About Us

Foundation of Cephalonia and Ithaca
(1991-2018)

 Foundation of Cephlaonia and Ithaca

 

A small reference
to a considerable effort
by few people…

 

Warm thanks are due to all who contributed in any way to the creative course of the FCI all these years:

To the executives and the staff of the FCI who have worked hard so that the foundation will achieve its objectives and the success of its activities.

To all Associations of Cephalonians and Ithacians abroad which worked with the foundation, especially the Federation "Odysseus" and the Cephalonians and Ithacians Brotherhood of Pireaus.

To all government departments (Ministries, Public Organizations, Universities etc) which helped financially and supported scientifically, morally and organizationally the foundation.

To all Non Governmental Organisations, Foundations and Research Institutes at national and international levels, which worked with the F.C.I. on the basis of mutuality and solidarity.

To all local authorities of the district of Cephalonia and Ithaca which supported the work of the foundation, as well as the local scientific and intellectual community, especially the Corgialenios Library of Argostoli.

To all citizens who participated in the activities of the foundation.

and gratitude…

To those who paved the road… To those who are gone….

 

The challenge of creation

The Foundation of Cephalonia and Ithaca was literally born out of the ashes of the 1988 fires which destroyed large areas of Cephalonia. The "embrionic" period of the foundation was difficult and the draft of the Presidential Decree was often at risk of not seeing the "light of day". Finally Cephalonia and Ithaca won. The love for these two islands, which was the necessary and sufficient condition for the establishment of the Foundation, brought on the victory.

The persons who played a decisive role were the late A. Tritsis, at the time Member of Parliament, E. Beriatos, then Prefect of Cephalonia and Ithaca and A. Pepelasis, at the time director [governor] of the Commercial Bank of Greece. The final product of the joint efforts by these three people was the establishment of a contemporary foundation in the Ionian Islands, operating continually since 1991, under the inspired leadership of Antonis Tritsis initially (1991 - 1992) succeeded by that of Mrs. Niki Goulandris whose knowledge, prestige and presence was a guarantee for the work of the foundation during its existence until today.

 

Form - Infrastructure - Administration

The Foundation of Cephalonia and Ithaca was established in 1991 by Presidential Decree which gave it the form of non profit legal entity of private sector, (The notorial deed was signed in 1989). The administrative center of the foundation is in Argostoli, capital of the district of Cephalonia and Ithaca. It is housed in privately owned offices (Rizospaston 27) which include a small conference room and have been furnished with modern office equipment (H/Y and complete communication system). It also contains a book library comprised of several hundred volumes, video library and archive material.

The foundation is administered by a five-member Administrative Committee, presided over by Mrs. Niki Goulandris, President of the internationally known Goulandris Museum of Natural History as well as the also known Hellenic Center of Wetlands and the Center for Environmental Research and Education ‘GAIA’.The other members are M. Cosmetatos, E. Beriatos, G. Focas and A. Potamianos.

It should be mentioned that first President of the foundation was the late Antonis Tritsis, Member of Parliament for Cephalonia and Ithaca, Minister of Spatial Planning, Housing and Environment, Minister of National Education and Religious Affairs, Mayor of Athens.

 

Objectives, Means, Resourses

The basic aims of the Foundation, as they are determined in its Articles of Association, are the following:

  1. The protection, rational management and rehabilitation of the natural environment, of the natural and wealth-producing recourses and generally the ecosystem of the islands Cephalonia and Ithaca, as well as the wider area of the Ionian Sea organically connected to them. Also the reconstruction of the natural and man-made environment of the islands which have suffered natural or technological disasters, or may possibly suffer in the future.
  2. The protection, conservation and development of the cultural heritage and tradition of the islands by organizing, promoting, supporting and encouraging (morally and financially) scientific and cultural activities and initiatives.

With these objectives the foundation contributes to the economic, social and cultural development of the islands, seeking and encouraging cooperation on all levels between the local and central organizations of the public and private sectors.

The means for the success of the foundation's objectives, are the following:

Elaboration of studies concerning the protection of the natural and man-made environment.

Elaboration and implementation of research programs for the restoration, and promotion of the architectural, monumental and cultural heritage. 

Support of publications of historical, scientific or artistic character .

Organization of quality events (conventions, seminars etc.) in order to strengthen scientific and cultural activity of the region.

Endowment of monetary or other awards to individuals or legal entities for their scientific, artistic or social offering.

Financial support of non-profit organizations with similar aims and activities.

The foundation's recourses comprise the interest of bank deposits, subsidies, inheritances, bequests and gifts from individuals and/or legal entities as well as subsidies from the European Union or other International Organizations.

 

Areas of activity

The foundation promotes important activities and initiatives in the entire range of the above mentioned objectives, upgrading thus the intellectual activity in the islands Cephalonia and Ithaca.

The activities of the foundation depend on the means and recourses available each time. Mainly, the following areas are emphasized:

Applied research and study of the natural and cultural environment through the elaboration and implementation of corresponding programmes.

Reliable and responsible information which will raise the public's awareness to social matters, through appropriate activities and publishing initiatives.

Consulting services to any organization of the public or private sector, in the field of environment and development.  

Development of cooperation with departments, institutions and organizations at local, regional, national and international level, aiming at the exchange of experiences and know-how for FCIs improvement of services and its networking in the international field (Europe - Mediterranean).

In the framework of the above mentioned areas of activity, the foundation endeavors to become not only an institution of culture and progress in the islands, but also a   focal point for all Cephalonians and Ithacians (individuals and organizations) abroad, so that they also will participate equally and intrinsically to the effort for the sustainable socio-economic development of the islands.

 

Achievements during the period 1991–2003

This year the FCI completed twelve years of research, study and planning, through its activities with local, regional and national organizations, in an effort to promote an integrated and sustainable development. In this framework, the protection of the natural and cultural heritage of Cephalonia, Ithaca and the Ionian Islands, was emphasized. The ’90s were a period of efforts, initiatives and proposals, for the protection of the environment and the quality of life in the islands. 

During the last years the FCI brought together, for dialogue and discussion, politicians, researchers, representatives of NGOs, people of all ideological views and social classes, aspiring to understand and solve critical matters relating to the environment, development and culture in the region of the Ionian Islands.

Through its eleven-year presence, the FCI not only produced knowledge, but also tried to disseminate knowledge. It provided information, brought awareness to the citizens and submitted proposals for specific subjects of public interest, gathering thus invaluable experience for the promotion of its objectives. Specifically, among the activities developed during the 1990's were the following:

 

A. Studies-Research-Programs (Completed or in progress)

  • Study for the protection of the marine environment of the Ionian Islands.
  • Study and Research for classifying, recording and mapping the cultural and monumental heritage of Cephalonia and Ithaca aiming at the establishment of an ‘Archive’ (data base) of Historic Monuments.
  • Research concerning environmental awareness of the public in the region of the Ionian Islands.
  • Program aiming to increase the sensitivity of local organizations and citizens for the protection and development of the natural and built environment, in the mountainous and island region of Cephalonia and Ithaca.
  • Program for the classification and codification of the historic buildings and traditional settlements in the district of Cephalonia and Ithaca.
  • Program concerning the elaboration and presentation of historic material relative to the formation of the built environment in Cephalonia in the 19th century (in cooperation with National Research Foundation and the University of Athens).

 

B. Scientific and Cultural Events

  • International Scientific Congress in Cephalonia "Statistical models and methods in Seismology" organized in cooperation with the respective Committee of the Council of Europe (1993).
  • Participation (with the Ministry of Culture and local Institutions) in the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the construction of the Castle of Assos (1993).
  • Three meetings organized for the protection and promotion of the National Park of Aenos, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, General Secretariat for Forests (1997) and the Ministry of the Environment, Spatial Planning and Public Works (1998 & 1999).
    Note: Especially for Aenos, it must be noted, that the FCI has undertaken the effort to support the program for the Park's protection and development which will continue far into the future.
  • Meeting for the protection of the marine and coastal areas of the Ionian Sea, occasioned by the world wide celebration of 1998 as Year of the Oceans and Seas, in cooperation with the Ministry of the Environment and the National Center of Marine Research. (1998)
  • Special event with the Brotherhood of Cephalonians and Ithakicians of Pireaus relative to the activities of the foundation (December 1999).
  • Meeting about the History and Life of women in Cephalonia, in memory of the Cephalonian reporter Pelli Kefala (2000)
  • Meeting on the satirist writer and poet Andreas Lascaratos and his conflict with the Local Church, occasioned by the celebrations honoring the poet, in cooperation with the Mmunicipality of Lixouri (March 2001)
  • International Symposium on the Island Cartography and presentation of a special album of maps of the Ionian Islands, in cooperation with the National Center of Maps and Cartographic Heritage and Italian Universities and Foundations (June 2001)
  • Meetings pertaining to the "Architectural and Cultural Heritage of Cephalonia, Ithaca and the Ionian Islands”, within the framework of European Days of Cultural Heritage. (September 2001)

    The two day meetings included:
    a. Presentation of album about the windmills of Cephalonia and Ithaca elaborated by Mrs. E. Livada, published by the Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning and Public Works
    b. Presentation of educational program about the mills.
    c. Meeting on the Architectural Heritage of the Ionian Islands (emphasis on commercial and industrial buildings)
    d. Special meeting on the protection and restoration of the Argostoli Stone Bridge of De Bosset (historic monument of 19th century)

  • Celebration for FCIs tenth -year anniversary. Special event on the National Park of Aenos: Presentation of special publication on the project of protection and development. (December 2001)
  • 1st Environmental Symposium on "Environment and Health: Nutritional Problems and Dangers" in cooperation with the Pharmaceutical Association of Cephalonia nad Ithaca. (December 2001)
  • 2nd Environmental Symposium on “ Environment and Agriculture. The r;ole of Environment rural development’ in cooperation with the University of Patras. (June 2002)
  • 3rd Environmental Symposium on “ Earthquakes and Built Environment. The impact of earthquakes on urban planning and urban development’ (to be held in June 2003)

 

C. Publications

  • Publication of volume, titled "Studies on the history and the space of the Islands Cephalonia and Ithaca" (collection of scientific papers of Cephalonian and Ithacian writers), (1997).
  • Proceedings of the meetings for the protection and development of the National Park of Aenos (1997, 1998, 1999).
  • Proceedings of the meetings for the protection of the coastal and marine areas of the Ionian Sea (1998).
  • Special publication titled "The Ionian Islands in Maps: From Ptolemy to the Satellites", in cooperation with the National Center of Maps and Cartographic Heritage - President E. Livieratos. (2001).
  • Special Publication titled "National Park of Aenos: Projects - Actions - Interventions" Description of the Operational program for the Park's protection and development. FCI was co-editor with the Ministry of the Environment and the Intermunicipal Company of Environmental Protection of Cephalonia.

 

D. Support of Local Organizations and Scientific Activities.

  • Financial assistance of the photographic exhibition on Lixouri and the period before the earthquakes of 1953, co- ordinator G. Galanos. (1992)
  • Financial support of the International Economic Congress "Conference on current trends in Economics", co-ordinator R. Aliprandis (1995)
  • Financial support, for a number of years, of the Symposium of Natural Medicine and Physiotherapy, co-ordinator E. Kekatos (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000)

 

E. Interaction and co-operation with other Organizations

According to the statutes of FCI, for all categories of activities (research, events, publications) that the foundation has carried out, it has seeked cooperation with Institutions and Organizations of the public and private sectors at all levels. The main Organizations on National level with which the Foundation has worked, are the following:

  • Ministry of the Environment, Spatial Planning and Public Works
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Secretariat of Forests and Natural Environment
  • Ministry of Culture
  • Ministry of Merchant Marine
  • University of Athens - Research Institute of Applied Communication
  • University of Thessaly, Department of Spatial Planning and R. Development
  • University of Patras, Department of Human and Social Sciences
  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Engineering 
  • Panteion University, Institute of Urban Environment and Human Resources
  • Harocopeion Univesity, Department of Geography
  • European Environmental Agency
  • National Center of Marine Research
  • National Agency of Food Security and Control
  • National Agricultural Research Foundation
  • National Research Foundation
  • Center of the European Mediterranean Regions for the Environment
  • National Center of Maps and Cartographic Heritage
  • Hellenic Center of Wetlands
  • Institute of Greek Mills
  • Research Center of Emergency Planning
  • Archives of the Greek and European History

On local level, the FCI has also worked with Local Authorities (Municipalities of Argostoli and Lixouri, Intermunicipal Company for the protection of the Environment ) and other organizations within and without the islands (Brotherhood of Cephalonians and Ithakisians of Pireaus, Federation of Cephalonians and Ithacians abroad "Odysseus" etc.)

 

Future Perspectives

The existence of the Foundation itself and its operation until today, constitute an achievement owed to the hard work of a handful of people. But as we have already seen, the Foundation did more than exist. Because at a time of rapid changes, trying just to stand on its feet is like going back. Immobility equals retrogression. So today not only it continues to grow but also to raise its standards higher. If it fails in its new course, nobody will lose anything. If it succeeds everybody (people and islands) will gain a lot.

The long satisfactory presence of the FCI so far in the local affairs is a guarantee for its course from now on. In order to succeed in its objectives and priorities, the foundation emphasizes the proper strategy  and the mid-term/long-term planning. Its objective is to continue being a useful Institution in the Ionian region.

In this new course, the essential means, the real "asset" of the FCI are the dedication to specific principles and values which while diachronic, do not prevent from adapting to the constantly changing conditions. Such principles are the sincere cooperation and communication with individuals and organizations, the prudent management of the available financial recourses and the responsible and serious work of its members and staff in rendering the various services to the country and the local society.

The future planning of the FCI for the years to come includes activities related to the improvement of its internal organization as well as to the success of its policies.

As far as the completion of its organizational infrastructure is concerned the FCI plans to:

  • Open a web-site on the Internet
  • Open a new office in Athens
  • Organise its headquarters office in Argostoli with the needed equipment
  • Widen the circle of its friends and staff.

 

In relation to the achievement of its aims and objectives the FCI will endeavor to:

  • Develop a wide net of cooperation with similar organizations as well as individuals, on national and international level. In that framework there will be special interaction with organizations of Cephalonians and Ithacians in Greece and abroad.
  • Continue in a more systematic way all of its activities (research, events, publications etc).

Specifically:

In the area of Study and Research it will strive to expand its interests by subject and by geographical area. With this in mind the foundation will try to establish an Research Center for natural and cultural Environment, the study area of which will cover the Ionian Sea and by extension the Mediterranean basin.

The organization of its activities will become systematic, taking place at specific intervals, in the beginning and the end of the summer period (with the exception of special cases). Preference will be given to events occasioned by anniversaries of persons or events or by celebrations of European or International character (for example in June, the World Day of Environment, or in September, the European Days of Cultural Heritage). The Foundation's purpose is to promote known or unknown historic persons of our country but also to encourage the young people to enter the intellectual, scientific and artistic arenas.

The enactment of awards in memory of A. Tritsis or other important personalities of Cephalonia and Ithaca, will be actively pursued.

 

In the field of publishing initiatives, a three level effort will be put forth:

  • Publications of scientific character
  • Publications of proceedings of conventions, seminars and other similar events
  • Publications of special character (albums etc)

A special concern will be the publication of a guide of Cephalonian and Ithakician Organizations aiming at the improvement of the cohesion and coordination of their activities.

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