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Where the European Landscape meets the Myth

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 International Symposium for the Cultural & Environmental

Heritage and Landscape

“Cape Malea: From the Homeric to Modern Landscape”

                                                

                                                            

 

 

 

 

                                                                THE  CAPE MALEA DECLARATION

For the protection of the Cultural Heritage, Natural Environment and the Landscape of  the Malea                    Peninsula

 

Cape Malea: From the Homeric to Modern Landscape                                                            

Under the auspices of the Perfecture of the Peloponnese                                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

 INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM FOR THE CULTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL HERITAGE AND LANDSCAPE

 

The  participants of the International Symposium ‘Cape Malea from the Homeric to the Modern Landscape organized by the Association of Velanidiotes ‘The Myrtidiotissa”, the Centre for Spartan and Peloponnesian Studies (CSPS) of the University of Nottingham and the Municipality of Monemvasia,  in collaboration with the Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos (Med-IN A) and the Aikaterini Laskarides Foundation, which was held in “Petra”,Monemvasia on April 30th, 2011, express the following views on the conservation and promotion of the rich heritage of the MaleaPeninsula.

 

 FINDINGS

 

1.  Landscapes are areas as perceived by people with a number of values and functions, both environmental and cultural.

2.  Landscapes are formed diachronically in space through the continuous interaction between nature and culture

3.  Landscapes are an essential  part of our natural and cultural wealth, providing sustenance to many life forms and improving our quality of life

4.  Above all, landcapes carry elements of human history and activity thus becoming repositories of archeological, historical and cultural testimonies.

5.  The European Landscape Convention (transposed into Greek legislation by Law 3827/2010) provides the framework for the stewardship of all landscapes, with a focus on participatory procedures. It seeks to strike a balance between the views of local society, visitors and authorities. In the case of Cape Malea and the Malea Peninsula, this Convention provides a regulatory framework for the protection, management and spatial planning of landscapes by adopting specific measures, e.g. raising awareness among local inhabitants about the value of landscapes and how they are changed by  human intervention, training experts to assess and identify landscape use and resources, creating educational programmes for landscape conservation, management and planning, setting qualitative targets through public consultation etc. Last but not least, it aims to put in place and implement a landscape policy wherein every area undertakes to introduce measures that promote sustainable development.

6.  Cape Malea and the entire Malea Peninsula comprise a large number of diverse landscapes, many representative of Greece but all together making up its own historical identity. This is the result of a whole series of factors such as its unique geographical location (it is the meeting point of three seas and a crossing to the Aegean sea), its geomorphology (hundreds of caves and grottos, dolines and other carstic formations), its microclimate (gales that swiftly change direction, strong sea currents), its rich fauna (such as jackals, monk seals) and endemic flora (among others, tulipa goulimyi, juniperus oxycedrus ssp.macrocarpa, linum hellenicum), its history and culture (dating back to early prehistoric times), and the people who inhabit or care about the area . The legendary Cape Malea has been praised by many. Homer, other ancient writers but also contemporary Greeks  and foreign travelers and authors have praised its rugged terrain, its unrivalled natural environment both on land and at sea. Over the centuries seafarers but also local fishermen have recounted tales of  the perilous circumnavigation of the Cape.

These landscapes are now under constant threat because of human greed and mismanagement. They are in grave danger due to excessive human activity and the lack of a consistent policy for sustainable development.

The aforementioned problems, the insufficient information and sensitisatisation of the public and  the fact that the voices of those fighting to ensure a sustainable future can barely be heard, only make matters worse and jeopardise any effort made.

 

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