Goulandris Natural History Museum, Greek Biotope - Wetland Centre



The Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre (or EKBY by its Greek initials) has its roots in the Goulandris Natural History Museum. The Museum was established in Athens in 1964 as a non-profit institute for research, public awareness, information, and education in the conservation of the natural environment. Its present premises (3,500 m2) include a large herbarium, zoological and geological collections, exhibition halls, a library, and laboratories (Entomology, Botany, Geology, Hydrobiology, Biotechnology, Herpetology, Ornithology, and Information). As an extension of the Museum an Environmental Research and Education Centre (11,000 m2), also known as the "Gaia Centre", is under construction.

The Museum's work has received national and international recognition. It has been honoured by the Academy of Athens (1978), the Greek Red Cross (1987), the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (1988) and the Alexandros Onassis Foundation (1990), while the Council of Europe named it European Museum of the Year in 1983. Mrs. Niki Goulandris, the Museum's President, was named "Woman of Europe" for 1991. Presently she is a member of the World Commission for Culture and Development formed by UNESCO.
EKBY has adopted the policies and nature conservation principles of the Museum. It was established in 1991 by the Museum with European Community funding and the support of the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), following an application by the Greek Ministry of Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works. EKBY is based at Thermi, close to the city of Thessaloniki, where its facilities are located.