Sustainable Aegean Programme consolidates and systematizes the work of Elliniki Etairia in the Aegean. This work, commenced as early as 1972, includes conferences, scientific events, the recording and registering of the region’s cultural heritage, student competitions and local interventions for each island instigated by resident requests or by Elliniki Etairia’s numerous local committees throughout the Aegean.
Ever since its creation, Elliniki Etairia, has been engaged in the protection of the environment and cultural heritage in the Aegean. But the construction boom that is now unfolding in the Aegean islands does not only threaten the region’s environment and monuments. It also threatens the islands’ economic life in the medium-term. We believe that the conditions are now right for the beginning of a dialogue within local societies regarding the economic viability of the Aegean islands’ development model. A dialogue for the present and the immediate future of the Aegean as a whole and of each separate island.
The project aims to:
1. Highlight the problem. Where does the current development model lead?
2. Raise public awareness locally on environmental, architectural and landscape issues as well as on the need for a sustainable regional economy. How does each one of us contribute to the economic devaluation of the Aegean?
3. Promote sustainable local development as an answer to the visible danger of the Aegean’s economic devaluation.
Sustainable Aegean Programme is an initiative of Elliniki Etairia president Costas Karras. It was designed in early 2005 and launched in March the same year thanks to a kind donation by Constantinos and Katerina Sgoumpopoulos. Since then, the project has received a series of donations from charities and corporations. For example the Evgenidis Foundation has funded the Action for Sifnos, Blue Star Ferries enabled us to launch our website, while other grants, both small and large – allow us to travel to the islands and highlight how economic development, environmental and cultural heritage protection are all interdependent.