Update on ALAS - All About Salt

30/06/2003

From: HAILS Sandra - Ramsar [mailto:hails@ramsar.org]
Sent: 11 June 2003 09:59
To: ramsar-cepa-eng@indaba.iucn.org
Subject: [Ramsar-CEPA-Eng] All About Salt - the ALAS project

All About Salt - the ALAS project

Good morning CEPA List Members:

ALAS - All About Salt: readers may remember that back in October 2001 I posted a message to the List describing the ALAS project, a programme of work that recognised the economic, social and cultural value of traditional salinas (salt pans) as well as their importance as wetland habitat for breeding and migrating birds. The central aims of the project were to encourage the rehabilitation and restoration of salinas around the European and Mediterranean coasts, the training of young salters to continue traditional techniques, the dissemination of information about the value of traditional salinas and the development of marketing strategies to sell traditionally-produced salt.

Having begun in December 1999, the ALAS project came to a highly successful close in December 2002 with the publication of "Salt and salinas as natural resources and alternative poles for local development". Written in Greek and English, this 261-page text is the outcome of the final ALAS Conference and can be downloaded as a PDF file from the ALAS web site at http://www.aegean.gr/alas/praktika.pdf

The project has also produced six well-illustrated, full-colour leaflets covering a range of topics all about salt and traditional salt production, including: Traditional salt-works in Southern Europe: Historical development and operation The salter profession: Weather and sweat Traditionally produced salt: A high quality product Discovering traditional salt-works: A short guide for tourists and amateurs Traditional production of salt: A age-old cultural heritage Traditional production of salt and its culture: Your region benefits from it

These too can be downloaded as PDF files from the ALAS Web site at http://www.aegean.gr/alas/leaflets.htm

Another product is the excellent 14-minute video "Salt and Salinas in the Mediterranean" produced by two of the ALAS leading personalities, Hjalmar Dahm and Theodora Petanidou. The video takes you from the Atlantic coast through the entire Mediterranean to the Black Sea. You meet salt makers in France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bulgaria and Greece. The video explains the role of salt in human history and the challenging situation today at most salinas, both traditional and industrial. It also clearly illustrates the cultural heritage and rich wildlife linked to these rare human-made wetlands. Sad to say only a very limited number of copies are available - please contact Hjalmar Dahm (hdahm@geo.aegean.gr) for further information.

And the future for ALAS? I'm happy to report that the work does not end here. At the closing conference in December 2002, the MedWet/Salinas network was created with the agreed goal "to promote the collaboration for the appropriate management of salinas and the salt cycle in the Mediterranean region, for the long-term benefit of the environment, cultural and social interest of all stakeholders involved in the salt cycle." You can read the full story of this in the main text mentioned above and also on the ALAS web site.

-- reported to the CEPA list by Sandra Hails, Ramsar.

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