Culture and Wetlands in the Mediterranean: an evolving story by Thymio Papayannis, Dave Pritchard

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By Thymio Papayannis, Dave Pritchard

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This, however, is only one mechanism for providing central assistance; improved dissemination, networking, troubleshooting, the harmonisation of concepts and terms and the promotion of success stories will also play their part. One area of action will lie with the Ramsar Culture Working Group, and the opportunity is taken here to make a brief reference to the Group’s planned activities between late 2009 and 2012, which feature seven distinct proposed work streams. One of these covers the idea of the Ramsar culture strategy mentioned above, in whose development the Group would take the lead.

At times, these signs of human action may appear functionally unrelated to wetlands, or connected only by proximity. Ancient and traditional societies, however, rarely made choices by accident. Thus, throughout history the existence of a wetland with its water and other resources and services has been a pole of attraction for the groups or societies that have settled around it. This relationship, which is not always visible to the contemporary viewer, may require scientific analysis to be properly identified and documented.

The document summarises some key fundamentals concerning the role of cultural issues in the management of wetlands, and then provides technical guidance on the day-to-day implementation of an enhanced understanding of wetland-related cultural issues. Two schemes of suggested actions for achieving a more integrated approach are described: one based on an elaboration of general objectives deriving from the policies, principles and responsibilities defined under the Convention, and a second based on a technical characterisation of the linkages between wetlands and culture.

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