The opening, informative event for the project “Med-RESET (Mediterranean REsilient inSular Ephemeral sTreams)”, on Friday, September 15th, in Ios, was a great success. Stakeholders and members of the local community attended with interest the presentation of the project and its main objective to revive the traditional practice of stone-built weirs in ephemeral streams of arid Mediterranean islands, through a pilot application in Ios.
Initially, the Mayor of Ios, Mr. Gikas Gikas, after enthusiastically welcoming the event and welcoming the audience, referred to the challenges that the island faces regarding water management and the dynamic and coordinated actions to address them.
The keynote speakers of the event were the Project Coordinator, Miranda Vatikioti (MedINA), the biodiversity and ecosystems expert, Fanourios – Nikolaos Sakellarakis (MedINA), the founding member of the “Save Ios” association, Michael Fischer, and the architect-engineer and founding member of the itinerant Workshop on traditional Building Techniques “Boulouki”, Grigoris Koutropoulos. The environmentalist – coordinator of actions for nature-based solutions at “WWF Hellas”, Thanos Giannakakis, intervened via video.
During her presentation, Miranda Vatikioti focused on the objectives and actions of the project, emphasizing the active participation of the local community as the cornerstone of the project and highlighting the pilot implementation in Ios in the big picture of proper water management in arid areas of the Mediterranean.
The podium was taken by Fanourios – Nikolaos Sakellarakis, who in his speech referred to the stone-built weirs in ephemeral streams, highlighting with examples a story with roots in antiquity, which after several decades of silence, is back in the spotlight again, deepening scientifically on ecosystem and biodiversity issues.
Michael Fischer then spoke, detailing the general characteristics of Ios, identifying problems, pressures, threats, challenges, but also presenting the action of the association “Save Ios”, with examples of interventions and projects that have been carried out in the past in order to address the challenges.
This was followed by the presentation of Gregory Koutropoulos, from “Boulouki”, who focused on small-scale dams in streams and torrents, analyzing the different techniques and materials identified through the study of examples of stone-built weirs and log dams in periodic flow streams, from prehistory to the present day.
Then, Thanos Giannakakis, spoke about the rapid changes in the climate and the new reality that is emerging, underlining the importance of Nature Based Solutions and focusing his intervention on the challenges facing the island of Ios.
The event concluded with a short open discussion, which highlighted the interest of the attendees for further information and active participation in the course and development of the project. The Mayor, Mr. Gikas Gikas thanked the audience, stressing the criticality of such interventions, hoping that the project will be the beginning of even more important future actions.
We would like to thank the Municipality of Ios for the honorary welcome, the hospitality in the Papapetrou Hall of the Town Hall, the excellent organization and the valuable contribution to the whole effort.
The project Med-RESET benefits from the support of the Donors’ Initiative for Mediterranean Freshwater Ecosystems (DIMFE). The project is co-funded by the Municipality of Ios and implemented under the coordination of MedINA in collaboration with Boulouki, Save Ios and WWF Hellas.
Feautred image: © Grigoris Koutropoulos / Boulouki