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Environment and historical heritage: the challenge of cultural diversity

There are places that, due to an unavoidable disposition of the spirit, are destined to represent better and more than others the identity, the vocation, the feeling of the people who elected them as their home. There are archaeological sites and monuments which, in them, have risen to an iconic role and to an importance recognized beyond their borders of origin. Through places and monuments you can read pages of world history: an anthology of precious references, a sort of gospel of cultural diversity, which requires a collective effort so that it does not go to degrade or get lost permanently. To raise awareness of institutions and public opinion, on April 18, 1982 - on the occasion of a symposium organized by the ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) in Tunisia - the establishment of the "International Day of Monuments and Sites" was proposed: the project was approved by the Executive Committee which provided practical suggestions to the National Committees on how to organize this day. In turn, the idea was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO which, at its 22nd session in November 1983, recommended that Member States consider the possibility of a "World Heritage Day". The identification, protection and transmission to future generations of the world's cultural and natural heritage is one of UNESCO's main missions.

The website of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation reads: "Heritage is the legacy of the past that we benefit from today and that we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage is an irreplaceable source of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wild expanses of the Serengeti National Park in East Africa, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef of Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America are our World Heritage. Sardinia, an archaic land and cradle of ancient civilizations, is also an important hub in the cultural life of the Mediterranean. The rediscovery of the different local peculiarities and the enhancement of the community dimension can be read and interpreted within a vast project to protect the environmental specificities of the places. The environment can be a symbolic reference, and not only, of feelings of identity and belonging, but the latter, in turn, can be an opportunity for renewed attention to the environment. Reflection on the links between local identities, the management of environmental problems and forms of community existence is the main theme of Strategy 7 of the Maristanis project, coordinated by the MEDSEA Foundation. As part of the project, a map of the ecological heritage has been developed, relating to the historical use of the wetlands of Oristano. The field visits have been carried out since November 2017 during the official events of the Maristanis project (visits of the International Steering Committee, Wetland Day, cultural events) and have been organized to meet each Municipality and the different interest groups (associations, schools, economic operators, fishermen). A work of sharing that has led to the identification of the first 4 cultural heritages (divided by type on the basis of the PPR classification) on which the communities intend to intervene and invested. For the tangible heritage: Idrovora di Arborea (Architectural); Torre Marceddì (Landscape); Arco S'Archittu (Landscape). For the intangible heritage: art of weaving with the reed and marsh grasses of San Vero Milis. The aim is ambitious: to strengthen the link between the environment and the territory in order to promote culture and economically sustainable activities.

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