23:46   Thursday, 21 November 2019
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Forest Maps
Delineation of "Natura 2000" network

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Monitoring and updating of the terrestrial areas protected under the 

"Natura 2000" network

NCMA S.A. (now Hellenic Cadastre), via its Forest and Natural Environment Division, was assigned the implementation of a scheme entitled: «Development of large scale (1:5000) spatial data infrastructure for terrestrial areas protected under the «Νatura 2000» network at a national scale, aimed at:


- a more precise determination of the outer boundaries of terrestrial Sites of Community Importance and Special Protection Zones of the «Natura 2000» network


- the updating, description and delimitation of terrestrial-type habitats at 241 Sites of Community Importance of the «NATURA 2000» network


- the updating (supplementation and correction) of the existing database (created within the framework of the initial recording, in the period  1999-2001) using the data produced during the aforementioned updating, description and delimitation process of habitat types


based on high precision colour orthophotos (LSO) at 1:5.000 scale by NCMA S.A. (now Hellenic Cadastre) and field works (sampling).


The «Natura 2000» network is a European Environmental Network of sites that host natural habitat types and habitats of species of high importance at European level. It consists of two categories of areas:


- The «Special Protection Zones» (SPZ), i.e. widespread areas defined with the aim of safeguarding the survival and reproduction of avifauna species - migratory or otherwise - and their habitats in the European territory


- The «Sites of Community Importance» (SCI), i.e. areas assessed by each member state as significant for the preservation of animal and floral species of interest to the community.


The precise description and delimitation of habitat types is a significant tool for the State and one of the main prerequisites for the protection and efficient management of the natural environment and biodiversity in Greece and also to ensure the country’s compliance to its obligations before the institutions of the European Union.


The initial recording of habitats in Greece (1999-2001) concerned a total of 237 terrestrial areas with a total area of approximately 2 million sq. m.  This project constituted the first - and only, to date - mapping of habitat types in areas under a nature protection regime and producedthematic maps (maps illustrating habitat types). The design of these thematic maps required the use of orthophotomaps from the Ministry of Agriculture at a 1:20.000 scale dating from 1976-1978 (these are mainly used as cartography backgrounds). These were combined with the topographic maps issued by the Hellenic Military Geographical Service at 1:25.000 scale (the result of magnifying topographic maps at an original scale of 1:50.000).


Today, the resulting land use & habitat-type maps issued after the initial recording of habitats in areas belonging to the «Natura 2000» network (1999-2001), constitute a scientific reference base; this is pending updating based on the new evidence that will be derived from the current project.


The total area covered by the project includes all the terrestrial SCIs and SPZs in Greece. It is noted that total SCIs and SPZs areas in Greece number 241 and 202 respectively; of these, the boundaries of 178 of the latter are different from the limits of the SCIs, whereas 24 are identical to the respective SCIs. The vast majority of these refer either to wholly terrestrial regions, or incorporate terrestrial regions as well.


The project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) within the framework of the «Digital Convergence NSRF 2007-2013» Enterprise Programme.

After completion of this programme, the now updated boundaries of the “Natura 2000” network of protected areas and the habitat types within them these institutions are made institutionally following the recommendation of NCMA SA and the decision of the Minister of Minister of Reconstruction of Production, Environment and Energy, published in the Government Gazette (Law 4164/2013)


Following the above determination, land within/outside SPI and SPZ boundaries is confirmed by a certificate issued by the relevant cadastral office, provided it has been fully constituted as permanent in accordance with the provisions of Law 2664/1998 or, if such is not the case, by NCMA SA.


In this way, the permanent cadastral offices, in addition to the ownership status and forest or non-forest character of each property, will provide certified information on the location of the property in terms of whether or not it lies within a protected area of the “Natura 2000” network.



In addition, for the convenience of any interested party, NCMA SA (now Hellenic Cadastre) was to publish the above boundaries on its website and allow their geospatial data to be obtained in digital form.​

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