Interactive Conservation Platform for Orchids Native to Greece-Turkey (ICON)


Description of the Action

With well over 200 taxa of native orchids each, Greece and Turkey host the richest orchid flora in Europe; the corridor including the Greek Eastern Aegean islands and the Turkish coastal zone in particular, a world hot-spot for orchids, supports a significant percentage of those species, some being common to both countries. Wild orchids are seriously threatened in both countries, mainly by land use changes and expansion of infrastructure (urban, touristic, etc.) The situation is particularly critical in the aforementioned areas because of rapid touristic development. An unprecedented threat for wild orchids in Turkey is harvest for the production of Salep, estimated to destroy more than 120 million orchids each year. Orchid diversity conservation and protection of their habitats through direct and indirect economic incentives like ecotourism, recreation, public health and sustainable usage of orchids has been given little attention. The charismatic nature of orchids is addressed as a catalyst to implement existing EU legislation and communicate related information and practices to Turkey for wild flora, especially orchid, conservation. The ambitious goal of this Action is to achieve engagement of all relevant actors at the local, regional and trans-national level to support and expedite this process, especially important in view of Turkey’s accession to the EU.

General Aims of Activities for ICON

Work Packages (WP) of ICON

Work Package 1 (WP1)

Management and Administration of the Action


Work Package 2 (WP2)

Translating Environmental Legislation into Practice at the Example of Native Orchids


Work Package 3 (WP3)

Development of Common Methodologies


Work Package 4 (WP4)

Development of a Digital Interactive Education Platform for the Conservation of Greek and Turkish Native Orchids


Work Package 5 (WP5)

Dissemination Activities