On Friday 9th November, with great success, the Terra Lemnia project’s Biodiversity Core Group (BCG) met in Athens for its second year kick off meeting. The meeting’s objective was twofold, to share and assess the progress made in the first year of the project and set specific goals and tasks for the year to follow. This meeting was supported by the IUCN Med, through their Overarching Project on Biodiversity Monitoring, following a request by the Terra Lemnia BCG team to continue their recordings in the second year rather than directly on the third year, as originally planned.
The meeting began with the presentation of the MedINA’s Terra Lemnia project manager, George Dimitropoulos, who presented the project progress in its first year of implementation as well as the main activities planned for its second year, with contributions from the project’s main partners, the Agricultural University of Athens. Charged with the agronomical aspects of the project, Asst Prof. Ioannis Hadjigeorgiou and Prof. Penelope Bebeli are responsible for the pastoral and farming interventions respectively.
Dr. Nicos Georgiadis, BCG coordinator, presented the achievements and challenges after almost one year since the BCG’s first meeting in Lemnos. The various BCG scientists then took the floor, in turn, to present their preliminary findings from the first year of recordings that took place in spring 2018 on the island of Lemnos. The BCG botanists, Dr. Stefan Meyer and Prof. Erwin Bergmeier from the University of Gottingen and Asst Prof. Maria Panitsa from the University of Patras presented their findings, followed by the entomologist, Asst Prof. Dionysis Perdikis from AUA, the ornithologists, Dr. Lefteris Kakalis from the Hellenic Ornithological Society and the edaphologist, Prof. Constantinos Cosmas from AUA. To conclude the first year findings, Sofia Kyriakoulea from AUA, representing Penelope Bebeli made a presentation on Crop Wild Relatives and Wild Harvested Plants and Ioannis Hadjigeorgiou made a presentation on the island’s wild rabbit infestation.
The second part of the meeting started with a small introduction from Nicos Georgiadis concerning the next steps of the project, especially the connections between agricultural practices, species and soil attributes. Being one of the monitoring process’s main objectives, recorded data are currently being inputted in the IMNC tool, which was created by MedINA for the evaluation and prioritization of the interconnections between agricultural practices and elements of nature. The IMNC tools supports the clustering and multi-criteria analysis of diverse data from all BCG scientists.
A group discussion followed with the aim of creating a strategic plan for the Terra Lemnia BCG work in its second year. The discussions were focused on sampling sites and monitoring strategy, selection of bio-indicators, timeline for the field work and overall conservation strategy. Important conclusions were reached which will be further refined in the months leading up to the second year’s spring recordings.