As the end of the year is fast approaching and the holiday season is upon us, the Med-INA team would like to take note of its major activities and achievements during 2015 and take the opportunity to wish all its partners a Happy New Year 2016.
2015 was the first year of implementation of the MAVA funded project “Towards an integrated approach for the sustainable management of Mediterranean natural and cultural heritage” on which significant progress was made. The Marinescape Forum was held in Piraeus on 27-28 May, organised by Med-INA and CIVILSCAPE. The two days of the Forum saw an impressive array of speakers from a broad cross section of backgrounds and professional disciplines related to the marine and coastal environment, challenging the participants to expand their understanding of the functions and values of these unique areas. The importance of establishing a Mediterranean Marinescape Observatory was one of the strongest conclusions coming out of this meeting. For more information please follow this link.
Being a member of the Mediterranean Consortium for Nature and Culture, in 2015 Med-INA hosted the photography exhibition “On the Move”, a part of the Consortium’s project on transhumance in the Mediterranean. The exhibition which portrays the lives of transhumant shepherds in six Mediterranean countries made its sixth stop in Greece and was hosted with great success in the mountainous village of Metsovo and in Athens. Also, a meeting for the members of the Consortium was organised in July, which coincided with the opening of the first “On the Move” exhibition. Med-INA’s active collaboration with the Consortium has been renewed through a second phase to this project until 2017 which in Greece will be implemented in the Messolonghi – Aitoliko lagoons and will focus on artisanal fisheries and their ecological and cultural values.
In continuation of Med-INA’s long involvement in the cultural values of wetlands, this year was the first year of collaboration with MedWet regarding the MedWet Culture Network (MW-CN). Med-INA was tasked to re-launch the MW-CN handling both the creation of a new website as well as dealing with the membership and other issues. This year the foundations were set and the official launch will take place in 2016.
The Medscapes project “Development of Landscape character assessment as a tool for effective conservation of natural heritage in the Eastern Mediterranean”, in which Med-INA is a partner finishes at the end of 2015. The Med-INA team concluded its Landscape Character Assessment mapping exercise in a selected area in the Pindos Mountains and held a participatory workshop with the local community to discuss the potential of community-based landscape management among other issues. Additional deliverables, like the Best Practice Methodology for which Med-INA is lead and which capitalises on the joint experience of the Partners in order to deliver a methodology for landscape characterisation and mapping in the East Mediterranean, is being reviewed and finalised. Finally, the Med-INA team participated in the closing conference of the project that took place in Jordan in December 2015.
Past projects were continued during 2015, specifically Med-INA’s continued involvement in scared natural sites and in particular the integrated management of Mt Athos and its natural, spiritual and cultural values. This year also saw Med-INA’s contribution to a new and very interesting project, the management of the Ancient Corinth archaeological site, in cooperation with the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, the Corinth Archaeological Ephorate and TPA.
Med-INA was also present in various national and international meetings, most notably the 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar COP12) that took place in Punta del Este, Uruguay, from 1 to 9 June.
Taking stock of the many activities undertaken in 2015, we hope that the new year will bring even more successful activities and collaborations and will further our ultimate goal, the conservation and management of culture and nature in order to achieve sustainable development for the Mediterranean and the planet as a whole.