The environmental degradation of the Asopos River Basin
The Asopos River Basin (ARB) located in Central Greece and Northern Attica is marked by a heavy environmental degradation with hexavalent chromium Cr(VI) as one of the priority pollutants due to industrial activities over more than four decades. The objective of this master dissertation is to discuss the pollution of the ARB in view of the sustainability approach under the research question “How can the problem be solved in an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable way?”. Thereby, the focus has been laid on the examination of the involved groups, the different points of view and on the current state of affairs. This was possible by using a methodical triangulation of qualitative expert interviews, a survey with employees of the factories on site, a survey with local farmers and a river structure evaluation in order to address the target groups and objectives and besides by conducting a systematic literature review. Based on the results of the study, the conclusion can be drawn that the future development of the ARB can be designed in a sustainable way by prioritizing now the environmental protection of the region. At the same time, this will help to assure residents’ and future generations’ health and needs on food resources of the region and also ensure a sustainable economic development in the long-term. The major drawback of the approach was a limited access to the target audiences of the research in the framework of the dissertation. As result the response rate of the surveys is limited. However, in consideration of the triangulation of methods sufficient data could be gathered in order to conduct a comprehensive discussion with regard to the research question. This dissertation was written as part of the MSc in Sustainable Development at the International Hellenic University in Thessaloniki.