The wheels of Bureaucracy turn slowly. And in Greece, perhaps more slowly than one could anticipate. While researching the steps necessary in creating a parrot sanctuary here on the island of Syros, and through communication with other animal welfare organizations already in existence here in Greece, I have learned that the necessary permits for such a program can take up to 10 years to acquire. One organization contacted, the Aegean Wildlife Hospital which helps rehab animals back into their natural environment, has told me that they had in fact done everything (constructed buildings, purchased necessary equipment, hired or accepted volunteer staff and still needed to wait 10 years before actually acquiring the permit needed to officially open.
Needless to say, this would seem unnecessarily long for any undertaking, and I feel quite a bit of dismay at the prospect of waiting so long to achieve something so non-threatening and simple as a safe place for unwanted or abused parrots to live quietly. Having been given the donation of a small parcel of land, and having a great desire to begin the project at hand, I don't feel content just to wait while government drinks coffee and talks about the weather while many parrots could be helped. That being said, it is my plan to start a small personal project that can begin the work at hand, while trying to negotiate the seemingly pointless morass of governmental control.
I have also learned that the zoning laws regarding are not very stringent where non-dwelling or other permanent structure such as businesses are concerned. With that in mind, it is my intention to put together a couple of small aviaries and a small building of metal construction, and see if I can begin the work at hand. I have also enlisted the help of an Avian Certified Veterinarian on the mainland (surprisingly, there are only 2 such in all of Greece) to come to the island by ferry on an as needed basis (such as emergencies and new arrivals). And so I will attempt to now realize my dream of giving something back to some members of the intelligent sensitive group of little feathered creatures who have brought such joy and pleasure into my life just by allowing me to share my home with them.