The Balkan Environmental Research and

Development Institute

B. E. R. D. I.


Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics

Thessaloniki 54006, Greece


Establishment of the Balkan Environmental Research and Development Institute at the Physics Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki



At the first general conference of the Balkan Physical Union (BPU) held at Thessaloniki (26-28 September, 1991) attention has been drawn to the extreme importance of environmental problems in the Balkans. Moreover, at the Panel discussion devoted to the Environment, all Panel Members and participants agreed on a proposal put forward by Professors Skende (Albania) and Zerefos (Greece) on the need to establish a Balkan Environmental Research and Development Institute (B.E.R.D.I.) as a legal body of the Balkan Physical Union.

The Executive Committee of the Balkan Physical Union, at the 30/3/1992 meeting held at Thessaloniki, has approved the proposal of Professor C. Zerefos, for the establishment of the Balkan Environmental Research and Development Institute (B.E.R.D.I.). It was further unanimously agreed that B.E.R.D.I. will be hosted at the Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics (LAP), Physics Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

It has also been agreed that the board of the Institute shall be consisted from six members, one representative from each National Physical Union and Professor C. Zerefos as the coordinator. Moreover, all necessary arrangements towards the establishment of B.E.R.D.I. shall be undertaken and executed care of the coordinator within a time period of three months.

The following paragraphs describe the scope and objectives of this establishment and show how B.E.R.D.I. will provide services to the associated parties in the frame of the Balkan Physical Union and at a later stage under the auspices of other International and/or Regional Organizations. This establishment is in accordance to the BPU declaration in Tirana (Albania) of November 1990.

Scientific and other Objectives of BERDI

Major environmental problems have a broad range and include interactions between all major components of our environmental system: atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, biosphere. Being interdisciplinary by definition, a research and development Institute for the environment should be concerned with the following actions:

- Initiate and promote research and development on selected environmental

- Facilitate co-operation amongst Institutes, Universities and industries on
environmental science and technology in the Balkan countries.

- Provide assistance and advisory services to the non-CEC Balkan countries in project formulation and participation in CEC programmes.

- Act as a mechanism for transfer of technology by:

i) Facilitating the application of uniform methods, techniques and high
technology instrumentation in environmental scientific research.

ii) Organizing training courses, workshops, fellowships and exchanges of scientists and technicians in the Balkan countries.

- Assist in the establishment of a network incorporating national institutions for
environmental science and technology.

- Provide information base on environmental institutions and environmental
data banks existing in the region.

- Promote participation of Balkan environmental institutions in programmes and activities of International and Regional Organizations and act as a liaison with such Organizations whenever possible.

- Establishment of close collaboration with non-Governmental Organizations


Subject areas

 Emphasis will be placed on scientific topics such as:

- Environmental Physics

- Environmental Chemistry

- Geoscience and Aeronomy

- Addressing interdisciplinary research and development in areas including air, water, ground and marine pollution


Activities of BERDI

 The Balkan Environment Research and Development Institute (BERDI) is collaborating with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics (LAP) of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki at the invitation of the Hellenic National Meteorological Service to WMO.



In October 10-15, 1993 BERDI organized a Workshop in Halkidiki, Greece (1st WMO-BERDI Workshop). The Workshop aimed at providing the scientific and technical background and requirements of the Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) WMO program to Class I meteorologists involved within the Meteorological Services of selected countries with GAW activities. The Workshop was attended by 23 participants from 19 countries out of which 5 scholarships were awarded to participants from the Balkan countries from the BERDI. During the Workshop, 8 invited scientists presented overview lectures on global problems. Lectures topics ranged from GAW requirements and techniques of greenhouse gases and aerosols of precipitation Chemistry, ozone, radiation including UV-B, modelling, instruments, data quality assurance, data reporting, archiving analysis and station operation. More details on the Workshop can be obtained from WMO (WMO Rep. of the Consultation of Experts to consider desirable observational practices and distribution of GAW regional stations, No 71).

BERDI's headquarters at the University of Thessaloniki have been visited by a number of scientists including colleagues from USA, Canada and Australia. On a second occasion another workshop was held in Thessaloniki in November 1993 by WMO, and BERDI hosted a group of distinguished scientists (R. Bojkov, R. McPeters, U. Kohler, A. Hassan, N. Harris, Vanicek, and L. Bishop) to discuss the variability of the ozone layer.

In June 21-24, 1993, BERDI's coordinator, Christos Zerefos attended a BPU Meeting at Gioletchitza, Bulgaria as well as several meetings representing BERDI in Brussels, Athens and Amsterdam (see also 1994 below).


In 1994 BERDI organized jointly with DGXII, JRC, the Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics and the Mariolopoulos-Kanaguinis Foundation for Environmental Sciences a Workshop / Seminar entitled "Eastern Europe and Global Change", which has been attended by more than 100 scientists (European Union, C. Zerefos, A. Ghazi ÍŠť P. Mathy, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities , 1997).(Resoulution of the conference:Eastern Europe and Global Change). Through these Workshops / Seminars BERDI is seeking for collaboration with a variety of international initiatives, such as MEDIAS and other international programs, and to present its role in the new structure of the ENRICH initiative through its training and organizational capabilities. The Workshop was attended by about 100 scientists.


In October 1995, during the Advanced Study Institute entitled "UV modelling, measurements and Effects" held in Halkidiki, BERDI offered additional scholarships to young scientists from the Balkan countries. Similarly BERDI informed interested colleagues from the Balkan countries on calls from EU and on collaborating programmes in the Balkans. The Workshop was attended by about 100 scientists.


In 1996, BERDI's coordinator participated at the BPU Izmir Conference, representing BERDI and offering scholarships to future activities.

In May 1996 the Balkan Physical Union through BERDI and the Mariolopoulos-Kanaguinis Foundation decorated the Nobel Prize winner Prof. P.J. Crutzen at a ceremony at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.


In September 1997 BERDI's coordinator was elected the President of the Balkan Physical Union, with Vice President Professor Matey Mateev from the University of Sofia, Secretary Assoc. Professor E. Polychroniadis, Treasurer Ass.Professor A. Lambrou and Member Professor G. Kanelis.

In September 2-5, 1997 participated in the 3rd General Conference of the Balkan Physical Union at Cluj-Napoca, Romania with the invited paper by Zerefos, C.S., entitled "Update of Variations of Ozone and Solar Ultraviolet Radiation in Greece"

In December 12, 1997 BERDI awarded His Excellency the Secretary-General of WMO, Prof. G.O.P. Obasi, with the golden medal award in appreciation of outstanding guidance and contribution in development of Meteorological Services and for training of Physicists Ė Meteorologists of the BPU Countries. The award was presented at the UNESCO Conference held in Thessaloniki, Greece.

In September BERDI organized with BPU Vice President and Members the BALKANIAD for the Environment during which, at ceremony at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the awards were given. The first award was given to S. Simbotelecam and B. Valcu from Gheorghe Larar College, Sibiu, Romania for their work "The Protection of the Medieval Monuments from Sibiu".


In October 1998, BERDI offered 5 scholarships to young scientists from Balkan countries to participate in the EC Advanced Study Course on "Interactions between Chemical Compounds, the Ozone Layer and UV-B fluxes" held in Halkidiki, Greece. The meeting was attended by about 100 scientists.


In May 1999, BERDI supported the Advanced Study Institute on "Chemistry and Radiation Changes in the Ozone Layer" held in Kolympari-Crete, Greece. The meeting was attended by about 100 scientists. Publication: Kluwer Academic Publishers (in preparation).

Support to FOCUS on the Assessment of Environmental consequences of the Kosovo Crisis. A group from BERDIís scientists visited in July former Yugoslavia and wrote the attached report.


A Provisional Assessment of Environmental Consequences in the Balkans of the operation ďAllied ForceĒ