Invasive alien species: assessment and recommendations for an effective policy in Greece

Presentation by Ioli Christopoulou at the public dialogue event organized by Greece’s newly established Natural Environment and Climate Change Agency (NECCA) as part of the Interreg Europe INVALIS project on October 22, 2020.

Having presented the legal and institutional framework surrounding invasive alien species, she noted the delays and gaps in its implementation in Greece. Specifically she presented the section of the analysis that the Green Tank is concluding on the implementation of Greece’s National Biodiversity Strategy that relates to invasive alien species. The analysis is part of the project “Priority to nature” that the Green Tank is implementing.

The National Biodiversity Strategy and its accompanying first 5-year Action Plan include one general target, two special targets and six actions focusing on invasive alien species. Since 2014, when they were adopted, zero progress has been noted and all indicators are assigned a zero value, despite efforts made by the relevant authorities. Acknowledging the contribution of several research institutes, universities, and non-governmental organizations have undertaken important initiatives, she noted the lack of coordination and sharing of information that have prevented the maximization of their impact.

With this background, Ioli Christopoulou presented eight +1 sets of needs and recommendations that are necessary in order for Greece to acquire a more effective policy in response to invasive alien species. The recommendations also drew from the consultation that NECCA coordinated through the INVALIS project recently.

The needs and their corresponding recommendations presented ranged from legal and institutional as well as operational priorities. They aimed to strengthen the prevention, early detection, rapid eradication and management capacity of the country and encouraging synergies and collaboration among all relevant stakeholders. She also noted that attention must be given to restoration; recognizing, at the same time that given the gaps in policy implementation so far, this seems more distant.

You can read more about INVALIS on the project’s website.


The project “Priority to nature” is being implemented under the Active citizens fund in Greece by the Green Tank.

The Active citizens fund in Greece is supported through a € 12m grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway as part of the EEA Grants 2014 – 2021. The program aims to develop the sustainability and capacity of the civil society sector in Greece, and to strengthen its role in promoting and safeguarding democratic procedures, active citizenship and human rights. The Fund Operator for the Active citizens fund in Greece is Bodossaki Foundation in consortium with SolidarityNow.