Cultural Landscapes
in Natura 2000 Sites:

Towards a new policy for the integrated management of cultural
and natural heritage

International Meeting
10 - 11 October 2014
Athens and Stymfalia

The International Meeting

The Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (PIOP) in collaboration with the Greek Ministries of Culture & Sports and Environment, Energy & Climate Change, organized the International Meeting entitled 'Cultural Landscapes in Natura 2000 sites: towards a new policy for the integrated management of cultural and natural heritage', which was held on the 10th and 11th of October 2014 at the Acropolis Museum in Athens and in Stymfalia. Senior officials from the European Commission, representatives of European institutions, representatives of international bodies, foundations and international associations, as well as members of the academic community, experts and civil society organisations attended this International Meeting.

The main objectives of the Meeting were:
  • To examine and document the dual cultural and environmental value of cultural landscapes, particularly those located within the EU Ecological Network Natura 2000.
  • to determine the main elements of a new policy which based on the functional association between culture and environment, which among others will aim at:
a) integrating management of cultural and natural heritage,
b) reversing the deterioration of landscapes and protecting them as common cultural and environmental resources,
c) investigating partnerships to protect and manage cultural sites,
d) developing new European and international financing instruments, and
e) highlighting the potential these sites hold for individual and social welfare.

Declaration of Stymfalia


The participants of the International Meeting "Cultural Landscapes in Natura 2000 sites: towards a new policy for the integrated management of cultural and natural heritage" held from 10 to 11 October 2014 in Athens and Stymfalia, Greece:

Acknowledging that landscape protection may be enhanced if a clear understanding of how human culture shapes the environment is realized and if, at the same time, nature’s feedback processes that reshape culture are fully comprehended,

Acknowledging also that in recent years there is increasing recognition, both internationally and nationally, of the need to manage landscapes as composites of both natural and cultural heritage,

1. Agree that:

Sufficient and reliable site information is needed on the state of landscapes, their cultural and natural values, the transformation processes, the driving forces, the risks and pressures, the feedback processes, as well as the links between cultural and natural heritage.

Trans-disciplinary and interdisciplinary research focusing on the links between cultural and natural heritage at the landscape level should be prioritized.

Local knowledge and experience should be used to fill knowledge gaps and to develop site-specific management measures, so as diversity to be respected and local development to be sustainable.


Training programmes on assessment methods, management and communication practices for the integrated management of cultural and natural heritage are valuable for raising the capacities of local people.

Existing educational programmes (such as Erasmus and others) can support tailor made projects regarding the integrated management of cultural and natural heritage in order to increase the opportunities for learning mobility and address skills gaps through transnational and trans-disciplinary partnerships.

A reorientation of University curricula to link natural sciences with culture is required in order to build capacity that will underpin the integrated management approaches to cultural and natural heritage.


Sustaining landscapes while allowing both continuing use by local communities that are dependent on them and conserving cultural and natural heritage, is considered a key management objective to be followed.

Integrated planning should engage all stakeholders (public, environmental and cultural associations, NGOs, central/regional/local administrations, scientific community) for the preservation and restoration of the linkages between natural and cultural heritage.

Management plans of landscapes with important cultural and natural heritage, especially those located within Natura 2000 sites, need to be supported by an integrated set of natural and cultural heritage criteria rather than separate ones.


Best practices for the integrated management of cultural and natural heritage need to be exchanged between local administrations, site users, interested public, social and economic stakeholders and policy makers.

National and European communication and information campaigns regarding the importance of the integrated management of cultural and natural heritage are needed for raising awareness.


Increased weight should be given to the integration of cultural heritage in the management plans of the Natura 2000 sites, with a respective enrichment of the related guidelines for the preparation of these plans.

International and EU (environmental, cultural, economic, regional development, agricultural, maritime and research) policies need to be reconsidered so as to prioritize the integration of cultural and natural heritage into local, regional and sectoral policies.

The development, on a pilot basis, of a network of "Cultural Landscapes in Natura 2000 Sites"" throughout Europe will significantly facilitate the improvement of our knowledge in terms of linking natural and cultural heritage within the framework of an organized network of protected areas.

The development of sustainable and high quality tourism should also include products linked to cultural and natural heritage. To this end "Cultural Landscapes in Natura 2000 Sites"" may be considered as a potential culture route crossing several countries and connecting them in a common, cultural and environmental, narrative.

The development of a new budget line linking existing EU funding programmes (e.g. Horizon 2020, LIFE, Structural and Investment Funds - ESIF, European Regional Development Fund, European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, etc.) in the fields of environment, culture, education and regional development, will facilitate synergies and allow for the best possible exploitation of funds for projects aiming at the integrated management of cultural and natural heritage at the landscape level.

In particular, assessment studies, management plans and communication programmes regarding "Cultural Landscapes in Natura 2000 Sites" may be considered as a potential area for pilot projects in the context of the Horizon 2020 and LIFE programmes.

2. We agree also to:

a) initiate cooperation for the development of a network of entities interested in the integrated management of cultural and natural heritage, which inter alia will examine the prospect for a new culture/environment route termed as "Cultural landscapes in Natura 2000 sites".

b) establish an international Working Group to promote the above cooperation, with the Piraeus Bank Cultural Foundation undertaking the support and promotion of the cooperation and the coordination of the Working Group.

c) communicate these concluding points, through the Piraeus Bank Cultural Foundation, to competent European and International bodies for consideration.


Auditorium of the Acropolis Museum
08.30 - 09.20 Registration
9.30 Arrival of H.E. the President of the Hellenic Republic Mr. Karolos Papoulias

Opening Session and Keynote Presentations
09.30 - 10.15 Opening statements
Sophia Staikou, Chairman of Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (download the speech)
Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs, European Commission
Janez Potočnik, Commissioner for the Environment, European Commission
Konstantinos Tasoulas, Minister of Culture and Sports, Hellenic Republic
Ioannis Maniatis, Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Hellenic Republic

10.15 - 11.15 Keynote presentations
Mechtild Rössler, Deputy Director, World Heritage Centre, United Nations (UNESCO)
"World Heritage cultural landscapes: integrated management of cultural and natural heritage" (download the presentation)
Tina Birbili, Executive Secretary, Ozone Secretariat, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
"Culture and Nature in Balance for sustainable communities"
Mόnica Luengo, Chair, International Scientific Committee of Cultural Landscapes,
International Council of Monuments and Sites/International Federation of Landscape Architects (ICOMOS/IFLA)
"Bridging the gap: interconnected biocultural values of cultural landscapes"
Fotios Papoulias, Policy coordinator, Nature Unit, DG Environment, European Commission "Natura 2000 – state of play, challenges, links with cultural landscapes" (download the presentation)

11.15 - 11.45 Coffee Break
11.45 - 12.00 Presentation of the Working Paper of the International Meeting
Constantinos Cartalis, Αssoc. Professor, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens,
Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the International Meeting, Scientific Adviser of Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (download the presentation)

Panel discussions
Thematic session A
12.00 - 13.15 Panel discussion 1
Cultural landscapes in Natura 2000 sites: Towards a new policy for the intergated management of cultural and natural heritage

Panayiotis Dimopoulos, Professor, Faculty of Environmental and Natural Resources Management, University of Patras, Greece

Thomas Börsch, Director, Botanic Museum Berlin (download the presentation)
Rania Spyropoulou, Project Manager, Nature Protection and Biodiversity, European Environment Agency (download the speech)
Carla Maurano, Director, International Centre for Mediterranean Cultural Landscapes (download the presentation)
Costa Carras, Vice President, Europa Nostra (download the presentation) - (download the speech)
Ana Luengo ANÔN, President, International Federation for Landscape Architects (IFLA - Europe)
Konstantinos Menoudakos, former President of the Council of State of Greece, President of the Greek Association of Urban and Planning Law (download the speech)

13.15 - 14.30 Lunch
Panel discussion B
14.30 - 15.45 Panel discussion 2 *
Integrated management of cultural and natural heritage - The case of cultural
landscapes from the cultural point of view

Panagiotis Doukellis, Professor, Department of Sociology, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens, Greece

Dr. Stefano De Caro, Director General ICCROM, International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (download the presentation)
Alberto Garlandini, Executive Council of the International Council of Museums (ICOM)
and President of the Organizing Committee of ICOM 2016 (download the speech)
Roger Tropéano, President, Les Recontres - Association of European Cities
and Regions for Culture
Kalliopi Chainoglou, Lecturer in International and European Institutions, University of Macedonia, Visiting Fellow, Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, University of East London

  Panel discussion 3 *
Integrated management of cultural and natural heritage - The case of cultural
landscapes from the environmental point of view

Katherina Daskalaki, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Greece to UNESCO

Valerie Carter, President of the European Council of Villages and Small Towns (ECOVAST)(download the presentation)
Nadia Giannakopoulou, Secretary General, Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Hellenic Republic (download the speech)
Gaetano Leone, Coordinator, Mediterranean Action Plan, United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) (download the presentation)
Demetres Karavellas, Chief Executive, WWF - Greece

  *Panels 2 and 3 run in parallel

15:45 - 16.15 Coffee Break

Thematic session C
16.15 - 17.30 Panel discussion 4
Guidelines towards a new policy for the protection and management of cultural landscapes

Elias Beriatos, Professor of Spatial Planning, University of Thessaly, Greece

Nikos Kougialis, Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, Republic of Cyprus (download the speech)
Barry Gardiner, Member of Parliament, former Minister, United Kingdom
Henk van der Kamp, President, European Council of Spatial Planners (download the presentation)
Lina Mendoni, Secretary General, Ministry of Culture and Sports, Hellenic Republic
Dariusz Prasek, Director Project Appraisal, Environment and Sustainability, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

17.30 - 18.00 Concluding remarks - Declaration (download the Declaration)
Environment Museum - Stymfalia
08.30 Departure from Athens for Stymfalia
10.45 Arrival – Welcome Coffee

11:00 - 11.15 Short Statements

11:15 - 11.30 Opening Speech
Olga Kefalogianni, Minister of Tourism, Hellenic Republic
"Cultural tourism"

11.30 - 12.15 Moderator
Dimitriοs Dimopoulos, Head, Environment Unit, Piraeus Bank

Maguelonne Déjeant – Pons, Executive Secretary of the Steering Committee for Culture, Heritage and Landscape and of the European Landscape Convention, Council of Europe "Towards a new generation of instruments for sustainable spatial development: the Council of Europe Landscape Convention - the Landscape approach" (download the presentation)
Vrasidas Zavras, General Manager, Green Banking, Piraeus Bank "The LIFE project for the Sustainable management and financing of wetland biodiversity - the case of Lake Stymfalia" (download the presentation)


12.15 - 13.45 Visit to the cultural landscape of Lake Stymfalia – Tour of the Museum

13.45 - 14.45 Lunch

14.45 Departure to Athens



Working paper

The Venues

On the first day of the event (Friday, 10 October) the proceedings took place at the Auditorium of the Acropolis Museum in Athens. On the second day (Saturday, 11 October)the participants visited the cultural landscape of Lake Stymfalia, as well as the Environment Museum of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation located in the same area where the programme of the Meeting was concluded. Some information about the venues:

Acropolis Museum Acropolis Museum
Acropolis Museum
15 Dionysiou Areopagitou Street,
Athens 11742
Tel: +30 210 90.00.900
The Acropolis Museum, built on an archaeological site of Roman and Byzantine Athens, under the Sacred Rock of the Acropolis -which one can admire from the 700 sq. m. balcony of the Museum- was created to house every object found on the sacred rock and its foothills covering a time period from the Mycenaean Εra to the Roman and Early Christian Athens. In a space of 14,000 sq.m. bathed in natural light mostly, 4,000 objects are exhibited in three levels. The Parthenon sculptures and the unique Archaic Collection stand out. The Acropolis Museum also constitutes an argument for the return of the Parthenon marbles from the British Museum.
Link to the Museum’s website
Environment Museum of Stymphalia Environment Museum of Stymphalia
Environment Museum of Stymfalia
Stymfalia, Corinth 20016
Tel: +30 27470 22296 - Fax: +30 27470 22279
The Environment Museum of Stymfalia, whose aim is to show the interdependence of mankind and Nature, focuses on their harmonious coexistence in the Stymfalia basin. Its objective is to raise the public's ecological awareness and preserve the knowledge of the region's traditional technology. It is located on the slope of one of the verdant hills surrounding the Lake where, according to mythology, Hercules confronted and slew the Stymfalian birds. The first module of the Museum provides information on the region's environment and its importance.
Link to the Museum’s website

Photo Gallery


Scientific Officer:
Mr. Constantinos Cartalis
Assoc. Prof. at the University of Athens, PIOP Scientific Advisor
Τ: +30 210 32.56.922, e-mail:
Chairperson of the Organising Committee:
Ms. Despina Papadoulaki
Piraeus Bank, Head of Corporate Communications & Public Relations
Τ: +30 210 33.35.362, F: +30 210 33.35.253, e-mail: