The CARDIMED project at the Sifnos Landscape Workshop

The CARDIMED project at the Sifnos Landscape Workshop

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On Friday the 27th of October, MedINA participated in the Workshop on the Landscape of Sifnos, organised by the FLEA team in collaboration with the Environmental Team and the Architectural Committee of the Municipality of Sifnos, the Committee for the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources of Sifnos and the Association ‘Anemos Ananeosis’, at the Prokos Foundation in Apollonia, Sifnos.

Landscape is recognised as a natural, social, and economic resource, shaped by human intervention in harmony with nature, but today it is threatened by the uncontrolled and unplanned man-made interferences.

During the workshop, the characteristics, and values of the Sifnos landscape were presented, as well as the challenges and threats it faces. Among the threats, the loss of traditional agricultural practices linked to the abandonment of dry-stone building ‘kserolithies’ – a key cultural element of the Aegean islands – was highlighted as an important one, while the management of water resources in combination with the effects of climate change was presented as a key challenge for the future.

In this context, MedINA, as a partner of the project “CARDIMED – Nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation”, participated in the workshop with the presentation “Stone built weirs in the stream of Kamares. A water management measure in the context of adaptation of ecosystems and local communities to climate change”. MedINA’s expert in landscape and geoinformation systems, Thymio Dimopoulos, had the opportunity to present how the traditional practice of stone-built weirs in ephemeral streams can contribute both to the adaptation of local ecosystems and societies to climate change and to the preservation of the practice of dry-stone building and the traditional rural landscape.

With examples of the implementation of this practice in Kythera and Paros, where the reintroduction of stone-built weirs on ephemeral streams has become a reality, the benefits of this practice also on the island of Sifnos, where over the next three years 120 stone-built weirs will be constructed by MedINA in the catchment area of the Kamares stream, were presented. Special reference was made to the establishment of a monitoring system for the results of the CARDIMED project, that will be done through a series of measurements of biotic and abiotic parameters of biodiversity and water resources.

The CARDIMED project is expected to last until September 2028, but its impact on both the promotion and preservation of traditional dry-stone building techniques and climate change resilience is expected to last for decades.