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Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management

The main research orientations of the Department are directed towards: ecosystem investigations concerning structure, dynamics and genetic diversity; the management and protection of marine ecosystems; the study of changes (both natural and anthropogenic) occurred in marine biodiversity; the sustainable uses of biological diversity and its components, also taking into account socio-economic and cultural factors. Its central position in the Marine Biodiversity Centre of Excellence underpins the key role which it plays in the Hellenic Marine Biodiversity Research Strategy. The activities of this direction include: The collection, collation and diffusion of marine biodiversity data, using the latest techniques and information management techniques for dissemination of innovative technological achievements and products; the promotion of applied and basic research for the protection of marine ecosystems, their rational management and the development of innovative products, methods and services in the rapidly expanding sector of marine environmental technology; participation in projects addressing the sustainable use of biological diversity and its components in a holistic manner, taking into account the various levels of biological diversity as well as socio-economic and cultural factors; the coordination, organization and implementation of research and developmental programmes for the quality control, monitoring and management of the marine environment.

 

Achievements / Applied Research

The team of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management participates in several major European R&D programs, networks and initiatives concerning marine biodiversity. It is involved in three European projects concerning coastal zone management and has successfully participated in national and international programs for the evaluation and management of the coastal zones in relation to marine pollution and fisheries. Another of its long-term activities concerns the development of an Underwater Biotechnology Park after the acquisition, from the Greek state, of a coastal marine area of 25,000 m2 at a depth of 18-23 m in a sandy and pristine environment and at a distance of about 1400 m from Institute’s main research premises. The major aim of this project is the establishment of a large-scale facility for the development of a wide spectrum of experimental and demonstrational activities of both basic and applied marine research and technology. Specific emphasis will be given to:

  • applied research in the field of artificial reefs technology 
  • protection and integrated management of the coastal environment 
  • sustainable development of coastal biological resources  
  • long term intense monitoring of local climatic, hydrographic and environmental coastal parameters 
  • development and promotion of innovative aspects of marine tourism in the eastern Mediterranean such as sport diving and sport fishing (in connection with artificial reef technology)