Med-INA, the Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos, was established in Athens in September 2003 as a non-profit scientific organisation working on the interface of nature and culture. During its first decade, Med-INA focused on three priority areas, which included (a) the cultural values and services of wetlands in the Mediterranean and globally, (b) landscapes with an emphasis on Greece and (c) sacred natural sites through the Delos Initiative and the integrated management of the Mt Athos World Heritage Site. Its work has included research and publications, as well as policy and lobbying to achieve an integrated approach to the management of cultural and natural heritage.
For its second decade, Med-INA is undergoing a radical reorientation. With the generous support of the MAVA Foundation for Nature for the period 2014-2017, it is fusing its diverse activities into one major programme: developing an approach to sensitive sites that covers both their natural and cultural heritage and is based mainly on the endogenous human resources of these sites. This approach, which will make good use of the past experience of Med-INA, but also of other organisations in the Mediterranean, will be developed initially at a theoretical level and then will be applied to a selected site, rich both in culture and in nature, so that the approach can be tested and reviewed as needed. Further application of the approach toolkit will be conducted in three other Mediterranean sites, further elaborating on the replicability and pertinence at the regional scale.
A number of other activities are also planned in order to contribute to the main theme. They include:
- Establishment of a knowledge-based platform to serve the new programme.
- Development of a Mediterranean Landscape Charter.
- Organisation with Silene of a fourth Delos Workshop focusing on Islamic spiritual sites to be held in Jordan in late 2015.
- Continued encouragement of cultural activities contributing to the restoration of Larnaka Salt Lake in Cyprus, Tunis Bay in Tunisia and Karla Lake in Greece.
In addition, Med-INA is actively participating in the activities of the Mediterranean Consortium on Nature and Culture, established by the MAVA Foundation. Furthermore, it is discussing stronger collaboration with the MedWet Initiative and with the Tour du Valat Research Centre in the Camargue, France focusing on culture and wetlands.
On the governance side, Med-INA is moving from individual to collective leadership, and is ensuring the quality of its outputs through competent scientific staff and expert international advisors. Its Strategic Plan 2015-2025, now under development, will incorporate a Framework Programme Strategy, a human resources management and capacity building strategy, a sustainable financial and fundraising plan, as well as a potent communication and outreach strategy.