The aims of ALAS

The ALAS project (All About Salt) is an interregional co-operation between four European sites that produce salt from the sea. The main goal is related to the preservation and the development of these often traditionally run salinas, their natural and cultural heritage, their economy and social structure. Salt museums and tourism are also factors that the project deals with and several publications are an important outcome, useful also for other similar sites.

ALAS was initiated as an attempt to bring some of the sites with traditional salt production together and to start working on common topics. The first attempt to put up a programme dates from 1997, when several people previously had met at an Insula-UNESCO conference in Paris. The initiative of ALAS was taken by the Department of Geography, University of the Aegean. But it was not until the end of 1999 that the final project was accepted for financing by the European Commission under the ECOS-Ouverture programme. Four sites agreed to join the project.

ALAS practically started working in December 2000. Our first interregional meeting took place in March 2001 and the project in its present form ended in December 2002, with the final conference.

You can also find a more 'formal' description of ALAS. At the first interregional meeting, the partners agreed on an ALAS co-operation charter(printable PDF).

The project is directed by a Project Management Committee. For specific tasks, 6 Technical Working Groups have been constituted.

If you wish to view the ALAS quarterly newsletter, please click here.

Don't forget to check-out our events and publications!

What are traditional Salinas?

All around the European and Mediterranean coasts, from Brittany (Bretagne) on the French Atlantic coast to the Black Sea and on many islands, some sites still produce salt in the same way – or at least with only minor modifications – as it was done 1.000 years ago. These salinas form a fascinating cultural heritage. They are also important wetlands for breeding and migrating birds and they play a significant economic role. Traditional salinas are valuable for pedagogical, touristic and scientific purposes. The salt is of high quality and they provide jobs for many people. But the traditional salinas are also threatened by abandonment, transformation, aquaculture, new land use etc.The preservation of these salinas is the main target of ALAS.

In this site you can discover a lot more through some of our articles.

Translations of this page only, can be viewed/downloaded in .doc format



Salt crystals

Tools at Pomorie salinas

Old boat at Figueira salinas

Amadeu, Castro Marim

ALAS is not only an acronym for All About Salt, it is also the ancient Greek name for salt (in today's Greek it is 'alati'). Just like the Latin sal has given words and names like salinas, salary, Salzburg and Salins-les-Bains, alas (or in its earlier form 'als', which initially means sea) has given us halophytes, Halle and Hallstatt.

Site updated on March 15th 2003 but still valid (January 2006)

All photos
© by Hjalmar Dahm - except where otherwise indicated


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© 2001, Laboratory of Image, Sound & Cultural Representation
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