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Country: Greece
Originally from: Greece
Organisation: Independent
Job title:Conservation Biologist, Consultant, Trainer, Facilitator
Email: stella.vareltzidou[at]
Languages: Greek, English

Experience with Open Standards:

Training received:

  • 2007: Participant at the Multi-Team Workshop (MTW) in Savonlinna (Finland)
  • 2008: Coach-in-training at the MTW in Tour du Valat (France)
  • 2010: Trainer-in-training at the MTW in Kerkini ( Greece)
  • 2011: Participant at the European CCNet Rally in Delta de l’Ebre,(Spain)
  • 2012: Participant at the Beefing up your facilitation skills, Weesp (Netherlands)
  • 2013: Participant at the European CCNet Rally in Ribaritsa (Bulgaria)
  • 2013: Participant at the Global Rally in Pine Mountain, Atlanta, Georgia (USA)
  • 2015: Participant at the Global Rally, Mon St Benet, Barcelona (Spain)
  • 2017: Participant at the European Coaches Rally in MonNatura Pirineus (Spain)
  • 2019: Participant at the Europe Rally in Vålådalen (Sweden)

Training provided:

  • 2008-2010: Presentations (short or extended for two days) of the Open Standards at an MSc Course for Protected Areas, at Ecology Department of School of Biology in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)
  • 2009-2010: Co-trainer at the workshop on Adaptive Management as part of  Module “Protected Area management” in the International Forest Ecosystem Management studies at the Eberswalde University (Germany)
  • 2010: Coach at MTW in Kerkini (Greece)
  • 2011: Coach at MTW in Deltebre,(Spain)
  • 2013: Trainer and co-organizer at MTW in Ribaritsa (Bulgaria)
  • 2016: Coach and co-organizer at MTW in Mt Medvednica, Zagreb (Croatia)
  • 2018 & 2019: Coach and trainer of MSc and BSc students from Albania, Germany, Greece and Kosovo and of university staff at a 10-day summer school, organized by Eberswalde University (Kosovo)

Experience in applying / coaching:

  • 2008-2009: Application of the Open Standards in Axios-Loudias-Aliakmonas Estuaries in Greece, resulting in report “Recommended Strategic Plan for maintaining favorable conservation status of Natura 2000 areas in the Axios Delta in Greece” (available at
  • 2010-2015: Partial applications of the OS to guide the coordination of the Management Authority, as a scientific coordinator of Axios Delta, including stakeholder meetings.
  • 2015: Preparation and facilitation for the Strategic Planning Workshop for the Trans-boundary Prespa Lake of the PrespaNet team (Society for the Protection of Prespa, Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania and Macedonian Ecological Society) and their partners (EuroNaturr, Frankfurt Zoological Society, KORA, Plantlife).
  • 2019: Leadership and coordination supporting the WWF Adria team to apply the Open Standards in planning for a new proposal.

Other OS-related activities:

  • Co-author of the presentation “Adaptive management of coastal areas: using the Open Standards approach” produced by Lisa Ernoul, Stella Vareltzidou, Corrado Teofili, Xavier Escuté Gasulla and Ilke Tilders, presented by Lisa Ernoul at MEDCOAST Conference 2011, Rhodes, Greece.
  • 2010-2013: Co-leader of the CCNet Europe , coordinator for the Mediterranean hub
  • 2011- ongoing: Core Team member of CCNet Europe

Additional Relevant Experience:

  • Stella Vareltzidou has worked as an independent consultant since 2000 and in 2017 she created a general partnership consultancy named “ONEUP Group” as a co-owner, located in Thessaloniki Greece. She worked on Management Plans, Environmental Studies and Environmental Impact Statements for projects on Protected Areas or Natura 2000 sites.
  • She trained as a Biologist and then did an MSc in “Pollution and Environmental control” at the Greek Aristotle University and the University of Manchester. Her thesis was in Environmental Impact Assessment in Greece.
  • Stella’s working experience started in Hellenic Ornithological Society – BirdLife Greece, where she coordinated the Important Bird Areas Review for Greece and led the office for Northern Greece.
  • The last 13 years (2005-2018), Stella has worked as the Scientific Coordinator – Director at the Axios Delta Management Authority (recently in 2018, renamed to Thermaikos Gulf Protected Areas Management Authority), which manages a large area (Ramsar, Natura 2000, SCI and SPA and National Park).
  • Since 2008, Stella’s main interest was to promote the CMP Open Standards methodology in Greece, because she believes that this could increase significantly the effectiveness of nature conservation in Greece and in the Balkan area.
  • She is believes in the CCNET Europe concept and specific group of people because they have been an inspiration and support mechanism for her struggle to improve nature conservation.
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