Every crisis signals the need for change. This difficult period of economic recession has made it painfully clear that we simply cannot return to the outdated development paradigm that brought us to the present socially and environmentally damaging crisis. For an environmental organization like WWF, with decades of experience and knowledge, it is obvious that the only truly sustainable solution to the crisis is inextricably linked to our own natural capital. Our detailed report "A living economy for Greece" (published in 2013) is our own contribution to the public debate that never really took place in this country on the type of future we all desire for Greece - our vision for a truly sustainable economy.

We formulated a roadmap that takes stock of present Greek reality but looks far beyond this: a fragile economy and state, but with tremendous potential for good governance, innovation and competitiveness. This is the vision we share with you today and ask of you to spend some of your time reviewing it, agreeing with us that we must raise the bar much higher for a decent future for Greece.

We have simple asks: unlimited transparency and accountability everywhere, clear legislation for all, good governance, social participation, a tourism sector that won’t destroy the very product it depends on, that is nature, the revival of rural quality production that benefits the environment, an industry with a small ecological footprint, conservation of the natural treasures of the country.

We have difficult asks: combating environmental crime, zero tolerance to corruption that plagues society and destroys the environment, shifting to public investments and policies with a positive environmental impact, full implementation of the ‘polluter pays' principle, disengagement from the development model that has brought us to the current crisis. We ask for recognition of the ecological basis of the Greek economy and condemnation of the position that nature is an obstacle to 'development'.

While we all hear how Greece needs a vision, the reality is that this has never been a part of the political agenda or a topic for public debate. All of us here at WWF Greece, bring to the table a sustainability panorama for Greece. We show that there is hope, there is potential for a sustainable economy and society, in harmony with nature.


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