Moving forward together: Strengthening our partnership with collective actions
Alliance for Mediterranean Nature & Culture (AMNC)
Field visit to traditional salinas in Cadiz, 3rd June 2023
The Alliance for Mediterranean Nature & Culture (AMNC) continues to grow from strength to strength by drawing on our experiences since 2017. Following the endorsement of our new strategic plan for 2023-2025, we came together to strengthen our partnership and discuss our organizational goals and joint projects. Between 2-3 June 2023, our Steering Committee met in Cadiz, Spain, during which we collectively discussed our positioning and capacities to effectively maintain joint actions for the conservation of cultural landscapes of the Mediterranean while supporting local communities and livelihoods. The gathering, thus, provided an opportunity for members of the AMNC to reaffirm their commitment to their shared mission and explore avenues for further collaboration.
AMNC Steering Committee Meeting in University of Cadiz
We want to thank the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation for hosting us and the Universidad de Cádiz and MedArtSal project partners for all the collaborations and teachings around the fascinating cultural landscape of the region.
“IUCN was delighted to organize and take part in the Steering Committee meeting of the Alliance for Mediterranean Nature and Culture (AMNC). For most AMNC’s members, the gathering in Cadiz has constituted an important occasion to demonstrate their continued commitment to the project and to manifest their desire to extend its life. Overall, it has been a very good opportunity to discuss potential strategies to revitalize the Alliance and to consider future prospects for the conservation and sustainable development of outstanding agricultural heritage systems in the Mediterranean region.
In addition, the visit to two artisanal saltpans located within the city of Cadiz has represented another valuable opportunity for AMNC’s members to exchange knowledge and become more familiar with the traditional agricultural techniques adopted to produce and process salt. These landscapes testify to the harmonious co-evolution that occurred between nature and society over centuries, fitting perfectly into the work and the vision of the Alliance.”
-Dario Pollicino, IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation
As part of the gathering, we also had the privilege to visit the artisanal salt flats and learn about the developmental projects reviving these cultural practices and related biodiversity. An example of harmonious interactions between humans and nature, artisanal salt pans encompass traditional agricultural techniques and cultural practices that allow for the sustainable production of salt and flourishing biodiversity, especially protected avifauna. They are also key areas of rest and reproduction for migratory birds. These landscapes have immense cultural, natural, social and economic value.
The steering committee meeting was a great opportunity to update each other on our overlapping work and map out joint projects for the future. For example, many of AMNC’s pilot sites around the Mediterranean region produce high-quality products using traditional cultural practices embedded in the landscape that have the added value of preserving the landscapes and local biodiversity.
Meeting in Cadiz and seeing first-hand the restoration projects of artisanal saltpans with IUCN Med and MedArtSal allowed us to exchange knowledge and experience, as GOB Menorca is also involved in an artisanal salt pan restoration project on the island. MedArtSal had helped us implement environmental actions to encourage the presence and nesting of avifauna, and we were excited to share the progress with them at the University of Cadiz’s conference on Sustainable management models for Mediterranean Artisanal Salinas.
-Charlotte Hawthorne, GOB Menorca
This was also an opportunity to share knowledge and experience between similar projects in the Mediterranean region. Our partner GOB Menorca shared the successful environmental restoration actions carried out at Salinas de la Concepción in Menorca, following MedArtSal’s indications and previous experience. The restoration project, which is still in process, was presented at the MedArtSal conference at the University of Cadiz.
We’re looking forward to seeing the results and increase in biodiversity once it’s finalized!
Field visit to traditional salinas, 3rd June 2023