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“Initiative ‘21” Press Conference: Presentation of Actions on Climate Change and the Environment

“Initiative ‘21” Press Conference: Presentation of Actions on Climate Change and the Environment
DATE
14 Jun '23
FIELD
COLLABORATIVE INITIATIVES

On Monday, 12 June 2023, “Initiative ‘21” held a Press Conference at the Athens Concert Hall.

“Initiative ‘21*” was established in 2018 by the most important Public Benefit Foundations in Greece along with the National Bank of Greece on the occasion of the bicentennial of the Greek Revolution, organising numerous actions in Greece and abroad in partnership with scientific, academic and social institutions.

“Initiative ’21” has been an example of joining forces, highlighting the public benefit nature and the long-standing trajectory and nationwide contribution of the Foundations involved. This cooperation has given rise to a momentum which has led us to continue working together, with the aim of further spreading a message of unity. A common denominator between the members of the Initiative is the major issue of Climate Change and the Environment.

Mr Ioannis Manos, Management Consultant at the National Bank of Greece and Coordinator of “Initiative ‘21”, referred to its development and actions, underlining the public benefit nature and the long-standing trajectory and nationwide contribution of its members. A common denominator is the major issue of climate change and the environment, which is linked to life, health, the atmosphere, the sea, the economy, education and our cultural heritage. Mr Manos added that the Initiative contacted several scientific, academic and social institutions, which did us the honour of making specific proposals for action, examined and adopted by the Initiative members. These actions, presented below, have been assessed as being both practical and feasible, thus contributing to the work of the State, but also to the awareness of society and young people as regards the crucial issue of climate change and the environment, which is linked to our very existence.

Mr Manos also referred to four conferences to be held in the framework of the Initiative’s actions.

In particular, he referred to:

  1. An International Conference, organised by the Eugenides Foundation on the initiative of the Presidency of the Hellenic Republic, on the environment and climate change in Thrace. This conference is to take place in different areas of Thrace, on 5 June 2024 (World Environment Day), in collaboration with the Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, the Democritus University of Thrace and the Ethnological Museum of Thrace.
  2. A conference organized by the Marianna V. Vardinoyannis Foundation, in partnership with UNESCO, which is dedicated to the protection of cultural heritage and in particular monuments in the Mediterranean region. This is an international, interdisciplinary conference to be held in the first quarter of 2024, addressing this major issue in all its aspects.
  3. A conference on “Law and Climate Change”, co-organised by the Greek Association of Civil Lawyers, the Hellenic Association of Procedural Law, the Hellenic Criminal Bar Association, the Association of Greek Constitutionalists and the Association of Greek Commercialists, with the support of the B&M Theocharakis Foundation. This conference, to be held in the first quarter of 2024, will focus on studying the urgent need to manage the rapid climate deterioration and to enact legal rules to regulate the ensuing complex problems in terms of the natural and cultural environment. 

Finally, the Bodossaki Foundation presented an action plan for the environment and climate until 2030, which includes specific proposals with a view to securing the natural environment and preserving biodiversity and climate stability.

As far as the actions are concerned, specific reference was, first of all, made to an important action initiated by the Academy of Athens. This action consists in a research proposal for the development and installation of an integrated system to monitor the effects of climate change on the monuments of Delos; it is coordinated by the Research Centre for Atmospheric Physics and Climatology of the Academy of Athens, in cooperation with the National Observatory and the University of Athens. The particulars of this action and the relevant implementation stages will be presented at a special press conference to be held at the Academy of Athens in September 2023.

Subsequently, the people in charge of the several institutions presented the individual actions in detail:

  • Τhe Rector of the University of Athens, Professor Athanasios-Meletios Dimopoulos, presented the “Climate Change and Health” programme, launched by the University of Athens and supported by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, the Captain Vassilis & Carmen Konstantakopoulos Foundation and the Social and Cultural Affairs Welfare Foundation (KIKPE). In particular, this programme comprises the following individual actions: (a) the creation of a “Climate Change and Health” Observatory (scientific advisor: Ms E. Samoli, Associate Professor at the School of Medicine); (b) the implementation of an interdisciplinary project on “Climate Crisis and Humanitarian Medicine” (scientific advisor: Professor E. Pikoulis, Dean of the School of Health Sciences); and (c) the implementation of a research study on “Classification of drinking water in North Evia in areas affected by the 2021 wildfires – Impact on Public Health” (scientific supervisor: Dr. D. Kostopoulos, Associate Professor at the Department of Geology).

 

  • Mr Kostas Kartalis, Professor at NKUA, presented the “Climate Academy: An Open School on Climate Change” programme, which is supported by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation and the “Maria Tsakos” Public Benefit Foundation – International Center of Maritime Research and Tradition, with the collaboration of HELMEPA. This programme aims to develop a digital Climate Academy that will provide valid scientific information, support educational activities and raise awareness among the general public, especially the younger generation, about Climate Change and the relevant mitigation methods and tools.

 

 

  • Mr Dimosthenis Panagiotakis, Professor at Harokopio University, referred to the plan for Food Security in the context of sustainable development in Greece in the post-COVID-19 era in relation to geopolitical upheavals. This project is supported by the Michael N. Stassinopoulos – VIOHALCO (MSVF) Public Benefit Foundation.

 

  • Mr Dimosthenis Sarigiannis, Director and President of the Board of the National Hellenic Research Foundation, spoke about an action implemented by the Institute of Historical Research with the support of the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, aiming to protect underwater cultural heritage from the effects of climate change. This action consists in the application of an innovative in situ protection method to select archaeological metal finds, such as anchors and cannons, found in the marine area of Kasos-Karpathos and dating from between the 6th and 20th centuries.

 

 

 

  • Ms Sevasti-Sofia Anthopoulou, CEO of the Lambrakis Foundation described the educational programme “Act for the Planet”, which will be implemented in 35 schools across the country, with the support of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation and the Athina I. Martinou Foundation.

 

Mr Ioannis Manos thanked the speakers, as well as the Press and Social Media representatives; he extended special thanks to the attending members of the scientific and educational teams participating in the implementation of the actions, which stand out on account of their feasibility and integrated approach.

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Email: [email protected]

 

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