Lake Stymphalia is located in the mountainous area of the Regional Unit of Corinthia, where, according to Greek mythology, Hercules confronted and slew the Stymphalian birds. In recent years, the wetland of Stymphalia has been significantly degraded. Covered by dense reeds and without any management plan for the area, the result was the unsustainable use of its natural resources and the reduction of life in the Lake. The aim of the LIFE-Stymphalia project is the restoration of the Lake and its long-term protection and sustainable management, through a systematic re-financing process, which will be ensured by the utilization of the reeds’ biomass.
Lake Stymphalia is an important habitat for a significant number of species of concern, including eagles and other raptors, egrets, herons, bitterns, ibises, patridges and terns, as well as a stopping point for migratory birds. Within Lake Stymfalia and its surroundings are also found the endemic fish taxon Pseudophoxinus stymphalicus, endemic Greek plant taxa and a diverse vertebrate fauna. The region’s ecological value is confirmed by its inclusion in the European Network of Protected Areas, Natura 2000.
The main objective of the LIFE-Stymphalia project is to improve the conservation status of target species and wetland habitats and to ensure a viable scheme that will, in the long term, finance all necessary management activities. The project’s specific objectives include: restoration of important wetland habitats based on the ecological requirements of target species; the creation of conditions for the financial sustainability of the wetland’s management; raising stakeholder awareness; engaging the local community in the sustainable management of the Lake.
The project is implemented by Piraeus Bank in collaboration with the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (PIOP), the Municipality of Sikyonion, OIKOM Environmental Studies Ltd, the Society for the Protection of Prespa and the Centre for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving (CRES). The project, 50% co-funded by the European Union’s LIFE+ funding instrument, is scheduled to be completed on September 29, 2017.
Created by the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation, the Environmental Museum of Stymphalia aims to show the interdependence of man and Nature and thus it focuses on their harmonious coexistence in the Stymphalian basin. The basic goals of the museum are to raise the public’s ecological awareness and preserve the knowledge relating to the region’s traditional technology.