About MedINA

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Who we are

The Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos (MedINA) was established in 2003 as a not for profit organization based in Athens, Greece with a focus on the Mediterranean region and beyond. Ιts broader aim is to contribute to the development of a harmonious relationship between Humankind and Nature for the wellbeing of all.

MedINA is the brainchild of successful architect and planner Thymio Papayannis, a visionary and leading figure in the field of environmental and cultural heritage conservation with significant contribution to policy, research and action in the past thirty years. Originally focused on the integrated management of nature and culture through three priority areas – cultural values of wetlands, landscape and Sacred Natural Sites – in time MedINA broadened its scope and now works across three interrelated pillars: nature, culture and communities.

Our mission is to inspire people to recognise the value and connection between our natural and cultural heritage, and to work towards a just and sustainable future through research, working with communities, the exchange of ideas and knowledge, and networking in the Mediterranean and beyond.

The values that guide what we do and how we do it

We are down to earth

We are modest and we know our limits. That’s why we believe in team work and collective action.

We respect diversity

We believe that diversity makes us better and stronger –diversity of species and ecosystems, cultures and opinions, backgrounds and expertise.

We strive for fairness

We are driven by a sense of duty, and a deep belief in democratic values, inclusivity and social justice.

We work with passion and creativity

We love what we do and we love getting inspired by new ideas

The big picture

Human activity impacts greatly on the natural environment. At the same time, what we do as a society not only shapes and but is shaped by culture in its broadest sense. As a result, nature and culture are intimately linked in a dynamic relationship that has endured throughout human history.

Climate change, poverty and inequality are some of the biggest challenges faced by societies across the planet. Finding a balance between our prosperity and the conservation and wise use of our planet’s critical ecosystems and resources is vital for our common future.

Only when human communities become allies in this process and stewards of their own natural and cultural environment can real, sustainable progress be made.

For us, working closely with people at all levels, from the local to the international, as well as promoting community empowerment, environmental protection and cultural diversity, is the clearest way forward in creating the kind of world that is not only good and equitable for those of us alive today but for future generations, too.

Being an active part of the global community is important to us, as is involving ourselves in issues to the benefit of all. Our work supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the conservation of biological diversity, and global action for mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

Thymio Papayannis
Founder / President of MedINA

Culture is neither static nor related solely to the remains of past civilizations; it evolves and connects humankind’s past with its future. By embracing societal strengths, contemporary attitudes and creativity, cultural responses to environmental change can provide one of our most important strategies when facing the great environmental challenges of today.