Lake Kerkini National Park was established in November 2006 for the protection of the area as a national natural heritage based on:

• Systematic monitoring and planning the management works of the ecological parameters of the area

• Constant guarding and supervision of the protected area

• Effective coordination of the competent services and authorities

• Development of programmes for the environmental education, information and awareness of the public and authorities

• Safeguarding of social policy, consensus and participation, etc.


The total protected area amounts to about 83,100 hectares. The protected area includes the areas from Kastanoussa in the west, to Charopo and Agkistro in the east, Iraklia in the southeast and Lithotopos in the south. It also includes the mountains of Kerkini (Beles) in the north and Mavrovouni and Dyssoro (Kroussia) in the southwest.

There are four protection zones:

• Strictly Nature Protection Zone

• Nature’s Protection Zone

• Eco-development Zone Α’

• Eco-development Zone Β’

In every zone, specific regulations and/or prohibitions apply, according to each zone’s ecological importance and awareness.

Important dates

  • • 1972. Prohibition of hunting in the northeast part of the lake

    • 1982. Prohibition of hunting throughout the lake

    • 1984. Preliminary study of the Ministry of Town Planning, Development and Environment

    • 1993. Measures for the protection of wetland of the artificial lake Kerkini and its wider area (Common Ministerial Decision no. 66272/25.6.1993 GOG 493Β/7.7.1993)

    • 1993-1995. Construction of Kerkini Wetland Information Centre

    • 1995. Beginning of procedures for the operation of Kerkini Wetland Information Centre (contact to authorities, drafting of the Programme Contract)

    • 1995. Beginning of the Special Environmental Study (SES) for the protection of the area

    • 1996. One year extension of the validity period of the Common Ministerial Decision

    • 1997. Signature of the Programme Contract for the operation of Kerkini Wetland Information Centre (time period: three years). Participants: Ministry of Environment, Urban Planning and Public Works, Ministry of Agriculture, Prefectural Administration of Serres, communities of Promachonas, Neo Petritsi, Vyronia, Akritochori, Mandraki, Neochori, Livadia, Kerkini, Lithotopos, Chrysochorafa, Limnochori, Megalochori and Gonimo, Development Company of Serres

    • 1997. Foundation of the Association for Protection and Promotion of Lake Kerkini (from the 13 communities that signed the Programme Contract) with the intention to operate Kerkini Wetland Information Centre and take action for the protection and promotion of the area

    • 1998. Completion of the SES

    • 1999. Participation of the municipalities of Iraklia and Kerkini with all their Municipal Departments in the Association, participation of the municipality of Sidirokastro

    • 1999. Administration and Management of Protected Areas, L 2742/1999 Articles 15, 16 & 17 (GOG 207Α/7.10.1999)

    • 2002. Establishment of the Management Bodies, L 3044/2002 (GOG 197 Α/27.8.2002)

    • 2002. Signature of the new Programme Contract with the involvement of the Ministry of Environment, Urban Planning and Public Works, the Region of Central Macedonia, the Association for Protection and Promotion of Kerkini, municipalities of Kerkini, Petritsi, Iraklia, Sidirokastro, the community of Promachonas, the Development Company of Serres (time period: one year)

    • 2003. Determination of the number of members of the BOD of the Management Body of Lake Kerkini, (GOG 364 Β/28.3.2003)

    • 2003. Constitution of the 1st BOD of the Management Body of Lake Kerkini, (GOG 894 Β/3.7.2003)

    • 2006. Constitution of the 2nd BOD, (GOG 758 Β/26.6.2006)

    • 2006. Characterization of the wetland of Kerkini and the wider area as National Park and determination of uses, building terms and restrictions, (GOG 98 S.D.E.P./8.11.2006)

    • 2009. Constitution of the 3rd BOD: (GOG 538 Specially Positioned Employees and Committees of the Public and General Public Services Sector/29.12.2009)

    • 2010. Beginning of Management Body financing by the NSRF (Regional Operational Programme of the Region of Central Macedonia, Operational Programme of Macedonia-Thrace 2007-20013)

    • 2012. Promotion of the relevant Presidential Decree on the characterization of the National Park of Lake Kerkini to the Council of State to be assessed according to legislation


    The following international conventions and E.U. directives apply to the National Park:

    • “Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat” known as Ramsar Convention

    • Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Bonn Convention)

    • Convention on the conservation of European wildlife and natural habitats (Bern convention)

    • Directive 79/409/EEC as encoded on 30th November 2009 through Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and the Council on the conservation of wild birds

    • Directive 92/43/EEC of the Council on 21st May 1992 on the conservation of the natural habitats and the wild fauna and flora

    • Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and the Council on 23rd October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy