European Conference
«Mountain areas of large Mediterranean islands: European issues, National and Regional policies and local mechanisms»
The Conference is under the auspices of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr. Nikos Anastasiades
28-31 January 2020
Locations and dates of the Conference:
January 29-30, 2020, Cultural Center of Platres, Platres - Troodos
January 31, 2020, Oenou Yi Winery, Omodos - Troodos
Οργανωτική Επιτροπή
Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus, Office of the Commissioner for the Development of Mountain Communities, Trimiklini – Troodos, Cyprus
Science Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics, Rural and Mountain Research (BAB), Vienna, Austria
Institute of Territorial Development of Auvergne- Rhône-Alps, France
Troodos Development Company, Cyprus
University of Thessaly, Department of Planning and Regional Development, Laboratory of Rural Space, Volos, Greece
International Association for the Development of Agro Environment – AIDA, France
Troodos Tourism Development Company (ΕΤΑΠ), Cyprus
Conference Objectives

This conference aims to show the importance of Mediterranean mountain areas as well as the need to reinforce territorial strategies concerning them. It gathers the six large Mediterranean islands that form a special group which should contribute to broader European discussions on mountains, islands, the environment and the problems of sustainable territorial development. It aims to combine academic and operational approaches. It will thus make it possible to better identify the issues regarding method and use of knowledge while clarifying the strategic issues regarding territorial engineering and governance.

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28 January

Presidential Palace, Nicosia
Conference opening ceremony

Arrival of official guests


Arrival of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Nikos Anastasiades

Conference opening ceremony (invitations only)

Welcome speech from the Commissioner for the Development of Mountain Communities Dr Kostas Champiaouris

Addresses of representatives of local governments of the large Mediterranean islands


Opening of the Conference by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Nikos Anastasiades



29 January

Cultural Center of Platres village - Troodos
Session 1. The mountain issue in the European Union

The specificity of mountain areas has long been recognized in many national policies. It has also become, in the context of European regional policy, a community issue. In some common sectoral policies, the mountain dimension is sometimes taken into account, such as the ICHN (compensatory allowance system for natural handicaps), in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), etc. The cohesion policy takes into account these specific situations, as well as the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI), in particular the Cohesion Funds (for Greece and Cyprus), but also the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) mechanism that have set out adaptation and derogation provisions.

This session (Part A) will try to make the most exhaustive assessment possible of these links between national/regional and community policies for mountain areas, in particular taking into account the ongoing discussions for the new programming period and parliamentary term. Part B will give some significant examples of national policies on mountain areas and Part C will describe the modalities and the stakes of existing cross-border cooperation concerning mountain areas.

Opening session

Specific territorial challenges of mountain areas in Europe.

Laurent Rieutort, Professor of the University of Clermont-Auvergne Ferrand, Director of the Institute of Territorial Development of Auvergne- Rhône-Alps, France

A. European dimension of mountain policies

Taking into account geographical specificities and handicaps in the current CAP and prospects in the new programming period.

Petros Angelopoulos, Policy Analyst. DG Agriculture and Rural Development, C1 – Policy perspectives European Commission


Environmental dimension of EU policies on mountain areas.

Marco Onida, Team Leader, Forest. ENV.D1 - Land Use & Management. DG Environment. European Commission


EU regional policy and the Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI) tool. The new targets for 2021-2027.

Maria Kostopoulou, Representative of the Ministry of Development and Investment of Greece.

10.00-10.15 Questions and comments on European policies
Coffee Break
B. National mountain policies: benefits and limits

France: The Mountain Law, its preventive character and actual impact.

René Souchon, former Minister of Agriculture and Foodstuff, France


Lessons from the experience of regional perspectives of mountain policy in Austria.

Tomas Dax, Deputy Director of Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics, Rural and Mountain Research, Vienna, Austria


Spanish mountain policy: balance between central administration and autonomous regions, the example of the Autonomous Community of Galicia.

Rubén Lois Gonzales, Professor at IDEGA Galicia Institute of Research and Development, Department of Geography and Faculty of Geography and History University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

11.15-11.30 Questions and comments on national policies
C. Examples of cooperation between mountain, mainland and insular territories

Major cross-border and international conventions (Carpates, Alpes, Pyrenees)

Patricia Quillacq, Policy Officer, Mountain Partnership FAO/UN, Rome, Italy


The Pyrenees Convention.

Jean Luis Valls, Director of the Working Community of the Pyrenees, Huesca, Spain


Are the mountains of the Mediterranean islands different?

Paulo Castro, Vice-chairman of EUROPARC Federation


The Euromontana Network and its strategy

Juanan Gutierrez, President of Euromontana , Belgium

12.30-12.45 Questions and comments on these partnerships
Chair: Dominique Barjolle
Rapporteurs: Georges Vlachos, Claire Bernard
12.45 -13.45
Session 2. Regional strategies – territorial cohesion and insular mountain areas

The six large Mediterranean islands (Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Crete, Balearic Islands, Cyprus) can be aggregated into a particular type of mountain area in insular territories. Representatives of these six regional entities (and national in the case of Cyprus) will present the state of play of mountain areas and their strategies for these territories. They will also present the various instruments mobilized (European, national or regional), emphasizing the scale relations between mountain areas and their regions with the national and the European Community level.

Rather than conventional cross-cutting challenges, contributions must highlight the combination of issues, constraints and opportunities in these territories. The objective of this session is to identify the specific problems raised by these mountain areas of the large Mediterranean islands and to highlight and emphasize their actual challenges and experiences.

A. The situation of the six large Mediterranean islands

How do insular regional and local authorities consider the specificities and needs of their mountain areas? What are the specific procedures of governance for these territories? How does the local level relate to national policies and European instruments?


Opening by the political representatives of the islands: the mountain policies of the islands

Cyprus: Dr Kostas Champiaouris, Commissioner for the Development of Mountain Communities

Crete: Giorgos E. Alexakis, Vice Governor of Crete Region for European and International Affairs

Sicily: Gaetano Armao, Vice president of the autonomous region of Sicily

Corsica: Marie-Antoinette Maupertuis, Executive Councilor of Corsica

Balearic Islands: Josep Antonio Manchado, Council of Mallorca


Round table: Development issues of island regions and Cyprus

Zervakis Georges, Mayor of Sitia Municipality

Petros Hatzikostas, Director of the Troodos Development Agency

Josep Antonio Manchado, Island Environment Director, Council of Mallorca

Mathilde Woillez, University of Corsica and Territorial Development Consultant

Petros Limperakis, President of the Management Body of the Samaria National Park – Western Crete, Museum of Natural History, University of Crete.

Coordination: Dimitris Goussios

15.30-15.45 Questions and comments
Coffee Break
B. Debate of the day: What are the links between European and national policies and regional and local strategies for insular mountain areas?

Complementary questions: to what extent should we (i) rethink the effectiveness of current coordination and adaptability of existing tools; (ii) explore new avenues and forms of partnership (e.g. exchange of experiences on the use territorial resources, networking, "clusters", exploitation through research and territorial engineering of inherited knowledge etc.?

Finally: to what extent territorial cohesion strategies integrating mountain areas into the national/regional territory are implemented?

Chair: Tomas Dax

Rapporteurs: Beriatos Elias, Marie Clotteau - Euromontana

30 January

Cultural Center of Platres, Platres village - Troodos
Session 3. Reciprocal, multiple and multiscale challenges of European and Mediterranean mountain areas

The mountain territories of the large Mediterranean islands represent special cases of broader issues. Firstly, ecological and environmental issues: large parts of these territories are recognized as biodiversity hotspots and subject to dedicated protection measures (Natura 2000 zones, regional or national parks, etc.). They are HNV farming and agro-biodiversity territories, as well as evolutionary cultural landscapes. Therefore, they are significant heritage assets. Secondly, there are social and economic challenges arising in these demographically or economically declining territories (decline of agricultural and livestock activities).

The transition to multi-functionality of these areas raises the question of the support of these new functions (recreational and tourism activities of which the challenge of connectivity and managing visitor reception is significant). Finally, there are territorial issues since the question of coordinating the development of resources of these areas and connecting these demographically declining areas with the dynamics of coastal areas (urbanization, metropolisation, coastal tourism, intensive farming, coast and maritime territories, etc.) is raised.

A. Territorial challenges

Revealing the specific resources, a strategic opportunity for mountain areas in the Mediterranean

Bernard Pecqueur, Pacte Social Science Research Center (Town and Territory Research Group), School of Planning and Alpine Geography, University of Grenoble, France


The issue of environmental development and planning: mountain areas between insularity and altitude.

Elias Beriatos, Honorary Professor, University of Thessaly, Greece

10.00-10.15 Questions and comments
B. Economic and social Challenges

Anchoring mountain tourism and integration into international networks.

Marie Oiry Varacca, Lecturer, Paris-Est University, France


Development of artisanal production: research feedback.

Geneviève Teil, Researcher at Agroparitech, Paris, France


Land issues in the Mediterranean insular mountains.

Jean Christophe Paoli, Researcher, National Institute of Rural Research of France - Corsica Regional Research Center - INRA, Corte, France


The role of Social Economy in strengthening the socio-economic cohesion of mountain areas.

Theodossia Anthopoulou, Professor Panteion University of Athens, Athens, Greece

11.15-11.30 Questions and comments
Coffee Break
C. Environmental challenges

Biodiversity and Natura 2000 zones.

Fotis Papoulias, European Commission, DG Environment - Unit D.3 "Nature protection" BU-5 6/148


Farming-environment interface: the Mediterranean challenges.

François Lerin, Senior Researcher (AIDA) C

Claire Bernard, University of Montpellier, France


Mediterranean islands’ biodiversity.

Antonio Pollutri, Senior Biodiversity Officer for WWF Italy


Climate trends, variability and extremes in the Mediterranean region: what risks and dangers for islands and mountains?

Monia Santini, Director of the Division on Impacts on Agriculture, Forests and Ecosystem Services (IAFES) at Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC), Puglia, Italy


Renewable energy challenge: experiences from the islands.

Myriam Castanié, Clean energy for EU Islands

13.00-13.15 Questions and comments
D. Debate: How to address the combination of issues in inclusive policies and strategies in insular areas?

Chair: Rubén Lois Gonzales

Rappporteurs: Barjolle Dominique, Claire Bernard

31 January

“Oenou Yi” Winery, Ktima Vassiliades, Omodos village - Troodos
Session 4. Dynamics and approaches of governance and territorial engineering

In Europe there are many examples of local development that illustrate the importance of territorial and integrated approaches for areas with specific geographical features, such as the insular mountain areas. Despite their handicaps linked to their territorial marginality and the geographical and communication constraints, mountain areas are spaces of initiatives and innovations adapted to their very specific characteristics.

In terms of valorisation of agricultural production based on an agro-biodiversity heritage, Protected Designations of Origin and Geographical Indications, Experimental Tourism and Participatory Guarantee Systems are particularly well-adapted provisions. “Smart villages” initiated by the European Parliament and supported by the Cohesion Funds are also promising avenues for these territories

Opening session

The territorial engineering and governance issue.

Sylvie Lardon, Director of research INRA, Agroparistech Clermont Ferrand, France

A. Dynamics of governance and innovation

Participatory dynamics of ‘’Smart villages’’.

Marjorie Jouen, Notre Europe Jacques Delors Institute, France


Maintain the specificity of mountain areas thanks to certification systems and participatory guarantee systems (PGS).

Dominique Barjolle, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH in Zurich, Switzerland


Mountain areas in Sardinia: the issue of harmonizing livestock activity, the quality of dairy products and the protection of the environment.

Cabiddu Andrea (presenter), Decandia Mauro, Paoli Jean Christophe, Molle Giovanni, Sardinia Agricultural Research Organization - AGRIS Sardegna Italy


Innovative approaches for managing spaces of great environmental interest.

George Vlachos, Assistant Professor at Agricultural University of Athens, Athens, Greece


Agro-ecosystem approaches and management practices in Cyprus.

Menelaos Stavrinidis, Professor, Cyprus University of Technology (CUT), Cyprus


Construction and Transmission in Transition Contexts: Explaining the Experience Capitalization Process.

Landel Pierre-Antoine, Assistant Professor, Pacte Social Science Research Center (Town and Territory Research Group), School of Planning and Alpine Geography, University of Grenoble, France

11.15-11.30 Questions and comment
Coffee Break
B. Debate: how can insular mountain areas benefit from the transformation of experiences into common resources? Methodological questions

Chair : Laurent Rieutort

Rapporteurs: François Lerin

Session 5. Conditions for the possibility of inclusive, sustainable and adaptive strategies for insular mountain areas

Mountain areas are of prime importance for the large Mediterranean islands that are challenged to re-articulate these human, economic and ecological spaces throughout the regional territory. In terms of biodiversity and resources, they are also a Mediterranean, European and global issue. Strategies, innovations and governance must therefore be deployed in this multiscale framework: local mountain, regional and national, European and global.

How to evaluate and anticipate the effects of climate change on these biodiversity and ecosystem hotspots? How to reconnect these declining territories to the whole regional territory? How to revitalize high nature value farming protecting and producing agro-biodiversity and quality products? How to ensure the protection and reproduction of resources? How to rely on the networking of these territories? What tools does this networking need to build?

Preceded by a round table on the conception and the orientations of community policies of the new parliamentary term, the collective discussion will focus on the conditions for the possibility of the elaboration of multi-scale, inclusive, durable and adaptive strategies for the mountain areas in the Mediterranean region and its large islands.

A. Round Table:

Question 1: What can we expect from the European debate on mountains? What are the prospects for using European tools in mountain dynamics in the years to come?

Thomas Dax, Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics, Rural and Mountain Research, Austria

14.00-14.10 Questions and comments

Question 2: What method can we use to answer the "question of the day" of the mountains of the large Mediterranean islands? Scientific and territorial engineering aspects.

Laurent Rieutort, University of Clermont – Auvergne – Director of the Institute of Territorial Development of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes France - collective work

14.25-14.35 Questions and comments

Question 3: Governance and collective action. What are the prospects and challenges for the years to come (in a multi-scale and regional perspective).

Emmanuelle George, Director of the Mountain Ecosystems and Societies Laboratory, Irstea- Grenoble Centre, France

14.40-14.50 Questions and comments
B. Closing Debate

Chair: Juanan Gutierrez, President of Euromontana

Rapporteursν: François Lerin

Coffee Break
C. Preparation and Approval of the Troodos - Cyprus Declaration

Rapporteurs of different sessions etc.


Rapporteurs’ work (incorporation of the conclusions of the discussion into the Declaration)


Presentation of the Troodos – Cyprus Declaration, discussion and approval

Scientific Committee
Dominique Barjolle
Senior researcher, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH in Zurich, Swiss
George Vlahos
Assistant Professor, Agricultural University of Athens, Greece
Dimitris Goussios
Professor, University of Thessaly, School of Engineering, Department of Planning and Regional Development, Director of the Rural Space Laboratory, Greece
Tomas Dax
Deputy Director, Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics, Rural and Mountain Research (BAB), Austria
François Lerin
Senior Researcher in Agroenvironment and Social Sciences, International Association for the Development of AgroEnvironment (AIDA), France
Elias Beriatos
Honorary Professor, University of Thessaly, Greece
Laurent Rieutort
Professor, University of Clermont – Auvergne. Director of the Institute for Territorial Developemntof Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France
Menelaos Stavrinides
Assistant Professor, Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus