“Let it Flow!” project unfolds its actions

“Let it Flow!” project unfolds its actions

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Following up from the preparatory activities with local schools, “Let it Flow” continued its course of action on the field, in the Aoos/Vjosa river basin, teaming up with the students and teachers of Konitsa secondary schools.

The first field trip took place on Thursday, April 4th, with the General and Technical High-schools of Konitsa. On Monday, April 8th, fieldwork activities continued with the students and teachers of Konitsa Middle-school.

The destination of the two field trips was the emblematic Sarantaporos river, a tributary of the Aoos. The first stop was the confluence of Vourkopotamos and Sarantaporos: we toured the area next to the riverbed, observing the flow of the river, searching for animal tracks (footprints, nests, bird feathers), identifying flora species, discussing about the rock types and protected areas of the wider region, and recording human interventions in the riverbed.

Our honorary guest, Mr. Leonidas Vardakas, expert scientist – ichthyologist and scientific associate of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, spoke to the students about the fish fauna of the river, as well as about the pressures and threats that migratory species, such us the eel, face due to the construction of artificial barriers in the riverbeds.

The remainder of the trip was just as exciting, with a second stop at the Kremasti bridge in Sarantaporos. The view from the bridge was breathtaking; on one side one can see the extensive riverbed and on the other side the narrow gorge where the waters of Sarantaporos squeeze through. We continued, climbing uphill through black pine forests (Pinus nigra), our final destination being Loutra (Baths) of Amarantos.

The students had the opportunity to visit the facilities of the Thermal Baths and learn about the geothermal fields, with their unique hot springs emitting vapours of 33 – 38 oC.

The field trip ended with the students enjoying the view of the imposing mountain peaks of Smolikas and Tymfi.

The activities of “Let it Flow!” do not end here. Our next stop is the Environmental Education Centre of Konitsa, where we will learn more about the Aoos river basin through a role-playing game!

The project “Let it Flow! A Role-Playing Game for Aoos river basin” is implemented by MedINA in collaboration with the Environmental Education Centre of Konitsa (KPE) in the framework of the BESTbelt project with financial support of the European Union.

The BESTbelt project is funded by the European Union and EuroNatur, chair of the European Green Belt Association (EGBA). The programme provides funding for small-scale on the ground activities to preserve and restore biodiversity, promote sustainable development, provide training and capacity building along the European Green Belt, which brings together EU countries, accession countries and third countries. Read more here: https://www.europeangreenbelt.org/.