Sustainable Management of Mediterranean Wetland Landscapes

By Stefanos Dodouras and Aphrodite Sorotou.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Mediterranean landscapes have been under the influence of humans for millennia. Wetlands, in particular, have always been an important element of these landscapes. Mediterranean people have been inextricably and diachronically linked to these wetlands, but it is questionable whether these links are still growing strong and/or if they remain pertinent. In other words, this human-nature relationship has created rich landscape features, but it has also degraded many wetlands due to unsustainable practices and the lack of co-ordinated management techniques. The sustainable management of Mediterranean wetland landscapes is a complicated process that involves many entities and requires the resolving of many theoretical and practical matters. The situation becomes more complex when trans-boundary and trans-disciplinary issues come to the surface, where substantial environmental concerns, economic conflicts and socio-cultural dissimilarities can be observed. An integrated approach to wetland landscapes management may provide the necessary platform for a better appreciation of their functions and values. Yet, such an approach needs to be accessible, participatory, interactive and temporal in order to improve communication and cooperation, effectively allocate responsibilities and contribute to the sharing of experience between all involved actors. This paper presents some of the main concerns related to Mediterranean wetland landscapes and aims to examine why the need for integration is so imminent.

Keywords: Mediterranean, Landscapes, Wetlands, Sustainability, Integration

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp.271-284. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.816MB).

Dr. Stefanos Dodouras

Sustainability Consultant, Med-INA (Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos), Med-INA (Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos), Athens, Greece

Stefanos Dodouras holds a B.Sc. (Hons) in Economics from Manchester Metropolitan University and an MA in Environmental Impact Assessment and Management from the University of Manchester. For his Ph.D., he examined the complexity of real life situations such as mega sports events; the output of his research concerned an integrated appraisal system which uses soft systems thinking based on fuzzy concepts to allow a deeper understanding of sustainable development. Working outside academia, he has been responsible for researching, managing and co-ordinating projects co-funded by the European Commission in the field of urban, regional and tourism development. Currently, he is a sustainability consultant at the Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos (Med-INA), where he is responsible for the day-to-day management and co-ordination of projects in the fields of wetland management and landscape conservation, and for conducting research in this sphere and into the cultural and natural heritage of protected natural areas.

Aphrodite Sorotou

Med-INA (Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos), Greece

Aphrodite Sorotou studied Archaeology at University College, London, and obtained her M.Sc. in the Theory and History of International Relations at the University of London’s School of Economics and Political Science. Her main interests relate to the harmonious relationship between nature and culture, and the way this relation is manifested in the study of landscape. Since 2003, she has been a founding member and head of the scientific secretariat of the Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos and the co-ordinator of the ‘Conservation and management of Greek landscapes’ programme. She has also managed projects for EC programmes, mainly within the CULTURE 2000 framework.

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