Associated Partner 4 (MES-MPA)


MPA of Messolonghi-Aetoliko lagoons, estuaries of Acheloos, Evinos and Echinades islands

The MPA covers an extremely large area (~620.000 acres), exhibits a great diversity of species, genes, habitats and landscapes and is situated in the Inner Ionian Archipelago (East Ionian Sea). Established as National Park in 2006, it is a RAMSAR Site since1975, an Important Bird Area (IBA), and it is part of Natura 2000 network. The MPA aims to the conservation of biodiversity and to the protection, preservation of the natural environment of the area, that is among the richest wetlands in number of birds species and marine life populations and it is the habitat of endangered species. Its Management Agency is a Semipublic organization supervised by the Hellenic Ministry of Environment Energy & Climate Change.

The area hosts a large number of threatened and/or endangered species, among which 185 species of birds, 5 species of mammals and more than 15 species of amphibians, reptiles, fish, invertebrates and plants. Field survey in coastal lagoons is performed with small boats provided by the Management Body of Messolonghi or by the local fishing cooperatives.

Key competencies and facilities

MPA managers are expert in ecosystem management within MPA. Facilities include boats and rooms for classes and research labs.

Key persons involved

Dr N. Anagnopoulos (biologist ichthyologist, President of the Management Agency. Lagoon fisheries, coastal zone management, environmental impact assessments. S. Roussi (geologist, field work and monitoring studies in the Messolonghi-Aetoliko lagoon complex. Involved in educational environmental activities).

Previous training programs and research

The Management Agency has conducted two major educational projects co-funded by the EU and national resources: "Pupils┤ experiences from their contribution in an environmental education project" (2003) and "The School of Nature" (2008). Furthermore the Management Agency has funded and supervised many studies associated with environmental protection, management and sustainable development within the Park.

MMMPA - Training Network for Monitoring Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under Grant Agreement no.: 290056.

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