Strategic Environmental Management in Mount Athos under Climate Change
Management of the natural environment in MA is of particular interest due to its specific conditions of both nature and culture. It is an almost fully forested mountain, with high biodiversity, historical and cultural value. However, vulnerability to CC related risks is high due to MA having an island-like isolation from the Greek mainland, intensive chestnut monoculture, fractionally managed or totally unmanaged forest and shrubland and limited water resources. Moreover, each of the 20 self-governed administration entities (Monasteries) in the MA is responsible for the management of its forest, leading to lack of an integrated strategic planning in face of CC.
LIFE STEMMA proposes an integrated approach in environmental management for MA (GR1270003) primarily aiming at the reduction of vulnerability to CC related disturbances and especially wildfires.
LIFE STEMMA is a demonstration project that provides an innovative and integrated approach for environmental management in nature protected areas under CC conditions. Innovation is demonstrated through the dealing with two main goals which, at a first glance, are in opposition.
The project aims to minimize wildfire risk under CC while at the same time promoting the recent EU LULUCF policies by increasing carbon stocks (sinks and reservoirs) in Athos peninsula. It is complete as it incorporates all habitats: forestland, cultivated areas and areas with establishments and infrastructure (could be called pseudo-urbanized spots).