The Embassy of Panama in Greece in collaboration with the Municipality of Piraeus, University of Peraeus , Ministry of External affairs and Odysseus & Athena Institute, offered a comprehensive summer school (for south hemisphere) program in Greece, in the fields of Greek language, maritime history and modern Greek lifestyle. Nineteen Students from Panama, practiced speaking Greek, improved grammar, enlarge their vocabulary and at the same time gain a better understanding of contemporary Greek life through cultural and athletic activities.
Visit to Acropolis museum, undoubtedly one of the greatest museums in the world offered a unique historic and cultural experience and a glimpse at ancient Greece at its height. The Pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Delphi, home to the most famous oracle of ancient Greece and the visit to the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounio, offered the well known impression that Greece is actually a life-size archaeological site where underneath its layers of soil lies secrets and treasures of a distant past.
At Eugenides Foundation the experience offered took us back to those magical childhood years, when we all used to stare at the sky, watching the stars and the two days at Renzo Piano's Extravagant Cultural Center In Athens, Stavros Niarchos cultural center, National Library and Opera, offered a plethora of educational activities. The visit to Karaiskakis Stadium , one of the greatest clubs in Greek footballing history, the attendance of a football match of Olympiakos and a training of Olympiakos football team, made the twenty days workshop an unforgettable experience.
Water is too precious to waste
VERDE-TEC exhibition is an annual opportunity for regional and european organisations, institutions, and companies specializing in energy, water and the environment, to show their green solutions and products and promote green economy . Τhis year VERDE-TEC included a range of activities related to the consumption of water, energy, and environmental conservation, waste management, green buildings, as well as the latest cutting-edge solutions to lower carbon dioxide emissions. The exhibition provided a unique opportunity for investors and sponsors to build business relationships, enhance business opportunities, and meet with leading companies and decision makers from around Europe on a single platform. Network of cities with lakes in collaboration with Odysseus & Athena Institute promoted global goal No 6 , by describing methods of wastewater reuse , prevent water pollution and minimize the release of hazardous chemicals and materials from agricultural activities.
WATER IS THE SOURCE OF LIFE
The Water Forum, organized by Network of Cities with Lakes in collaboration with Central Union of Municipalities of Greece held in the city of Plaster lake, was able to meet its main goal, which were to bring water to the top of political and society's agenda. The opening was attended by heads of State and Government, as well as high-level national authorities, and the event had the participation of representatives of municipal bodies , Mayors, Regional governors and Ministers. Aims of the Forum were raise awareness with decision makers and the public at large on water issues and, subsequently, to generate action; Contribute to improving access to water supply and sanitation and report on progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals; Provide opportunities to progressively develop shared visions on challenging water issues, to develop new partnerships and to pave the way for cooperation and action among a wide diversity of organisations and individuals; Encourage greater media attention for water issues and solutions.
Water and culture are strongly interlinked. Water is a vital source of life, and culture greatly determines a person’s ‘way of life’. This includes the way people manage their water resources, having adapted themselves to the environment in which they live. For centuries sustainable water management has been daily practice in many cultures, resulting in a delicate balance between water resources and human society. Water has played a more or less prominent role in cultures, depending on the environmental conditions people had to face. Indigenous cultures are still renowned for their ingenious and sustainable water practices. Modern practices have often disturbed and overruled these traditional practices, with undesired consequences. However, in today's societies we often see a revival of old traditions and a more natural and sustainable use of water. Finding the right mix between 'old' and 'modern' practices helps to find sustainable solutions to cope with climate change.
Sustainable paths in mountainous areas
Αn interesting workshop took place in European Parliament in Brussels on 26th of February about sustainable development on mountainous areas. Ten Mayors of Greek mountainous areas presented great natural, biological/genetical and cultural wealth of their areas, in conjunction with the numerous environmental and socioeconomic problems they are facing.
Greece is the most mountainous country of the European Union (EU) along with Austria. According to NORDREGIO mountainous areas in Greece account for 77.9 % of the total country area, while according to the National Statistical Service (20 the area of the mountainous and semi mountainous municipalities accounts for 71.3%. The vast - relative to the size of Greek territory - mountainous areas have been experiencing the ageing and tragic reduction of local population, the abandonment and degradation of land, the abandonment and destruction of built heritage, the decline of traditional occupations, the loss of talents and skills rooted in local cultures and the complete absence of State policy, which has continuously focused on initiatives of one-dimensional and mostly urban economic development. In recent years, however, as a consequence of the competition-founded development model globally dominant, the “development” potential of mountainous areas is being discovered and its “exploitation” is being pursued, in the context of the ideology of “sustainable development”. For the ancients, the mountains were identified with the gods. Olympus was the home of the twelve, the Muses lived on Elikonas, Pan on Mainalo, while Parnassus belonged to Apollo.
Odysseus & Athena Institute is the strategic collaborator of many Greek municipalities in the fields of promoting the cultural heritage as a model of sustainable development according to the Global Sustainable Goals, producing empirical evidence to demonstrate that cultural heritage conservation/valorization is an investment and not a cost.
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