Axios Delta Strategic Planning

Axios Delta Strategic Planning Using Adaptive Management (CMP Open Standards)

Adaptive management is used in protected areas management as a systematic process of planning, implementing and monitoring which can be adaptive on the basis of the results achieved or not. This way the protected area management actions can be much more effective.

The CMP Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation is an adaptive management methodology developed by the Conservation Measures Partnership, (find more in ).  The Open Standards are used today in more than 2000 conservation projects all over the world and are based in the concept “learn and improve”.

They are structured in a 5 steps cyclic process (see image below).



The Axios Delta Management Authority decided to apply the Open Standards in order to improve the effectiveness of the management actions for the area under its mandate a national park and three Natura 2000 sites (2 SACs and 1 SPA).

The first application in 2008 was facilitated by trainer Ilke Tilders in a 4 days’ workshop hosted by the Greek Biotope Wetland Centre and supported by the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace. The approach was participatory including representatives from the above ministry, regional authorities, university, scientists and the staff and Board of Directors of the Management Authority.  At that time it was not possible to include broader stakeholder participation.

The workshop results were processed and followed by additional meetings which lead to the preparation of the first strategic plan for this area, the «Recommended strategic plan to maintain favourable conservation status of the Natura 2000 areas in the Axios Delta (2009-2013)».

The Open Standards application in Axios Delta has helped the Management Authority:

  • Determine conservation targets
  • Realize better the cause-effect relationships in the area and plan more suitable strategies that focus on the threat reduction
  • Prioritize strategies and actions aiming to improve the protected area management and the role of the Management Authority
  • Cooperate and exchange experiences with partners from Greece, Europe and abroad.

Over the years, staff members were trained in Open Standards (the scientific coordinator and two more staff members). Until today we feel that the Management Authority of Axios Delta has acquired significant benefits from the Open Standards and we recommend this methodology to other management authorities to help improve nature conservation actions in Greece.


For more information contact:

Stella Vareltzidou, Scientific – coordinator of Axios Delta Management Authority





Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation, Version 2.0 [online], 2007. Conservation Measures Partnership.

Salafsky N., Margoluis R. and Redford K. (2001) ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT: A Tool for Conservation Practitioners. Biodiversity Support Program. Washington DC, USA

Vareltzidou, S. and, Strixner, L. (2008) Recommended strategic plan to maintain favourable conservation status of the Natura 2000 areas in the Axios Delta (2009-2013),Thessaloniki, Greece. Axios Loudias Aliakmonas Estuaries Management Authority.

Vareltzidou S. & Alvanou L, 2012. Adaptive management as a tool to practice effective protected area management in Natura 2000 sites in Greece – The example of Axios Delta 5th National Conference Environmental Policy & Management, Department of Environment/University of Aegean, 25-27 May 2012 (in Greek)