Environmental education through lifelong learning at Amorgos Yperia Convention
On 26th - 29th October 2017, ARCHELON was present at the 15th International Convention on Tourism and Culture of Amorgos and the 8th Amorgos Film Festival at Amorgos Island. This was an initiative of the Women’s Cultural Association of Amorgos and the Aegialis Hotel & Spa, under the auspices of EOT, the South Aegean Region, the Ministry of the Aegean and Island Policy, the European Union and the Municipality of Amorgos. More than 100 attendants of all kinds of backgrounds, important film producers from 23 countries worldwide, journalists, students and representatives of cultural institutes were present.
ARCHELON’s Volunteers Officer, Chara Papailiou, had the opportunity to make the opening speech of the Convention as part of a special tribute to Environmental Education through Lifelong Learning. This tribute was implemented by the European Operational Program “Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning” and co-financed by the European Social Fund and Greek funds as the year 2017 was named by the World Tourism Organization the Year for Sustainable Touristic Development. Parts of this tribute were 5 films related to the subject, which were screened in many venues for cultural events throughout Amorgos.
On this island with great interest in alternative forms of tourism as well as the protection of the environment the Volunteers Officer presented the speech under the title of: “How to learn from sea turtles-Changing lifestyle through ARCHELON” to show ARCHELON’s own contribution to the environmental awareness of the public, the cooperation with local communities and the tourism industry.
It is essential to inform people worldwide that ARCHELON is present and needs to continue in order that Caretta caretta maintains its existence. Natural as well as human threats form the conservation issues which make loggerheads an endangered species worldwide. Therefore, a combined action of integrated management plans and informing the public are being held in order to protect the species.
In specific, cooperation with all relevant stakeholders of the tourism industry can mitigate the impact of tourist development on the beaches, authorities through media work can implement current legislation but also the local community is able to integrate this species into their daily life and culture. As part of the above, locals, visitors, schools and tourists can learn from ARCHELON through public exhibitions, presentations, info-stands, kids clubs, public excavations, sea turtle releases and ARCHELON kiosks.
All in all, this long-term operation lasting already 35 years is the result of and is dedicated to our 800 volunteers, who keep the ARCHELON spirit alive every year, full of experiences worth to remember for many great years ahead.