Lily Venizelos is the founder and President of MEDASSET* – Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles – a unique NGO registered as a charity in the UK and a Non Profit Organisation in Greece working for research and conservation of sea turtles and their habitats throughout the Mediterranean.
In 1987, in recognition of her sea turtle conservation activities in Greece, she received one of the first ‘Global 500’ Awards from UNEP in Nairobi, and has received various other awards and distinctions since.
From 1983 she single-handedly campaigned worldwide to raise awareness of the plight of the Mediterranean loggerhead sea turtles nesting in Laganas Bay, on the island of Zakynthos. As a result of unceasing lobbying, legislation was passed for their protection in this, their most important Mediterranean breeding ground, and the area was established as a National Marine Park in 1999.
In 1988 she founded MEDASSET, dedicated to the conservation and study of the two species of sea turtle that nest in the Mediterranean – the loggerhead and the critically endangered Mediterranean green turtles. Through lobbying political groups and governments; informing and collaborating with international organisations, institutions and the secretariat of the Bern and Bonn Conventions; giving interviews to the national and international media; lecturing throughout the world on sea turtle conservation and related Mediterranean problems; presenting papers and participating in international conventions and Symposia; preparing letters, petitions, articles and technical reports for publication in international scientific journals, newsletters and magazines, Lily Venizelos has built MEDASSET into the internationally renowned organisation it is today.
Through her unceasing commitment she keeps these critical issues of Mediterranean sea turtle conservation in the public eye.