CHERISH organised a successful workshop on cultural heritage in Coastal Europe during the 18th European Week of Regions and Cities, Ocotber 13 2020.

The workshop showed experiences and policy improvements developed and discovered within the Interreg Europe CHERISH project, highlighting the positive impact of heritage protection and promotion in regional policy instruments and the positive change at local and regional level: heritage can be a lever for the sustainable development of coastal communities. 

After a brief introduction to the project consortium and its transnational dimension (by the CHERISH project manager Ms. Roos Galjaard) , Ms. Eudokia Balamou (Larnaca and Farmagusta Districts Development Agency/Flag Larnaca and Famagusta, CY) talked about regional policy instruments including heritage preservation and tourism as new economic opportunities. 

Next was Ms. Alexandra Roeger (Council Vice-president of Esposende Municipality PT) who presented the AMAReMAR social community project, where heritage is the starting point to strengthening the social fabric and promoting the cultural identity of marginalised communities.  The audience were very impressed by the work.

Mr. Tero Mustonen (Snowchange, FI) talked about the importance of fisheries' Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and the importance of youth and working with youngsters for the preservation of the cultural heritage of fishing communities.  After that Ms. Io Chatzivaryti (ΕU Programmes Advisor, Kavala, EL) will present the cooperation with the HORIZON 2020 Pericles project on preserving the endangered lagoon fishing traditions and local knowledge in the Natura 2000 Nestos delta.

The audience could ask questions after each presentation and was also involved through three poll questions, coordinated perfectly by Ms. Theresa Horn (EUCC-Germany).

The workshop has been recorded and you can watch the whole workshop here until next year, when the European Weeks of Cities and Regions 2021 starts.

The presentations of all speakers can be found here.

Take away message

If the protection and promotion of cultural heritage of fishing communities goes hand in hand, coastal communities can be able to meet the current challenges with regard to climate change, low fish prices and the involvement of young generations. The creation of well-adapted development policies can support the creation of sustainable regional concepts based on an active and trustful exchange of policy makers and practitioners.

Ms. Io Chatzivaryti: “Most important is what the local community actually wants. Because you may plan the best strategic development plan, but if the community does not accept it or does not reply to their aspiration this is doomed to fail. We did several stakeholder meetings to identify the aspirations of the fishermen.” 

 Mr. Tero Mustonen: “As we are co-learning and working with our colleagues all across Europe we have discovered that we are not victims. Our fishing community and our staff working in the CHERISH project know that the future has not been set. That there are a lot of actions we can undertake to preserve our heritage.”  

Ms. Roos Galjaard: “A link with the youth is very important for the preservation of cultural heritage. For example improved regional development policies creating opportunities for young people are a great approach. Without the young people involved the cultural heritage probably gets lost anyway.” 

Photo: Snowchange