Statute (Bylaws) of Association

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The Tilos Park Association

"I promised the rainbow a better earth, a season full of soil fresh with immaculate chamomile at the bare feet...With pure white birds I filled the wind that will go to the morning inauguration of the sea! And here we are both ready, holding hands...When we blow the veil opens...to beautiful years yet to come...From that point, toil will begin and happiness will enter the crystals we awaited ."

From "The Whole World" by Odysseus Elytis, 1979 Nobel laureate

And so it was on October 5, 2003 that 33 founding members representing individuals and organizations from around the world, gathered together on Tilos that day to publicly declare their dedication to the conservation of Tilos and its 14 uninhabited islets through the formation of the Tilos Park Association, a Greek registered non-profit NGO [TPA].

The pristine natural environment of Tilos and its islets radiate the beauty, vitality, and resilience of the indigenous flora and fauna that have evolved for centuries here in the southeastern Aegean Sea. The founding members of the TPA were inspired by the irreplaceable value of this unspoiled, interdependent ecosystem that embodies 16 different biotopes fed by underground springs of clean, fresh water that nourish the 63 sq km island.
The documentation of 378 botanical species; 125 resident and migratory wild bird species of which one quarter require protection under the EU Birds Directive 79/409/EEC; the rare Mediterranean monk seal classified by IUCN, a TPA founding member, as "critically endangered" and a plethora of other wildlife, clearly warranted the islands' EU registration as a Special Protection Area, a Natura 2000 Network site and 2005-2007 host to the EU Tilos Life Nature program of which the TPA is a full partner.

Yet awareness by the TPA founding members of growing societal pressures, imposed by economic as well as recreational interests that threaten the survival of the island's natural environment, inspired the TPA to devote its efforts to the conservation of the island SPA and the ecologically sensitive development of the islanders' socio-economic needs. This partnership of equally respected goals are manifested in the aims of the organization and, more importantly, in the actions of the TPA.

The TPA is proud to have welcomed members from around the world who actively contribute their creative ideas which represent the organization's most valuable asset. These ideas have been transformed into actions that include (i) cooperation with the Hellenic national government to establish a Tilos Natural Park, (ii) the development of a wetlands project incorporating interdependent bio-systems after the loss of the natural island wetlands due to construction development, (iii) actively working with local residents in their establishment of long term ecotourism businesses that showcase the island's natural beauty, (iv) inviting and cooperating with renewable, alternative energy experts in keeping with the Kyoto Protocol, (v) working as an equal partner in the 3 year EU Tilos Life Nature program, (vi) extending invitations and organizing excursions for student science groups to study the island ecology (vii) the development of ecological maps and guides for visitors, (viii) local high school presentations and weekly visitor discussion groups to heighten public awareness about the island's natural resources and (ix) the establishment of an Avian Recovery Center to care for injured birds. These actions in only the first 30 months of the TPA inauguration reflect the energy, enthusiasm and goal orientation of the TPA staff and entire membership whose commitment deepens with each accomplishment that could not be achieved without a team effort.

This team effort is exemplified by the establishment of the Avian Recovery Center [ARC] in September 2004 as a facility to house, feed and care for birds found on the island suffering from injury, migratory exhaustion and/or trauma. In the first 20 months of operation, the ARC received 22 birds representing 14 resident and migratory avian species including Eleonora Falcon, Long Legged Buzzard, Gray Heron, Kingfisher, Little Bittern, Kestrel, Song Thrush, Scops Owl and more. The landscape design of the outdoor cages features bay trees, berry vines, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and lemon verbena as well as water pools to offer shelter, shade, wind protection and a natural habitat for the birds. Without any avian or veterinary professionals on the island, the TPA is fortunate to have non-resident volunteer experts inform the ARC about the proper care and feeding of each species. Island residents and the TPA volunteer staff provide the necessities from their own personal resources for the birds brought to the ARC by islanders who discover the birds in need.

Many of these birds recovered and were released; unfortunately, some did not survive as their injuries were too severe. Each, however, shared with us its own characteristics, unique personality and struggle to survive regardless of the outcome. Most important of all, each enriched our knowledge about those with whom we share this island SPA.

If you would like to join us, share your ideas which can be transformed into reality and participate in the exciting progress being made on Tilos toward socially responsible conservation, please contact us at: tilopark@otenet.gr. It will be our pleasure to provide you with information and membership details so that together we can share in "the beautiful years yet to come" envisioned by Odysseus Elytis.

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