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THE CAPE MALEA DECLARATION
Petition Background (Preamble):
The participants of the International Symposium ‘Cape Malea from the Homeric to the Modern Landscape organized by the Association of Velanidiotes ‘The Myrtidiotissa”, the Centre for Spartan and Peloponnesian Studies (CSPS) of the University of Nottingham and the Municipality of Monemvasia, in collaboration with the Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos (Med-IN A) and the Aikaterini Laskarides Foundation, which was held in “Petra”,Monemvasia on April 30th, 2011, express the following views on the conservation and promotion of the rich heritage of the MaleaPeninsula.
1. Landscapes are areas as perceived by people with a number of values and functions, both environmental and cultural.
2. Landscapes are formed diachronically in space through the continuous interaction between nature and culture.
3. Landscapes are an essential part of our natural and cultural wealth, providing sustenance to many life forms and improving our quality of life.
4. Above all, landcapes carry elements of human history and activity thus becoming repositories of archeological, historical and cultural testimonies.
5. The European Landscape Convention (transposed into Greek legislation by Law 3827/2010) provides the framework for the stewardship of all landscapes, with a focus on participatory procedures. It seeks to strike a balance between the views of local society, visitors and authorities. In the case of Cape Malea and the Malea Peninsula, this Convention provides a regulatory framework for the protection, management and spatial planning of landscapes by adopting specific measures, e.g. raising awareness among local inhabitants about the value of landscapes and how they are changed by human intervention, training experts to assess and identify landscape use and resources, creating educational programmes for landscape conservation, management and planning, setting qualitative targets through public consultation etc. Last but not least, it aims to put in place and implement a landscape policy wherein every area undertakes to introduce measures that promote sustainable development.
6. Cape Malea and the entire Malea Peninsula comprise a large number of diverse landscapes, many representative of Greece but all together making up its own historical identity. This is the result of a whole series of factors such as its unique geographical location (it is the meeting point of three seas and a crossing to the Aegean sea), its geomorphology (hundreds of caves and grottos, dolines and other carstic formations), its microclimate (gales that swiftly change direction, strong sea currents), its rich fauna (such as jackals, monk seals) and endemic flora (among others, tulipa goulimyi, juniperus oxycedrus ssp.macrocarpa, linum hellenicum), its history and culture (dating back to early prehistoric times), and the people who inhabit or care about the area . The legendary Cape Malea has been praised by many. Homer, other ancient writers but also contemporary Greeks and foreign travelers and authors have praised its rugged terrain, its unrivalled natural environment both on land and at sea. Over the centuries seafarers but also local fishermen have recounted tales of the perilous circumnavigation of the Cape.
These landscapes are now under constant threat because of human greed and mismanagement. They are in grave danger due to excessive human activity and the lack of a consistent policy for sustainable development.
The aforementioned problems, the insufficient information and sensitisatisation of the public and the fact that the voices of those fighting to ensure a sustainable future can barely be heard, only make matters worse and jeopardise any effort made.
1. We invite the Prefecture of the Peloponnese and all competent authorities to review the existing Regional Spatial Planning Framework (RSPF) and take into account all facts and conclusions presented at this International Symposium. They are also invited to designate Cape Malea and its surrounding area as a landscape of National and International importance in the future Regional Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development Framework for the Peloponnese. Cape Malea is of great environmental and aesthetic importance and is characterised by a unique cultural heritage. For this reason the Prefecture of the Peloponnese is requested to submit a complete application to UNESCO asking for Cape Malea to be nomitated a World Heriatage Site of Cultural and Natural Significance.
We request the Ministry of Energy, Environment and Climate Change to adopt Cape Malea as a Site of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and remove it immediately from the list of areas most suitable for the sitting of wind farms (priority areas for wind farms)
We call the Secretary of Decentralised Administration to compile a Special Dossier for the area to be declared a protected landscape, a natural formation with rich biodiversity in accordance with the provisions of Law 3937, Government Gazette A 60/31-03-2011. The conservation and protection tool of Cape Malea is the Natura 2000 Network. A substantial area of the Malea Peninsula has already been declared as a Special Protection Area (SPA) for . The commissioning of an environmental study and setting up a Management Body for Cape Malea is imperative.
We urge the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries and the other competent Ministries to re-examine the use of Vatika Bay as a ship anchorage since it causes irreparable damage to an area where fishing has been prohibited ( Presidential Decree 16/2009, Government Gazette 32 A/24-02-2009). The Presidential Decree thus protects the Vatika Bay as a spawning ground for fish and the formation of coral reefs. The long term anchorage of ships constitutes a serious continuous threat to:
a. the submerged prehistoric town of Pavlopetri, a world renowned underwater archaeological site
b the Stroggyli wetland which is part of SPA (Special Protection Area) GR 24540002 of the Natura 2000 Network.
c. The vitally important meadows of the Mediterranean seaweed Poseidonia Oceanica and the fascinating and, on occasions, unique coral gardens in the bay
We encourage all public, private and social organizations to take action in order to protect, manage and plan , the landscapes of Cape Malea, thus protecting its invaluable natural and cultural heritage. Private and public organizations as well as NGOs are prompted to provide assistance to Public Authorities so that Cape Malea to be designated as a Landscape of International and National Importance and a protected landscape.
In parallel, action should be undertaken to:
a. include the medieval fortress town of Monemvasia on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites . This will help to protect, promote and make the best possible use of the entire medieval settlement. Much needed restoration work and infrastructure projects will be carried out to ensure the smooth operation of the archaeological site.
b. delimit and designate the traditional settlements on the Malea Peninsula and finalize the procedure for the designation of the settlements at Zarax as traditional settlements.
Finally, everyone is invited to become actively involved in any effort to safeguard and promote the natural and cultural heritage of the Malea Peninsula for the benefit of current and future generations.
Monemvasi , April 30, 2011.
The THE CAPE MALEA DECLARATION petition to Region of peloponnese, Municipality of Monemvasia, Council of Europe, http://www.capemalea.eu was written by CAPE MALEA and is in the category Culture at GoPetition. Contact author here. Petition tags: cape, capemalea, malea, declaration, european landscape, pavlopetri