The Greek natural environment is very rich in flora, fauna, habitats and ecosystems. This is a result of the country’s geographical location, which entails great variety of climate conditions and geomorphology.

In the last decades the intensification of transport, industrial and agricultural activities has led to extended pollution (chemical, physical, acoustical, etc.) of air, sea, soil, surface and underground waters. Further, the continuing urbanization in unorganized and constantly expanding cities has caused considerable environmental problems, both in the built environment and the neighboring areas, e.g., expansion of road networks, increasing litter volumes, forest fires, etc. Climate change intensifies many of the above problems and creates additional ones, e.g., global warming, sea-level rise, intensification of extreme weather events and associated natural disasters, and the Eastern Mediterranean is among the areas most affected. The location of Greece in a seismically active area further increases the natural hazard potential, but at the same time offers an opportunity for developing passive and environment-friendly exploration methods using ambient microseism activity.

The sustainable exploitation of natural, biological and mineral resources is of vital importance for the Greek economy. The design and development of eco-efficient exploration and exploitation methods with minimal environmental footprint should be at the center of the strategy for a sustainable future. Eco-efficiency stands for doing more – or the same – with less, and includes resource efficiency (using and reusing resources more efficiently throughout economy) and eco-innovation (developing and using products, processes and other solutions that contribute to environmental protection or efficient use of resources).

This Workpackage aims at providing education to young researchers as well as support to existing researchers of FORTH in the development of methods and tools for monitoring, analysis and efficient management of the terrestrial (both urban and non-urban) atmospheric and marine environment. The actions to be partially supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation will address the following topics:

  • Numerical simulations of pollutant spreading in the atmosphere and the subsurface
  • Testing and optimization of sustainable, eco-innovative and cost-effective technologies (e.g. non-thermal plasma) for the remediation of soil and water from persistent contaminants
  • Analysis of satellite remote sensing data and modelling for natural disaster management, urban planning and management
  • Methods of analysis of seismic data and imaging methods based on cross-correlation of seismic time series
  • Methods for the prediction of ambient noise levels in the sea due to shipping and changes in the underwater acoustic environment
  • Monitoring of the coastal zone in combination with environmental models and estimation of socioeconomic indicators
  • Recovery of valuable chemical compounds from waste