Wednesday, March 21, 2012
The Municipality of Pylos Nestoros in collaboration with the Maniatakeion Foundation organized an official meeting among the representatives of the four Emblematic Communities of the Mediterranean Diet (Koroni, Chefchaouen, Cilento and Soria) at the Maniatakeion Foundation premises in Athens, on March 19, 2012.
The official meeting started with the inaugural address by the mayor of Pylos Nestoros Dimitris Kafantaris, who welcomed all the participants, thanked the Maniatakeion Foundation for the close collaboration as the Municipality’s technical advisor as well as for the hospitality of the Athens Meeting. He pointed out that: “today we must proceed to a technical working session in which the Maniatakeion Foundation will be presenting initiatives that it has undertaken under the auspices of the municipal authority of Pylos Nestoros. Thus, the Emblematic Communities network will start implementing the Declaration of Koroni”. Then the representatives of the Greek Ministry of Rural Development & Food and the Greek Ministry of Culture & Tourism welcomed the initiative for the Athens Meeting, which is a coordinated effort for the future of the Emblematic Communities network.
The mayor of Pollica Stefano Pisani (Emblematic Community of Cilento) announced that the Observatory of the Mediterranean Diet in Pollica is ready and will actually be a centre of research and promotion of the Mediterranean Diet. The representative of the Emblematic Community of Chefchaouen Guilhem Calvo analyzed all the initiatives that the Municipality of Chefchaouen have undertaken in order to mobilize the local community with the participation of all civil society organizations. The representative of the Emblematic Community of Soria Dr. Juan Manuel Ruiz Liso presented all the initiatives that the Municipality of Soria have undertaken in order to promote the Mediterranean Diet in schools as well as to the elderly people.
The key speaker was Mrs. Antonia Trichopoulou professor of Nutrition and Preventive Medicine. She underlined that following the Mediterranean Diet is good for the welfare and the health of humanity and in addition it reduces diseases. She connected it with the olive oil, pointing out that following the Mediterranean Diet is a way of life. She stressed the connection between traditional products, health and culture and emphasized the need for regulation in order to protect them. In the end she stressed upon the connection between traditional products, biodiversity and sustainability. The director of the Maniatakeion Foundation Vicky Iglezou presented the proposal for the creation of a common website for the Mediterranean Diet which will include the Dictionary of the Mediterranean Diet in the languages of the Emblematic Communities as well as in English and French (official languages of the Convention). Then she presented the European Commission‘s program “International Twinning for Development”, in order for each Emblematic Community to take the necessary steps for their twinning. The representative of the Emblematic Community of Chefchaouen Guilhem Calvo presented the proposed 2012 Action Plan.
The representatives of the Emblematic Communities have agreed on the following:
1. Koroni is notified as the seat of the Permanent Secretariat of the emblematic communities for the next two years.
2. The focal points who will participate in the Permanent Secretariat, in order to monitor and update the implementation of joint actions should be appointed and no later than the beginning of April 2012.
3. The launching of a specific common website for the Mediterranean Diet that includes the Mediterranean Diet Dictionary in the languages of the Emblematic Communities as well as in English and French (official languages of the Convention). A reformed proposal of the website should be ready by mid May in order to be presented at Naples, Italy, at the presentation of the Mediterranean Diet Observatory. The common website should be uploaded in 2012. The deadline for the estimation of the cost is March 31, 2012.
4. The launching of a logo for the common website. The deadline for the estimation of the cost is March 31, 2012.
5. The “Ambassadors of the Mediterranean Diet” should be appointed no later than June 2012.
6. Each Emblematic Community must name three streets with the names of the other Emblematic Communities and notify the others until the beginning of the summer 2012.
7. In April 2012 each Emblematic Community must set the date for the Mediterranean Diet Week in its territory and notify the others.
8. In the course of 2012, the Emblematic Communities should evaluate the feasibility of initiating the process for the recognition of the four Emblematic Communities as Unesco’s Cities of Gastronomy.
9. Promotion of the activities that the four Emblematic Communities have undertaken in collaboration with the permanent delegations of their countries in Unesco.
After the agreement, the mayor of Pylos Nestoros declared his satisfaction for the outcomes of the Athens Meeting and thanked the representatives for the unanimous decision for the seat of the Permanent Secretariat. He set the date for the Mediterranean Diet Week in Koroni to be held on August 20-25, during which the names of the three streets of the other Emblematic Communities will be given. He declared that the Koroni “Ambassador of the Mediterranean Diet” will be appointed after a competition in composition, the title of which will be determined by a three-member committee composed by professor Antonia Trichopoulou, the principal of the Koroni High School and a literature teacher. He also appointed the director of the Maniatakeion Foundation as the focal point who will participate in the Permanent Secretariat.
At the end of the Athens Meeting a press conference was held for the representatives of the four Emblematic Communities.