International Conference in Management of Accessible Underwater Cultural and Natural Heritage Sites, Athens, Greece
From 16th to 18th October 2019 an International Conference in Management of Accessible Underwater Cultural and Natural Heritage Sites organized by the BLUEMED project with the support of the Med Sustainable Tourism Community with the theme “Dive in Blue Growth” has hosted at the Acropolis Museum. The conference aimed to answer questions related to the common challenges that these assets face: a) lack of coordinated policies, methods and tools, adapted to support sustainable economic development, b) ineffective protection of their underwater natural and cultural heritage and inability to use it as an asset for sustainable and responsible tourism development, c) in sufficient measures to tackle impacts of extreme climatic conditions. 230 participants joined the conference, and distinguished guests and keynote speakers honored the event with their presence (Minister of Culture - Lina Mendoni, the president of the Greek National Tourism Association – Angela Gerekou, Secretary for General Greeks Abroad - John Crysoulakis, the Directors of the Italian and the Greek Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities – Dr. Barbara Davidde and Dr. Pari Kalamara). RECONNECT Interreg Balkan – Med project was presented by the researcher Lydia Stergiopoulou as a case study of evaluating Cultural Ecosystem Services that emerge from the co-existence of cultural and natural heritage in Marine Protected Areas.