The Meeting of the Adriatic Ionian Initiative under the Presidency of the Hellenic Republic / Round Table on Tourism, Culture and Inter-University Cooperation
Athens, on 16 and 17 October 2008
Representing Bosnia and Herzegovina, Orjana Lenasi and Silvana Čobanov, associates of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, participated in the above specified round table, the agenda of which included two sessions:
1. Round Table on Culture:
a. Strategic aim of promotion of tourism in the region of the A.I.I. Participating States – pilot project “Intercultural Encounters on Maritime, River and Lake Routes in the Region”,
b. Cooperation on underwater antiquities in the region,
c. Cooperation network pertaining to modern culture (priority – books and translations),
d. Protection of immaterial cultural heritage within the framework of implementation of relevant UNESCO Conventions.
2. Round Table on Tourism:
a. Cooperation on sustainable development of tourism in the region,
b. Cooperation on sea tourism,
c. Cooperation on education and training of tourism workers,
d. Training of tourist guides,
e. Exchange of information on tourist events and fairs in the region of the A.I.I. Participating States.
The representatives of Montenegro, Croatia, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Greece participated in work of both round table sessions.
Representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina participated in the 1st session (in all items of the agenda), whereas the representatives of the tourism sector in BiH (the entity ministries of tourism, foreign trade chambers and the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) took leading and active part in the 2nd session.
Session 1 – Regarding introductory statement of the representatives of Greece pertaining to activities that were taken so far in the framework of the project „Intercultural Encounters on Maritime, River and Lake Routes in the Region“. Save for the introductory statement given by the representative of the Greek Ministry of Culture pertaining to the project activities (drafting of maps and inventory of the cultural heritage of the A.I.I. region pertaining to the water routes is currently under way), BiH (the representatives of the Commission) was the only state that presented its heritage in the subject field (special focus was given to the bridges and the properties that are already included to the World Heritage List, or those included to the UNESCO Tentative List). Within the second item of the session agenda, the presentation was also given about the activities pertaining to underwater antiquities in BiH, providing the example of the site of Hutovo Blato near Čapljina, that is unifying the following factors: park of nature, important archaeological site (first Illyrian ships, the Illyrian port) and international cooperation (the archaeologists from BiH and Croatia).
The presentations were received positively and well from the floor, introducing very fruitful discussion among the participants, who exchanged experiences pertaining to subject field activities that took place in each of the Participating State. The discussion provided us with the following information:
• A centre for underwater archaeology was established in Zadar, and a meeting to the subject of underwater archaeology is planned to be held in Pilos in 2009.
• Active participation and connection of University was suggested, and also the exchange of experiences.
• Making of web site was recommended that would serve as a basis for joint Interconnection Project.
Contacts were established with the representatives of Greece and Croatia – Ministry of Culture, regarding protection of immaterial cultural heritage, namely the pilot project of making inventory of this type of heritage, following which the contacts were exchanged with their representatives in the aim of exchange of experiences and receiving projects outputs.
Session 2 – during the 2nd session the representatives of the tourism sector in BiH (the entity ministries of tourism, foreign trade chambers and the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) took leading and active part; it was agreed that the representatives of all A.I.I. Participating States and the institutions relevant to the subject fields would cooperate more closely. The proposal moved by the representatives of Greece was accepted, that every A.I.I. Participating State sends two tourism students each, to three-month professional training to Greece in summer of 2009, in the aim of developing high-quality professionals.
Both sessions were concluded with the agreement that the newly-established A.I.I. Secretariat, with the seat in Ancona, Italy, would deliver resolutions of the round table to the representatives of the Participating States. Furthermore, it was resolved as desirable that every Participating State chooses the representatives for culture, who would participate in the subject round tables in person every time, for the purpose of easier communication, exchange of ideas and work continuity.