatres Nature Observatory - Παρατηρητήριο Σαμοθράκης" . It is progressing as we have established collaborations with other academic forces and a memorandum with the Municipality of Samothrace. We already have a PhD student to make Samothraki his research field, and our research work on water resources is part of a long-term research (see: -lotic - ecosystem/ ).

Of course, as aquatic scientists, our research direction must focus on studying the "water" of the island; That is, all aspects of assessment, conservation and management of water, aquatic and semi-aquatic ecosystems and river basins.

The main objectives of the Samothrace Nature Observatory program, as we see it now:

A Promote scientific research and long-term monitoring of the natural and cultural environment to provide useful and practical recommendations for the protection and efficient use of the environment.

two promote and support the creation of an integrated protected area on the island; Creating the so-called "Samothras National Park", an idea that would improve and consolidate the existing structure of the poorly managed protected area.

3. Establish an international 'arena' and 'retreat' to support researchers and research teams on the island. As part of the observatory initiative, we plan to work closely with local authorities and local communities to support future visiting scientists and promote ongoing education and training programmes.

This is an evolving "idea"... perhaps more goals and organizations will be included in the Sumthrace Nature Observatory program as our collaboration with others expands. The physical weakness is that we do not live in Samothraki, so our scheme is necessarily related to guests and friends of the island.

This month, the IMBRIW team is meeting their Austrian colleagues in Samothraki. We look forward to discussing how this program can grow. Good luck!

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We recently published a preliminary set of flow estimates for Samothraki based on our previous research and experience on the island; This document is available here:

I brought some of my photos from our research in August 2013. There are other articles published on this blog, please take a look.

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