Region of Western Macedonia – Leader Partner

The Coordinating Beneficiary of the LIFE Arctos Kastoria project is the Region of Western Macedonia (RWM), one of the 13 regions of Greece. RWM constitutes the second level of local government and is financially and administrative autonomous. The Regional Unit of Kastoria that is actually the LIFE Arctos Kastoria project area constitutes an administrative division of the region of Western Macedonia and coincides with the administrative district of the prefecture. It includes 3 Municipalities and is situated in the borders of Albania, with with 53.483 inhabitants.

The Regional Unit of Kastoria has general responsibility and wields public authority that is all its responsibilities, inside its territorial region and apart from its administrative role as a local government is responsible for the financial, social and cultural development of its district. Its main responsibilities are tare related with a broad range of works and services, such as the provincial road construction, construction of small dams, social providence, issuing of licenses for houses and other establishments etc. It is also responsible for the upgrading of the urban environment and its infrastructures in the main and secondary urban centres and the tourist areas with the cooperation of other local authorities and for the elaboration of studies on spatial development, environmental protection and social infrastructures.

The Regional Unit of Kastoria occupies 194 employees of various specializations

The Development Company of Kastoria AN.KAS S.A.

In 1995 acting as partners the Prefecture of Kastoria, the Municipalities of Kastoria and Argos Orestiko, the Municipalities and Communities Association of Kastoria (TEDK), the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Kastoria, the Chamber of Commerce of Kastoria founded the Development Company of Kastoria AN.KAS S.A. The purpose of the company was to contribute to the development, utilization, management, maintenance and protection of the natural resources of Kastoria district. The total capital stock amount is 213,000.00 €. The Development Agency of Kastoria AN.KAS S.A. is enlisted in the category of the Local Administration, it operates according to the rules of the joint-stock companies and it is ruled by the eleven members of the Board of Directors, which is elected by the General Assembly of the shareholders of the company.

“AN.KAS  S.A.” currently employs 12 people (economist, agronomist, engineers etc) and a large number of external co-operators. The main purpose of the Company is promotion, support and contribution to integrated economic and social development of the Prefecture of Kastoria. The Company’s main activities are the following: Research and crosscheck of data, Technical support of programming of regional development, Research elaboration, monitoring and control Informing / Updating / Publicity / Public Relations / International Cooperation, Education / Personnel training, Advice rendering.

ANKAS is activated in level NUTS III. It is an institution that collaborates with the all institutions of Prefecture, cooperatives, chambers, social and productive institutions as well as with private individuals. Also it functions in an advisory level for all institutions.

The main objective of ANKAS is the local growth through the aid of business dexterity, the protection of environment, the appointment   the culture and the promotion of innovation. We use the bottom up process regarding our co-operation with our partners in order to submit a project. The collaboration of our institution is also extended in level of region with corresponding institutions, as well as institutions of other states, mainly Albania.

ANKAS will contribute decisively in the concretisation and success of the Program, by using our experience in the territorial collaboration. ANKAS will be benefited by the concretisation of program acquiring new methodologies and tools for the territorial collaboration both in the of prefecture as well as with neighbouring states.

The main programs administered by the ANKAS:

  • Development programs in rural areas, with investment in rural tourism in the processing of local products in the promotion of cultural heritage and environmental protection. (Leader II, LEADER, OPAAX).
  • Integrated Development Program Grammos (INTERREG II)
  • Programs for cross-border cooperation with Albania in particular in the field of culture and environmental protection (INTERREG III)
  • Consulting services to businesses, information on national and European funding programs.
  • Protection and promotion of environmental ''Rehabilitation management and protection of the biological reserve at the Neolithic lake settlement of Kastoria Lake (''LIFE”).

CALLISTO, Wildlife and Nature Conservation Society, GR

“CALLISTO” is a new Environmental NGO (a civil, not-for-profit society), which was founded in Thessaloniki, Greece, in July 2004.

Main activities of CALLISTO include:

  • Conservation of biodiversity and of areas of high natural and aesthetic value, with emphasis on mountainous ecosystems and forests in Greece, the Balkans and other neighbouring countries.
  • Study, conservation and management of wild fauna populations, especially of large carnivores (bear, wolf, lynx, jackal) that inhabit the above areas.
  • Elaboration and implementation of projects for the protection and management of wildlife and the natural environment.
  • Information, awareness raising, and activation of the public for imposing control on the decision-making centres regarding environmental issues.
  • Development of environmental education and training programs.
  • Development of voluntarism to serve conservation actions.
  • Support for the establishment and operation of Protected Areas and Ecological Networks, in order to preserve biodiversity, as well as the natural and cultural heritage.
  • Development of scientific research and its applications as well as building national, trans-Balkan and international cooperation and networking for the above purposes

Staff members of CALLISTO include experts with long experience and specialisation in the field of nature conservation. They have developed the proposals, co-ordinated and supervised the implementation of several conservation and environmental awareness raising projects, including five previous LIFE Nature projects: "Protection and Management of the Population and Habitats of the Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) in Greece (1st phase)" (LIFE93NAT/GR/010800), “Conservation of brown bear and its habitats in Greece (second phase)» (LIFE96NAT/GR/003222), “Conservation of Canis lupus and its habitats in Greece” (LIFE97/NAT/GR/4249), “Implementation of Management Plans in Gramos and Rodopi Areas, Greece” (LIFE99NAT/GR/006498), and “Conservation Actions in the Northern Pindos National Park, Greece” (LIFE2003/NAT/GR/000089).

Although the NGO is recently established, nevertheless has already completed successfully approximately twenty different environmental projects (total cost: approximately 1.5 million euro) and is currently running another three projects two of which LIFE+ Nature projects (LIFE07 NAT/GR/000291 and LIFE07 NAT/IT/000502).

Most of the projects CALLISTO has already completed and all of which is currently running deal with conservation of large carnivores.