Biodiversity monitoring, Kalamos, Greece

300 excluding flights
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15 Days
Tailor made
More info
This project is available from 300 Euros for 15 days, up to 16 weeks.
Please enquire for longer stay pricing.
Available year round.
Meals and transport to/from the project site are not included
Make enquiry

Description of Biodiversity monitoring, Kalamos, Greece

Price information

300 excluding flights
Convert currency:
This project is available from 300 Euros for 15 days, up to 16 weeks.
Please enquire for longer stay pricing.
Available year round.
Meals and transport to/from the project site are not included
Make enquiry

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

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" We are a non govermental grassroots organization. Our mission is to protect biological diversity and safeguard the riches of nature for future generations
We aim to achieve this by actively and significantly contributing towards the reversal of the current worldwide positive trend in the loss of global biological diversity, natural and semi-natural ecosystems on both sea, freshwater and land, the genetic contamination of food crops ,agricultural animal populations and natural ecosystems by anthropogenous genetically modified organisms and to be a key catalyst in sustainable development that respect indigenous communities and their rights''

The accommodation is the Kalamos island biological field station, it is a traditional refurbished house with some additions (field lab, store rooms etc) , it is a home in the village that has been given to the organization to do its activities by locals. We have our own small fruit and vegetable farm that works under the principles of permaculture. We use wood stove for heating in winter and most of our cooking is done there in winter, we use only simple fans for air-conditioning inside the main house and trees and hammocks to cool under the field lab roof as much as possible. We do composting and recycle materials and try and reuse as well. For our wood we only get it from polarded trees in agroforestry systems in and around the village, traditional land production systems. We collect rainwater for use in daily needs including some for growing vegetables.

We use public transport as much as possible for purposes of the project, also walking and cycling and when necessary group car transport using local people

In the main notice board in the main building, we have a permanent notice about local produce types like eggs, fish available and how we screen who sells it to make sure they are produced sustainably. At the same time, we allow such producers are encouraged to put up a notice of their own. This is the same for local services from transport to restaurants etc where we simply allow them to put a notice there. We also translate some times because some locals speak only Greek.

Employing local people and contractors and using locally sourced products and materials as much as possible, also we try for them to have some proof of sustainability e.g., forest stewardship council FSC certified timber when coming from a big store etc,

The longterm goals of the project you are as follows:

Halt and push back the colonization frontier of the various industries including the zoning of the area for fortress conservation areas ,restore ecosystems that have been degraded by political , social unrest of the past decades and industries like industrial fishing, establish a community conserved area in which local people are directly without the government and agencies as intermediaries in charge of their ecosystem in a community conserved area .

With respect to the information collected data driven evidence-based conservation is the key word here. At present there is a great deal of information lacking for spatial planning, licensing of activities, zoning of protected areas and environmental decision making in general this includes data to protect nature on the ground including for things like where to focus patrols for ranger activities etc. However, it is still taking place, what is more important is due to lack of sufficient data certain industries like fish farming can simply walk in and do things with environmental impact studies of doubtful quality. Our work aims to fill this gap. The way it can be used is to first afford better legal protection to the area since new discoveries of things like the monk seal colony, the long-fingered bat colony can significantly change the balance of things in the area. The mapping of ecosystems and their monitoring by an organization that is independent of governments and corporations or any political agendas like ours is crucial and will provide crucial data that is needed. The data is used in legal actions to safeguard ecosystems, advocacies, lobbying direct on the ground actions such as ranger patrols and coral planting (the latter two are future planned activities).


Recycling is done on site, organic is composted and our demonstration vegetable and fruit farm on site functions as the place to put the compost product and re-use some of those materials. We also recycle things like aluminium cans to make tree tags, jars to put samples in or seeds etc

Our demonstration fruit and vegetable farm next to the station (we plan to expand to other areas of the island of Kalamos) is there to help us curb food miles and provide more equitable food source. All volunteers and members must contribute at least 1-2 hours a week minimum even if not involved with our eco-community program. The farm is also experimental we try and grow certain tropical and subtropical fruit trees and things like sugar cane and passion fruit as alternatives to currently environmentally degrading practices in the area.

We try to minimize the amount of space we use per person, so we are all in a big house where most people sleep in a dormitory, we do not compromise basic things like a soft bed, running water etc for people at all during this


With respect to local community benefits,firstly, there are the daily direct benefits, obviously in an area with about 200 permanent residents at any given time our field station can be hosting easily more than 10 people even in wintertime, the benefits to the local economy and community of an aging population which is not the most touristic are obvious. Secondly the data that is collected for which there is simply not enough people of age, educational background and so on to collect for stopping the industries for which the communities have made vivid protests is significant. The research work brings direct benefits to the area from increased exposure of the area with respect to nature. In the future things like tree and coral planting and restoration of the fishery and removal of introduced species such as feral cats are set to increase significantly the ecosystem services to the community along with helping to secure their rights to these resources another aspect of the work that benefits local communities.

With respect to educating local volunteers about the environment and the area and its people,this information is included in a several hours long slot in the first days of training and orientation in the program, additionally we actively participate in cultural evens from going to church to local celebrations, we also try and tours where we talk about local place and culture when taking new teams in the field in locations further from our base in Kalamos such as Kastos island. At the same time through participation in the field volunteer program by training and interacting with relevant members of the organization such as the volunteer coordinator they learn additional things.

We try our best to make sure that volunteers are welcome .Firstly, by making sure we have the right volunteers for the place. We screen our volunteers very carefully, there is no point in getting anyone that is not a good fit not just for the organization but also the place, community also, we say to people in our application form among other things that when you come to us you become a member of the community. Ground rules are set there also for behaviour. For us being locals and running a local grassroots organization.

Volunteers that are accepted get a pre-departure information pack prior to their arrival including information and support person (the volunteer coordinator and the organization) to answer questions and help with the process all the way until they step through the door.

Once people arrive, we wait for them to take them with a car at our field station, there they are greeted with a ready bed in the station, a welcome meal and all the facilities and amenities/provisions of the station. Then we take them on a short tour of the village the same afternoon/evening for few hours. Next day there is the beginning and introductory sessions with information about us, the place. We have weekly meetings with people individually. We take people to any local celebration ,events that may be happening on the islands of Kalamos and Kastos that we can(some have a cost(e.g. event in a local bar) so we tell people and get a final number afterwards, we take volunteers to all major local events provided they want to like religious celebrations , local fiestas etc). We have regular movie and/or thematic nights where we watch movies sometimes it is a film related to the environment and then we have discussion same day or after. We sometimes also have presentation of the work done at the station

We encourage people to talk and have interactions with locals, the place is small, people are friendly, we always are there when people are working in a place where the public is like a beach to explain what they are doing and so on. We have weekly meetings with the people to make sure that people are ok, and things are going well.

With respect to project background,the area of the inner Ionian, islands, waters and surrounding mainland areas has three main characteristics: Important for global biodiversity, high degree of environmental degradation and land use changes, a significant history of environmental injustice and a great amount of migration. The latter to a very large extent because of the degradation of what used to be one of the most important fishing grounds in the Mediterranean due to industrial scale fishing, dynamite fishing , forced nationalization and others .Grazing lands in the mainland have also been degraded due to settling of nomadic tribes and other interventions. The carving of the area to give to different industries is continuing as is the loss of local populations due to migration as a direct result of the loss of environmental resources. This project evolved directly out of the need to stop the environmental injustice in the area through direct community empowerment using data driven evidence based conservation as the underlying principle for this due to the specifics of the situation.

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