Changing Mediterranean Landscapes
Symposium organised by:
Linda Olsvig-Whittaker, Israel Nature and Parks Authority, Jerusalem, Israel
Stefan Schindler, Department for Conservation Biology, University of Vienna, Austria
The symposium will explore the shared concerns and possible shared solutions for landscape conservation in the Mediterranean Basin. Many of the threats and pressures experienced by Mediterranean nations will be discussed along with changes to coastal landscapes.
The Mediterranean Basin is a coherent ecological region which includes parts of Europe, Asia and Africa. These Mediterranean nations share many common features, including long human occupation history, very dynamic, diverse and heterogeneous landscapes and resilience to disturbance. They also experience common pressures, such as rapid change due to urbanization, rural depopulation, decreased rainfall, increased fire frequency, tourism, competing demands for pastoral and agricultural land and uncontrolled development. Long human occupation has created adaptable anthropogenic landscapes, but the rate of change may now exceed their resilience. The sea itself experiences increased change from overfishing, pollution, invasive species, and anticipated increases in coastal storm damage due to climate change.
The theme of this symposium will be shared problems and shared solutions for landscape conservation under current pressures in the Mediterranean Basin. The sea itself is a central feature of the Mediterranean Basin, and this symposium will be open to examination of changes in coastal landscapes due to marine factors such as overfishing, sedimentation, and invasive species. The symposium aims to bring together experts to share knowledge on landscape conservation concerns across the Mediterranean Basin.
This symposium will help to inform the aims of the Society for Conservation Biology Mediterranean Committee (http://www.conbio.org/groups/sections/europe/mediterranean-committee). A publishable report summarising the results of the symposium will be written by the organisers and available online. A database of expertise is envisaged to enable ecologists and conservationists working in the Mediterranean Basin to network and collaborate. This database will help to develop an active Mediterranean conservation working group.