The Managing Authority of Ainos National Park was established in 2002 in the form of NPID. (article 13 of Law 3044/2002) for the protection and management of the Aenos National Park. Law 4519/2018 broadened its territorial jurisdiction by adding to it the protection and management of all areas of the Natura 2000 network of Kefalonia-Ithaca. It is one of the 36 total Managing Bodies established by law in Greece for the management of protected areas of particular natural value. For the first time since 2002, the Aynos National Park, as well as other protected areas, has acquired a body dedicated exclusively to its protection, characterization, continuous scientific monitoring and the organization and management of its traffic.
The Ainos National Park Management Agency aims at preserving the natural and cultural heritage and preserving the ecological balance of the Kefalonia-Ithaca protected areas through the study and protection of rare and endangered species of flora, fauna, wildlife, wildlife, as well as promoting development activities, such as ecotourism or thematic tourism, which are harmonized with nature protection. Specifically, from the establishment in 2002 to the end of 2019, the management of the Aynos National Park:
• Developed Surveillance / Guard Actions. The Ainos National Park Management Agency has significantly enhanced the protection of the protected area by conducting 3,969 patrols and 385,130 km, whilst enhancing co-operation and coordination with other relevant departments (Forestry Department, Periphery, Municipality of Kefalonia). ) and aimed at preventing and responding to fires early, but also at preventing activities such as illegal grazing, poaching, etc. A total of 335 illegal incidents were recorded, most of them involving illegal grazing within the core of the Ainos National Park.
• Developed collaborations with Scientific Institutions and Private Research Companies to implement the biodiversity recording and monitoring of the protected area since 2012. Specifically, the monitoring involved 17 species of flora outside Directive 92/43, with the registration of 6 new species and many new subpopulations of rare species of the area by the Agency staff. Concerning mammalian surveillance, 22 new protected species, glaciers & microflora, and 14 reptile species were recorded. At the same time, the personnel of the Agency monitored the population of the half-breed horses of Ainos. In addition, 33 species of lepidoptera were recorded by the staff of the Aynos National Park Management Body. In the avian fauna, of the 118 species of birds studied, 32 species are rare and endangered. Also, 7 types of core habitats were studied and mapped in the wider regional area of the National Park. Finally, 104 new species of macrophytes were recorded from the core of the National Park. Note that from the Body. Even when the Managing Authority did not implement any operation, with the result that the 2016-2020 funding period was only financed by its operating expenses from the Green Fund, monitoring continued normally in 18 species of flora outside Directive 92/43 and 5 types of core habitats. and the wider regional park of the National Park. Monitoring of the fauna revealed 2 new mammal species and 2 new reptile species. Five new species emerged from the category of birds. In addition, 13 new species of lepidoptera were recorded.
• Developed Information Actions by conducting 13 Seminars and Seminars, 1 Pan-Hellenic Conference (17th Pan-Hellenic Forestry Conference in collaboration with the Hellenic Forestry Society) and 21 other events and thematic excursions. As part of the Environmental Education program, from 2011 until the end of 2019, 326 schools and 8,787 elementary and secondary education students, as well as students of Universities and Technological Institutes, and 2,071 team members (Scouts, Mountaineering Clubs) were briefed ), who participated in the events of the Agency. From 2011 to 2020, according to the Agency’s Surveillance / Guardian Records, over 52,000 visitors visited the site, who were provided with information and information on the protected area.
• Developed Promotion Action / Promotion Action of the National Park of Ainos by producing information material of 35 different forms. The printed material includes posters of 50 X70 cm, 5 themes in 10,000 copies, 70 X 100 cm posters, 5 themes in 5,000 copies, Small Guide to the National Park of Ainos (color, eight page in 10,000 copies), calendars (for two years) 2,000 copies), postcards (13 items in 12,000 copies in total) and publicity material for workshops and other events, and in particular a large book on the Greek National Park in Ainos in Greek and English (354 and 336 pages respectively), in 2,000 copies for each language , with information on history, geology, the file, the biodiversity of the National Park and especially its Management Body actions. In addition, digital material was produced,
• Also completed the Management Plan of the National Park of Ainos for the period 2016-2021 and a Special Pasture Study was prepared for the regional area of the National Park of Ainos.
• In 2019, the Management Body managed to integrate into three international networks of protected areas EUROPARC, Eurosite and MedPAN, also participating in their annual meetings. The first two organizations are the largest European networks of bodies, both public and private or other non-governmental organizations, which promote practical issues for the management of the natural environment in Europe. MedPAN is a network for the protection and management of biodiversity in the Mediterranean coastal and marine protected areas. Finally, the body is expected to join the International Dark Sky Association, with the aim of proclaiming the National Park of Ainos as the “Dark Sky Park”.
• The Management Body either as a beneficiary or as a partner with the Ionian University implements five co-financed programs under the OP. “Ionian Islands 2014-2020”. These are:
1. “PANAS” – The “Monumental Forests” of the Ionian Sea as biodiversity crops and of high nutritional value of Macromycetus: mapping, recording, evaluation, networking, conservation and sustainable exploitation “(WP 195) €).
2. “Supply of special environmental monitoring / policing equipment to support the ED Managing Authority Ainou »(PC Subject: 94.500 €).
3. “LIFE-MONUMENTS: The Monumental Olive Trees and Olive Trees: Recording, Mapping, Dating and Promoting them as High-Value Ecosystems, with the Purpose of Conservation / Management and Sustainable Development of the Ionian Islands” (WP 50).
4. “Recording and presentation of Geoparks and Geodetic paths of Geopark of Kefalonia – Ithaca with the purpose of its integration into UNESCO Geoparks” (PC Subject: 231,000 €).
5. “Contribution of content, preparation of communication plans and awareness actions for the areas of Ainos National Park” of the Act: “HERMES” – “Intelligent digital applications and tools for the effective promotion and promotion of Ionian biodiversity” : 100,000 €).
• In the framework of LEADER Kefalonia-Ithaca, the reconstruction of the Forest Park of Aenos National Park has been approved, with a total budget of € 127,000.
It also expects within a few days the Act to be implemented within the framework of OP. YMEPERA 2014-2020 totaling € 1,000,000 entitled: “Grant of the National Park Management Authority of Ainos for the management of protected areas, species and habitats”.
For the implementation of the above mentioned Protection and Management actions of the Protected Areas of Kefalonia-Ithaca, the Management Body has 5 posts for Scientific Staff and 3 posts for the Staff of Audit – Scientific Monitoring and Information Activities. However, the employment relationship of all employees remains particularly fragile, as they all have fixed-term contracts lasting from 6 to 13 years !. It should be noted that all of the above was achieved through the hard work and high performance paid by existing staff, spending hundreds of hours and overtime, often staying unpaid for many months working off-hours, at night and on weekends!
Following the announcement of the new RIS Law on Managing Entities and the apparent abolition / merger of the Aynos National Park Management Body and its conversion into a Management Unit !, the immediate launch of actions and initiatives is needed to ensure its smooth operation. Management Body in its current form, as well as the continuation of the work of its existing staff, provided that:
• After 18 years of existence, and through the activities developed by the Personnel and Management of the Management Body, its operation was established and incorporated in the socio-economic fabric of Kefalonia as an important player, acting both for the sustainable development of the island and for the island. to gain a comparative advantage in its economy in a time of intense competitiveness & economic crisis.
• The positive development of the Aenos National Park Management Body to date, particularly in relation to Greece’s contractual obligations to the European Union to adequately protect the rare and endangered species and types of habitats of the Aenos National Park, is largely due to his conscientious work, with his effective collaboration with the Public Services, OTAs. (IPN-PE of Kefallinia & Ithaca, Municipality of Kefalonia), as well as with all institutions (Environmental NGOs, Universities, Research Institutes, Professional Organizations, etc.) that contribute significantly to the achievement of protection, conservation and management objectives of the Protected Area. At this point,
• The smooth running of the Aynos National Park Management Body with its existing staff (where the state has invested significant sums to train and acquire relevant know-how) ensures action planning and fundraising that will enhance the continuity of activities , which have been developing for 18 years. In addition, they will establish in the long term the added value created, especially in view of the upgrading of services and activities developed on the island of Kefalonia. In this context, the operation of the Aynos National Park Management Body is not a cost to the state and / or the local community, but rather an investment that has already proven to be both socially and economically viable.
• Continuous presence and activation of the personnel of the Management Body in Kefalonia, with very significant experience in a variety of specialized topics (training and implementation of National and European Programs – Programs of the EPER-EPERPA-GREEN FUND-Inspection Inspector-Inspector-Inspector and Awareness, Governance and Participatory Processes, Networking, etc.), working and promoting the “on-site” Sustainable Development Goals the prospect of acquiring a recognizable quality label, which will in the long run contribute to local development and to the appropriate training and awareness of future generations.
Consequently, it is particularly important that the RPF management and local stakeholders actively support the management of the Aenos National Park in order to ensure its smooth operation and to maintain the benefits and positive achievements it offers. In this context, the employees of the TD Enos National Park invite the RIS, the Region of Ionian Islands (Kefalonia EE), the Municipalities of Argostoli, Lixouri, Sami and Ithaca and the local authorities to act as a central public administration level to ensure:
• Maintaining positions high-skilled work, at times high unemployment, and government decision-making so that all employees, regardless of their jobs, can be transformed from fixed-term to indefinite-term workers.
• Strengthen the operation of the Management Body (and not its downgrading to a Management Unit) by the RIS, which will significantly contribute to the sustainable development of Kefalonia in all sectors (eg environment, ecotourism, agriculture, livestock breeding etc.). .).
• Making use of the work that the National Park Authority of Aenos has done and is called upon to do, rather than downgrading it with vague plans that do not take into account its national and international dimension.
The President, the Board of Directors & Personnel of the
Managing Authority of Ainos National Park