Aug 4, 2023

MedArtSal Final Event and 2nd International Salt Fair: an international event to celebrate the MedArtSal outstanding results and deep impacts for the Mediterranean Artisanal Salinas community and beyond

The MedArtSal Final Event and 2nd International Salt Fair was organized in Lebanon from 7th to 9th June 2023 by the Lebanese project partners, Fair Trade Lebanon in collaboration with the Association for the Development of Rural Capacities – ADR, and under the supervision of CUEIM, as Lead Beneficiary of the ENI CBC MED MedArtSal project.

The event foresaw two days of International Salt Fair in Beirut, on 7th and 8th of June, at the Instituto Cervantes of Beirut and Beirut Digital District venues, as sponsors of the event, and one day of field visit to Anfeh salinas, project pilot actions, on 9th June.

Due to its specific focus on the topic of sustainability, as driving force behind all project activities and transversal theme of all the initiatives carried out during the Fair, the first day was recognized as an Official Partner Event of the EU Green Week 2023.

MedArtSal Final Event & 2nd International Sal Fair – Save the Date

With the onsite participation of 113 people, apart from partners, guest speakers and prominent press and media organizations and representatives, the event was also live streamed through the project and partners’ social media channels, consolidating the results of the networking activities from the 1st MedArtSal International Salt Fair, held in Tunisia in 2022.

Event Conference room at Beirut Digital District, Beirut, Lebanon

During the 2-day Fair, MedArtSal project partners, together with the representatives of the 15 project pilot actions as well as other salinas and institutions involved during the project, had the opportunity to present their results both within the exhibition area (booths), situated in the Beirut Digital District gardens, outside the Conference Room, and during the conference activities. Indeed, more than 40 interventions were held by project partners, local authorities, representatives of the ENI CBC MED Programme, the Delegation of the European Union in Lebanon, ambassadors and institutional representatives from the 4 partner countries, as well as the other international stakeholders involved in the project activities (for more details, find here the full agenda).

Event ‘s moderating MedArtSal project partners representatives: FTL, CTICI, SAIDA SA, IUCN, MEDSEA, UCA, CUEIM.

The Fair, open to the public and broadcasted on the project social media channels, also saw the participation of local and foreign stakeholders interested in getting to know better the project and joining the MedArtSal Network, as well as the attention of the local media aimed at highlighting the significant results achieved by the project in the Anfeh salt pans.

Main event highlights:

The inspiring welcome remarks by the organizing partners, the Lead Beneficiary and sponsors as well as the keynote speeches by Stefania Barsoni, JTS – ENI CBC MED Programme, Alessandra Viezzer, from the Diplomatic Delegation of the European Union in Lebanon (EEAS) and Raula Naser Representative of the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism, underlining the recognized high relevance and perspectives of the MedArtSal project, and the interventions by project partners on the contribution of the MedArtSal project in reviving Mediterranean salinas through the building a sustainable community and an international network.

On the left:
Yolanda Soler Onís, Director, Instituto Cervantes de Beirut
​Kim Mouawad, Senior Community Manager, Beirut Digital District
Samir Abdelmalak, President, Fair Trade Lebanon
Gaetano Zarlenga, CUEIM Managing Director, MedArtSal Lead Beneficiary
On the right:
Raula Naser Representative of the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism
Alessandra Viezzer, Representative, Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon
Stefania Barsoni, Joint Technical Secretariat, ENI CBC MED Programme
Esmat Karadsheh, Eastern Mediterranean Branch Office – ENI CBC MED Programme

The strategic intervention of Esmat Karadsheh, Eastern Mediterranean Branch Office – ENI CBC MED Programme, explaining the capitalization opportunities and synergies offered by the upcoming NEXT MED Programme in the framework of a session which saw the significant participation of other ENI CBC MED successful projects, like FISH MED NETCROSSDEVENSERES, as testimonials of strong starting points for the future.

Session on ENI CBC MED projects capitalization opportunities in the light of the NEXT MED Programme: CROSSDEV, MedArtSal, ENSERES, ENI CBC MED Programme, FISH MED NET.

The insightful interventions of representatives of the pilot actions, project partners and relevant local stakeholders involved in the MedArtSal activities in the 4 countries (Lebanon, Tunisia, Spain, Italy), explaining and showing the satisfactory results achieved in the MedArtSal salinas and impact across the involved territories and various sectors covered by the project, including Sustainable TourismGastronomyCosmetic & Wellness and Environment. Furthermore, examples of practical applications and possible development of MedArtSal tools were offered by relevant representatives of new salinas joining the MedArtSal Network.

MedArtSal Pilot Actions and new Involved salinas interventions: SEI – Saline Ettore e Infersa (Italy), Al Najjar Salinas (Lebanon), Salinas de Chiclana (Spain), Las Salinas de La Concepció (Spain), Sleiman Salinas (Lebanon), SODIMER (Tunisia), Malek Salinas (Lebanon), Salinas de Marchamalo (Spain).

Inspiring opportunities for live exchange, like the engaging interactive games, workshops (at the Instituto Cervantes venues) and live demonstrations, proving effective in collecting insights from participants, while at the same time involving different target groups (such as children during the salt chocolate workshop) and offering them the opportunity to better understand and experience the results of the project.

Interactive games, workshops and live demonstrations during the Fair

A comprehensive Closing Ceremony, offering an open space for the different project partners to present and summarize the main results and achievements of the MedArtSal project: from an e-commerce platform to Capacity Building online tools (i.e., the mobile application), the MedArtSal Network and the MedArtSal Sustainable Business Model, including its contribution to the development of innovative and sustainable products and services in the pilot action Salinas.

Closing Ceremony by MedArtSal project partners: CUEIM, UCA, MEDSEA, SAIDA, ADR.

The successful signature of the MedArtSal Memorandum of Understanding by 29 organizations (partners, salinas referents and other interested subjects), as the first step for the establishment of the MedArtSal Network to continue pursuing the common objectives with the support of an international community on concerned stakeholders.

Signing of the MedArtSal MoU, Beirut, 8th June 2023

The nice, guided tour of the Spanish, Lebanese and Tunisian Ambassadors Representatives in the salinas exposition areas: Rania Abdel Samad (Head of technical department at Lebanese Ministry of Tourism representing the Ministry Walid Nassar), Hermógenes López (Deputy Chief of Mission representing the Spanish Ambassador Mr. Jesús Ignacio Santos Aguado) and Rida Shahidia (Minister Counsellor representing the Tunisian Ambassador Mr. Bouraoui Limam) enjoyed a tour around the salinas. Thanks to the installation of stands in the Beirut Digital District, they were also able to meet the representatives of salinas, to learn more about their experience, confirming their interest in the MedArtSal outcomes and their possible perspectives in the political initiatives of their countries.

Ambassadors representatives’ tour at the MedArtSal International Salt Fair stands area

The exciting Award Ceremony, with the participation of the above-mentioned ambassadors’ representatives, to recognize and celebrate the role of several involved partners, salinas and collaborating organizations as MedArtSal Salt Ambassadors.

MedArtSal Salt Ambassadors Award Ceremony

On the third and final day of the event, the Fair participants were introduced to the Lebanese salt pans and discovered some of the main sites of interest in Anfeh. The itinerary included the visit of the Archeological area of Anfeh (ancient salt pans and the Grotto), the Saydet Al-Natur Monastir and the new Museum of Salt of Hafez Jreij, one of the Lebanese salinas main star. After a delicious lunch at the Salacia Beach and Salinas, with views of the beautiful coast of Anfeh, the participants visited the Lebanese pilot action salinas of Malek and Sleiman Salinas, where the managers Georges and Malek explained their activities, showing the results achieved by means MedArtSal sub-grants.

Field visit to Anfeh, Lebanon

The day ended with a final conference at Municipality of Anfeh, in presence of the Lebanese Ministries of Tourism, Walid Nassar, and of Environment, Nasser Yassin, with Mr. Esmat Karadsheh (ENI CBC MED – Eastern Mediterranean Branch Office representative), Nadine Panayot, (Curator at Archeological Museum of Beirut) and Gaetano Zarlenga (CUEIM Managing Director and MedArtSal Lead Beneficiary). In this context, the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism announced the official inclusion of Anfeh’s historic salinas (Ras Al Malalih), the historic castle site (Al Kalaa) and the Natour Monastery areas on the international map of cultural, heritage, and ecological tourism, acknowledging their local and global importance.

Final conference at Anfeh Municipality

As MedArtSal Lead Beneficiary representative, the CUEIM Managing Director took the opportunity to thank the Ministries for their contribution and recognition of the joint efforts, underlining the strategic role of projects such as MedArtSal for the sustainable development of local communities, as well as of the involved people and communities to make these successful results significant impacts on their lives. Special thanks went to the ENI CBC MED Programme and all the EU Institutions for making these results possible thanks to their support and coordination.

There must be something strangely sacred in salt. It is in our tears and in the sea ”. Khalil Gibran

Find more about MedArtSal, a project funded by the ENI CBC MED Programme, on our dedicated page and on the official website.

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