Greece has become the first European country to recognise Key Biodiversity Areas in its laws and policies. Key Biodiversity Areas are recognised as sites of global importance for biodiversity by the Law 5037/2023 and the existing Natura 2000 Committee of Greece will form the KBA National Coordination Group for the country. The Natura 2000 committee is the main scientific advisory body for coordinating, monitoring and assessing the policies and the actions taken for the protection of Greece’s biodiversity. The Natural Environment & Climate Change Agency of Greece (N.E.C.C.A.), headed by Associate Professor Kostas Triantis, will be responsible for the collection and management of KBA data for the country.

Greece is leading the way in highlighting Key Biodiversity Areas as a key tool for expanding the network of protected areas”, reported the Secretary General of Natural Environment and Water in the Ministry of Environment and Energy (YPEN), Petros Varelidis.

This follows several years of work led by Dr. Konstantina Spiliopoulou for her PhD thesis, who has been scoping Greece for potential KBAs (see map above). This work will be provided to the Natura 2000 committee to be considered for formal proposals of KBA sites in the coming years.

The Law 5037/2023 will guide the implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy in Greece following article 174 under Targets for Nature Conservation: By 2030, at least 30% of the land area and sea of the country are covered by protected areas. Protected areas should fully cover Key Biodiversity Areas.

Scoping projects to start to identify KBAs across Europe are being supported by the EU Horizon grants (NaturaConnect) and Biodiversa (GaP) with the aim that these too will lead to more KBAs being proposed across this region