Wednesday, April 03


DAGR Kafeneion: Up In Smoke?

Up in Smoke?

A renewed framework for Prevention, Protection, and Preparedness
The Mediterranean Forest Initiative

2023 saw some of the most devastating wildfires across the northwest United States and in the Mediterranean Basin. The loss of life and property affected hundreds of thousands across the globe and destroyed forest ecosystems that provide crucial protection against climate change. 

As part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda, the Biden-Harris administration is investing $500 million to confront the wildfire crisis, an important initiative in seeking to reduce risk to communities, critical infrastructure and natural resources. 

Similar critical initiatives are also under way in the Mediterranean. For our April 3rd Kafeneion Up In Smoke?, Athens-based UN Senior Environment Security Analyst Elizabeth Sellwood will share her work on the Mediterranean Forest Initiative (MFI) - a far-reaching effort on collaborative solutions to protect and restore critical forest ecosystems. Local civil society partnerships will also be an integral part of the new framework. 

Adding his hands-on experience, Spyros Kinias, founder of EDNY, the grassroots volunteer firefighting and educational initiative of South Imittos, will join the conversation. Further enriching our discussion, is our moderator, DAGR Member-at-Large Gina Billy, who is also a volunteer firefighter on the island of Crete.

DAGR virtual Kafeneion on Wednesday, April 3, at 7:30 p.m. (Athens time) for a timely talk. Meet your local firefighters, too!

Guest Panelists:

Elizabeth Sellwood
Senior Programme Manager, Environmental Security

United Nations Environment Programme
Tel: +30 697 4580527 | email: [email protected]



An analyst and practitioner of international affairs with broad experience of the international system, including the United Nations, national governments, NGOs and research community; she has extensive knowledge of international political, aid and institutional reform issues, with a particular focus on the Middle East and on reform of state and multilateral institutions. She is also leading the coordination of the Mediterranean Forest Initiative.

Spyros Kinias
Architect, naturalist, volunteer firefighter

Spiros Kinias is a full-time freelance Architect, specializing in residential development, architectural lighting and building restoration. He also works, part-time, as an external Project Manager, with a social cooperative enterprise called Paths of Greece, designing and building hiking destinations throughout the country. He has always been an avid nature-lover and volunteered with several local volunteer organizations, around Athens, until founding the South Hymettus Mtn. Forest Protection Volunteers team (EDNY), in 2012, to which he was the chief volunteer until 2017 and again from 2020 to today. An active forest-protection/forest-firefighting volunteer with over 20 years of experience in the field, he has actively been involved in several notable incidents, including the deadly Mati Fire (2018). He is also a board member of the Friends of Hymettus Museum - Spiros Lekkas, promoting knowledge and awareness about the mountain, its nature and

Gina Billy
DAGR At-Large Representative


Gina Billy is a freelance writer, editor, translator, and teacher located on the southern coast of Crete. There, she is a founding member and current officer (for public relations/fundraising) of the Association of Volunteer Firefighters and Environmental Protection, Asterousia.


Wednesday, April 03, 2024 at 07:30 PM Athens Time


This is a virtual event. See the event description above or RSVP for virtual participation options.


Sarajane K. Leone
[email protected]
+30 694 260 2055

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