Corfu 16-17 May 2013
The first day (16/5/2013), the scheduled meeting of GRUNDVIG Culture for WaterFronts project (CWF) took place in the Ionian Conference Center of Faliraki, offered by the Municipality of Corfu. The meeting was attended by 35 active participants from several organizations in Corfu.
The meeting was opened by Mr. Nikos Petropoulos, Board of Directors of Innopolis Centre for Innovation and Culture - organizer of the meeting. Mr. Petropoulos welcomed the partners, explained the importance of culture for sustainable development, then introduced audience and project partners allowing for participatory and interactive communication.
Ms. Agnieszka Wlazel, Impact Foundation LP of CFW presented CFW project and River Cities platform followed by the introduction of all other CFW partners.
On behalf of the Mayor of Corfu, Yannis Trepeklis, Mr. George Pantazis, Vice Mayor responsible for Technical Services & Development of Corfu Municipality addressed the audience stating the importance of culture in sustainable development of Corfu.
Next, the floor was taken by Mr. Vasilis Kontos on behalf of Mr. Stavrou Secretary General of the Ionian Island Region. Mr. Vasilis Kontos, also the Vice President of Hellenic Tourism Association, focused his speech on how wetlands and culture serving as the hidden treasures of the island can contribute to the new alternative touristic products of Corfu.
All the Greek representatives focused on the preservation of ecologic treasures, (wet lands, rivers, water falls, other) and the shield that cultural activities could offer against ecologically unsustainable investments that will put nature in danger.
Especially, the Erimitis case stirred a lot of discussion. Erimitis is a ecologicaly virgin area for the preservation of which a citizens movement has been created to protect it from unsustainable exploitation. In this context, CWF partners presented how culture and ecology can co-exist and offer development perspective.
The next day (17/5/2013) CWF partners visited the wet land Issos Chlomos and lake Korrision. This visit was supported by the Local Cultural Association. The members of the Association welcomed the partners and offered them a sightseeing tour on the seaside dunes coupled with bird watching in the Lake of Korrssion. During the meeting again the issue of attracting touristic investments on the island it was discussed in relation to the need of respecting Environmental Impact Assessments. The participants also exchange experience on how culture could serve as a shield against unethical, unsustainable investments by making the wider public aware of the ecological considerations through involving them into projects combining nature and culture.
The last day of their stay in Corfu (18/5/2013), CWF partners enjoyed a day trip to Erimitis where they had the chance to develop individual and collective understanding on what is at stake in the area. The Otter (Lutra lutra L.) on Corfu Island (Greece)
In conclusion, InnoPolis managed to offer a unique opportunity to CFW partners and Corfu Sustainable Development Stakeholders to interact and establish bonds that will serve the sustainable European Agenda and the preservation of the Corfu Island unique destination.