Cultural aspects of Mediterranean wetlands

Advancing knowledge and raising awareness

Cultural aspects of Mediterranean wetlands

Project description

The project aimed at increasing knowledge and raising awareness of the cultural aspects of wetlands through research, a variety of publications, the organisation of a Mediterranean workshop and by supporting the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative.

More specifically, one of the primary activities of the project was the analysis and documentation of the cultural practices and values of twenty-one emblematic wetland sites in the Mediterranean, which led to the publication of the book Action for Culture in Mediterranean Wetlands. During the lifespan of the project, two further publications were also launched. Un patrimoine à préserver, les zones humides méditerranéennes was produced in both book and CD-ROM format while Culture and wetlands in the Mediterranean: an evolving story came out in book form. Each is a significant contribution to the literature on culture and wetlands.

Another major element of the project was the holding of an international workshop entitled Towards an integrated approach to wetland cultural and natural aspects’. Organised by MedINA in collaboration with the Society for the Protection of Prespa and the Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative, the workshop was held on the Greek side of the transboundary Prespa lakes on 23-27 September, 2009 and was attended by experts in nature conservation and cultural heritage management, as well as wetland managers from across the Mediterranean. The workshop’s proceedings were published and widely disseminated in both book form and on CD-ROM. The publication was launched during the 10th Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention in Changwon, South Korea, where MedINA participated and contributed to the organisation of two side events on the cultural aspects of wetlands:Wetlands International – Japan: Cultural aspects of Asian wetlands’ and ‘Ramsar Culture Working Group: Culture and wetlands’.

Finally, the project supported the Ramsar Convention and the MedWet Initiative in better incorporating the cultural values of wetlands into their workings – the former through MedINA’s contribution to the Ramsar publication Culture and Wetlands: A Ramsar Guidance Document and the creation of a matrix for wetland cultural values and the latter by supporting a transition from the MedWet Culture Working Group to a MedWet Culture Network in order to be more flexible and inclusive to all Mediterranean countries and partners.