The state of nature and biodiversity in Greece is rather satisfactory compared to the rest of the EU, and the country has made significant progress. In recent years, there has been a considerable reduction (35%) of the ecological footprint (Greece has been placed on one of the best positions in Europe) and a respective downward trend in the carbon footprint of agriculture, livestock, forestry and fishing. Terrestrial eco-systems appear to be in better status than marine ecosystems, mainly because of overfishing and illegal fishing practices. The recent significant increase of the marine protected areas that have been included in the NATURA 2000 network is a positive advancement. The elimination of threats to forest ecosystems, which receive the majority of pressures from various activities (mining, industry, agriculture and tourism), should be among Greece’s priorities. The progress in establishing the forest maps has been particularly positive, which on its completion will have contributed decisively to the ability to monitor and protect the Greek forests.

 Furthermore, in the transport sector, the expansion of the road network should be reduced in order to curb the landscape and natural ecosystems fragmentation. It should be noted that there is considerable scope for further improvements, via the introduction of the Presidential Decrees for the protection of NATURA 2000 sites, which regulate land use, and of specific management measures that today exist in very few areas. Undertaking an IP LIFE program in 2018 ensures that this problem will be resolved within the next five years. The new Law No 4519/2018 that has recently been adopted aims to ensure that all protected areas have a responsible management body. It should be noted, however, that in addition to the institutional framework, the necessary resources are needed to ensure that the operational capacity of the management bodies is strengthened.

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