The Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature (HSPN) is the oldest environmental organisation in Greece, founded in 1951, and functions as a non-profit society.
The HSPN is active along five axes: i) environmental interventions, constantly trying to counter serious threats to the natural environment of Greece, and participating in important actions, resulting in formal complaints to the European Commission or legal action at the Greek Council of State; ii) nature conservation through a variety of national and cross-border projects; iii) general public awareness raising through a variety of informative activities; iv) environmental education, with five national and international programmes (Eco-Schools, Young Reporters for the Environment, Garbage-free Nature, Green Neighbourhoods, Learning about Forests), implemented in 1,600 schools country-wide, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and the local municipalities; v) sustainable management in the tourism sector, as national operator of the international eco-labels “Blue Flag” for beaches and marinas and “Green Key” for tourism facilities.
Ιn cooperation with the Ministry for the Environment, HSPN implemented, in 2004, an awareness raising programme for the NATURA 2000 network, which included recording of habitat types and important species of flora and fauna in the network sites of Greece, and publication of an informative illustrated book. It has established the “Byron Antipas” prize, which is awarded to an individual or organisation that has decisively contributed to the protection of Greek nature. The HSPN represents in Greece the international Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and is a member of international conservation organisations, such as IUCN and MIO. It also works closely with other Greek environmental organisations and public authorities. For its work, it has been honoured by the Academy of Athens, the Council of Europe and the Ford Foundation.