Culture and Wetlands
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Culture and Wetlands

International Workshop on Tourism, Culture and Wetlands
Tunis, 12-13 February 2014

The international workshop on 'Tourism, Culture and Wetlands' was organised in Tunis, Tunisia on 12-13 February by Med-INA in cooperation with MedWet and a number of local partners, such as WWF Tunis, Direction Generale des Forets, Société de Promotion de Lac de Tunis and Les Amies des Oiseaux. The workshop was organised in the framework of the project 'Culture and wetlands in the Mediterranean: using cultural values for wetland restoration'. More than 30 participants, international and locals took part in the event. On 12 February, two field trips were organised, one in Ghar el Mehl wetland and one on the Island of Chikly, in the Lake Tunis.

During the workshop, the activities of the project were presented, which took place in three diverse pilot sites, in Larnaka Salt Lakes in Cyprus, in Lake Karla in Greece and in Tunis Lake in Tunisia. Moreover, the role of tourism as a cultural agent was studied, followed by relevant presentations from the pilot sites. The three sites have a different relation with visitors, which ranges from difficulties in the management of large numbers of tourists to efforts for the attraction of more visitors. The workshop was concluded with lively interventions by many participants, on the role of the cultural services on wetland restoration. The presentations were in English and in French.You may download the workshop agenda from here.

Below, you may download the workshop presentations.
  • Purpose and Objective of the International Workshop ppt

  • Presentation of the project 'Culture and Mediterranean wetlnads' using cultural values for wetland restoration' ppt text

  • Recreational Carrying Capacity Study of the island of Chikly, Tunisia ppt

  • Tourism and wetland restoration (keynote speech) ppt

  • The Legacy of Larnaka Salt Lakes ppt text

  • Tourism and urban nature ppt

  • Planning and management for tourism growth at Lake North, Tunis ppt

  • Lake Karla: restoration and environmental education ppt text

  • The 'new' Lake Karla: lessons learnt ppt

  • Culture practices and nature conservation in North Africa ppt

  • The contribution of cultural services to wetland restoration ppt text

COP11 Side event on culture
Culture: contributing to wetland wise use A special event on 7 July 2012, 18:30-20:15, Mihai Viteazu Hall Ramsar COP11, Bucharest

The Ramsar Culture Working Group organised an event on culture and wetlands in Bucharest on the evening of Saturday 7 July during Ramsar COP11.

The event demonstrated some fascinating examples of the contribution of cultural values and practices to the conservation and wise use of wetlands, from around the world. A draft Strategic Action Plan for enhancing the role of cultural aspects in the work of the Ramsar Convention during the next triennium was also briefly presented.

Presentations were in English.

The event closed with an opportunity to sample some traditional food and drink from the Danube Delta, Romania.
Supported by the MAVA Foundation

Event programme:
– Welcome (Sansanee Choowaew1)
– Purpose and objectives of the event, introduction of the Strategic Action Plan on Culture and Wetlands (Thymio Papayannis2 + Dave Pritchard3)
– Loy Krathong Festival and dance, SE Asia (Sansanee Choowaew4)
– Cultural aspects contributing to wetland conservation in West Africa (Charlotte Karibuhoye – presented by Antonio Araujo )
– Marimo Festival and Tancho Crane Dance
– Wetland Cultures in Japan project, to be extended to Asia (Yoshihiro Natori5 )
– Saltscapes, meanings and feelings: An inner journey into salt (Katia Hueso6)
– Local Traditions in Danube Delta, Romania (Ileana Ene-Giusca7)

Please find here the poster
[1] Professor, Mahidol University Salaya, Ramsar Laureate 2008.
[2] Coordinator, Ramsar Culture Working Group, Ramsar Laureate 2012.
[3] Expert member, Ramsar Culture Working Group, Ramsar Laureate 2008.
[4] Fondation Internationale du Banc d’Arguin.
[5] Executive Director, Wetlands International – Japan.
[6] Association of the Friends of Inland Salinas.
[7] Local coordinator, Salvati Dunarea si Delta.

Med-INA participates in the International Symposium on Water and Wetlands in Agadir
6-8 February 2012, Morocco

An important event on water and wetlands in the Mediterranean was organised on 6-8 February 2012, in Agadir, Morocco. More than 250 participants from around the Basin and the rest of the world gathered to evaluate the current situation, identify new challenges and problems and plan for the next 20 years. This followed on the tracks of the Grado Conference, a major event held in 1991 in Italy that renewed the scientific interest on Mediterranean wetlands and gave rise to the MedWet Initiative.

The Symposium was placed under the High Patronage of HM Mohammed VI of Morocco and was organised by the Ramsar Convention, the MedWet Initiative and the High Commissariat for Water, Forests and Desertification Control of Morocco, with Thymio Papayannis chairing the International Organising Committee. BirdLife International, IUCN, the Tour du Valat, Wetlands International and WWF International were also key partners, as well as many other organisations.

The most important factors that affect wetland ecosystems and the sustainable use of their resources and services were examined during the Symposium. Organised in six thematic sessions (both in English and in French), they covered ecosystem-based approach to water resource management, human pressures and wetland services, adaptation to climate change, values of wetland cultural services, sustainable use of wetland resources and wetland ecosystems biodiversity and its values.

In thematic session 4, facilitated by the Ramsar Culture Working Group and the World Heritage Centre (Dave Pritchard and Kerstin Manz), a keynote paper on ‘The cultural heritage of wetlands and its value to Mediterranean societies’ was presented, as well as contributions by Yousria Abdel Rahman from Egypt (the traditional use of Lakes in Siwa Protected Area), Faouzi Maamouri from Tunisia (the Ghar el Melh project), and Raphael Mathevet from France (on the Ecological solidarity). Med-INA’ associate Irini Lyratzaki participated with a presentation and a poster related to the project ‘Culture and wetlands in the Mediterranean: Using cultural heritage aspects for wetland restoration actions’. The interesting conclusions of thematic session 4 were incorporated in the Agadir Guidelines.

Prespa workshop: Towards an integrated approach to the cultural and natural aspects of wetlands

The Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos (Med-INA), in co-operation with the Society for the Protection of Prespa and MedWet, organised on 23-27 September 2009 the workshop themed “Cultural and natural values of wetlands: towards an integrated approach”.

The meeting took place in the Pyli Information Centre, Greek part of Prespa Lakes. The General Secretary of the Ramsar Convention Anada Tiega greeted the meeting with his letter, while Prespa Mayor Lazaros Nalpantides opened the workshop welcoming the participants.

Participants of the workshop were specialists, researchers, governmental officials and university professors, with experience and knowledge in the management of the cultural and natural heritage of Mediterranean wetlands, from 17 countries.

During the three-day programme of the workshop the following subjects were analyzed:
- wetland cultural landscapes
- archaeological sites and historic buildings
- cultural aspects of productive activities
- spiritual and secular aspects
- effective management of the natural and cultural heritage

The results of the meeting have been incorporated in the Prespa Statement on ‘an integrated approach to the cultural and natural values of Mediterranean wetlands’.