The AEF was established in 2021 to help the communities of the Argolic Gulf become leaders in the transition to sustainability, protecting and regenerating key marine and terrestrial ecosystems and improving the relationship between humans and nature.

We work with local partners to develop and implement practical solutions to the region’s most pressing environmental issues. We believe that environmental sustainability need not come at the cost of economic development – rather, that the opposite is true.

By protecting and growing the natural capital of this special corner of Greece, we will help ensure health, abundance and resilience for its natural and human communities.

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Our people

A Steering Committee (SC), composed of founding and actively involved donors, directs the strategy. They analyse and approve grants and use their personal networks to broaden the base of supporters. The SC members have a wide array of backgrounds and interests, but all share a passion for protecting the Argolic Gulf’s outstanding natural beauty.

Our local team consists of one person as the local Executive Director in charge of day-to-day management and coordination work on the ground, assisted by advisors and the SC.


  • Mariela Antonakopoulou

    Local Director

    Mariela Antonakopoulou is the Local Director of the Argolic Environment Foundation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens and a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering & Business Management from Imperial College, London. Mariela has a long experience in international development since 2010 having worked at the Global Water Partnership – Mediterranean (GWP-Med) and UNESCO – Inter-governmental Hydrological Programme (IHP). She coordinated projects on the sustainable management of local and transboundary water resources in the Mediterranean Region and the Balkans, and a variety of activities promoting sustainable water management through technical applications, education, capacity-building, and awareness-raising. In her last station during 2020-2021 at Future Earth Global Hub in Paris, she promoted responsible science, research, and innovation through the coordination of capacity-building activities for early-career researchers and young scientists. 

    As the Local Director of the Argolic Environment Foundation she looks forward to accomplishing targets which will build more sustainable living environments and promote preservation and natural value for the long term in the region and beyond.


How we work

Channelling funds from businesses and philanthropists to grassroots nature regeneration projects.

Tapping into our network of experts to ensure we support the projects offering the largest returns for nature.

Seeking to build local coalitions that catalyse systemic change.

Filling a gap by being agile, unbureaucratic, and ‘getting stuff done’.

Providing projects with vital funds to scale their impact.

Attracting new sources of environmental funding by showcasing what can be achieved by nature regeneration.

Pooling funds and creating leverage for each donor to share in the successes generated by total AEF funds raised.

We strongly believe that supporting local environmental groups can make a positive impact and bring about long-lasting change.