Aether: Results for ecosystem protection measures

AETHER “Alliance for the Effective Transnational Handling of Environmental Resources.

The AETHER Project is funded by the Interreg V-A Italy-Greece 2014/2020 programme. Its primary objective is to promote cross-border actions aimed at both protecting and promoting the sustainable use of marine, coastal, and continental resources in the Adriatic-Ionian area.


Joint governance and management of Plans integrating rural and ecosystem protection measures and enhancing marine, coastal and mainland resources, to strengthen environmental, social and economic sustainability.

Elaboration of the environmental risks assessment. 

Based on the project’s objectives, the delivered result designed and implemented a joint environmental risk assessment mapping and its accompanying methodological framework. The analysis included the development of a risk assessment methodology to support the evaluation of impacts resulting from anthropogenic factors, the creation of environmental risk scenarios, and the development of GIS-based maps along with relevant statistics.

Joint governance and management of Plans. 

In pursuit of advanced integrated coastal management, landscape preservation, and environmental restoration, project partners have conducted an assessment of erosion and coastal degradation processes in the targeted pilot areas.


The ‘Greenbook’ activty aims to establish a collection of best practices, with a strong emphasis on prevention and preparedness. Drawing on empirical data and the expertise of project partners, the Greenbook seeks to unravel the complexities of a diverse operational environment.

Capacity building, monitoring and capitalization activities. 

Project partners have played a pivotal role in disseminating best practices at the local and regional levels. They have been instrumental in shaping regional plans, policies, and regulations. Additionally, they have successfully fostered synergies with existing projects and those in the planning stages.

Cross border and integrated environmental management through networking and itc tools

LIME – Laboratory for the Integrated Management of the Environment. 

LIME Urban sustainability laboratory for the integrated environmental management which focused on the primary issue of blue and circular economies, addressed crucial issues such recovering high-value products from seafood processing wastes, reusing, and transforming waste and biomass in the fisheries and aquaculture industries, and more. Sustainable aquaculture as an instrument in the shift to sustainable food systems, mussel farming as a sustainable practise to fulfil nutritional demands and offering other ecosystem services, reusing, and monetizing regional agri-food wastes, new circular food chains.


Capacity building actions targeted to mussel farmers and fishermen in GR and IT were held in Greece and Italy with the goal of raising awareness among fishermen and mussel farmers about the benefits that environmentally friendly tools and practices bring to their local environment and to their businesses, increasing stability even in the short term.


The STEP ICT transnational integrated platform for the protection of environment has been designed for addressing environmental emergencies trouth an integrated system for managing information related to civil protection matters.


LEPRE Web App empowers citizens in target areas to actively participate in monitoring their local environment and promptly report potential threats in real-time through a dedicated mobile application.

LEPRE Web App empowers citizens in target areas to actively participate in monitoring their local environment and promptly report potential threats in real-time through a dedicated mobile application.


ARCA’s actions, with the goal of transforming everyday citizens into environmental “sentinels”  engaged a total of 183 stakeholders in awareness-raising activities.

Pilot projects in Mar Piccolo (TA). 

Has been introduced a “pilot” breeding facility that implemented all necessary technical measures to enhance the quality of aquaculture products, the sustainability of the production process and to foster the well-being of farmed organisms, thus contributing to the transition to more sustainable food systems. The protocol for eco-compatible mussel farming has been implemented in the pilot plant according to the national quality scheme “Sustainable Aquaculture”, thus pave the way towards a quality certification of aquaculture activities carried out in Mar Piccolo.

MITILYA pilot action aims to protect biodiversity and ecosystems, combat marine pollution, strengthen environmental protection measures and halt coastal and soil degeneration processes. The vessel has made it possible to collect significant data for the simulation of wave motion, currents along the coast, sediment displacement and shoreline change.

Civil Protection Logistic Hub. 

Recovery and set up of a Civil Protection Logistic Hub to make the new SOT (Territorial Operational Structures of Civil Protection) of Castellaneta an effective strategic point for the monitoring and management of emergencies in the relevant area enhancing the capacity to respond effectively to forest fires, interface fires, and hydrogeological instability.

Epitalio Airport Facilities upgraded and equipped -Western Greece Region. Western Greece Region, thank to the pilot action, turned the Epitalio Airport into a Base for civil protection operations with the extended support and use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) to support the Fire Department, the Hellenic Coast Guard and the Hellenic Police in order to increase their operational readiness and capability for the protection of the environment and especially of the marine, coastal and mainland natural resources.

The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) find application such as Monitoring, prevention and fire fighting; Recording and dealing with water pollution incidents, either by land or by sea; Search and rescue operations in all kinds of accidents, such as air, rail, traffic, labour, falls into lakes or rivers; Tackling the consequences of natural, technological and other disasters in relation to human lives and forest wealth and the natural environment of the country.

Pilot actions on plastic littering. 

With the AETHER project, the Epirus Region set up a collection center for fish farming waste in the area, where the waste will be collected, and the dead fish will be incinerated instead of being dumped at sea or on land for burial. In the area of the coastline of Sagiada, plausibly on of the largest export industry of the prefecture, that of fish farming, has been developed for 25 years. There are currently 24 fish farms in the sea area of the coastline of Sagiada, while there are similar onshore facilities and a fish hatchery. Total production amounts to 12,000 tons of fish, all of which is exported, contributing around 60 million euro to the country’s trade balance. In view of the high production, there is also a high level of waste associated with this activity. It has been estimated that, on an annual basis, there is a quantity of 150 tons of plastic from food bags, and there is a considerable quantity of dead fish which fish farmers in the area must deal with.

Ionian Isles – Pilot actions on civil protection. 

Low-cost monitoring and early warning systems has been installated for water quality, water pollution, coastal erosion, microclimates, and marine alien species, a Pilot Area in the South of Corfu, Greece prone to erosion has been chosen. With this system’s installation, we will also gather data on the microclimate in the area. Furthermore, to complete the Pilot Action for all the systems, we will install the last system, which focuses on monitoring marine alien species, somewhere between the lake shores and the sea for testing. Finally, the test flights and data collection using drones will also occur in the same area due to its mostly flat terrain, providing good control for the experiments.