Boosting migrants integration with nature in Lesvos Islands

Where we are

The island of Lesvos is characterized by a rich natural and cultural heritage. Lesvos Island is well-known for the Petrified Forest, a unique natural monument comprising fossilized standing and lying tree trunks, remnants of a subtropical forest 20 million years old, its volcanic landscapes, hot springs, rich biodiversity, and the unique olive grooves.

Besides offering a broad historical experience, from just the fact of being the birthplace of important figures in the arts and literature to offering tangible such as archaeological monuments, medieval castles, ancient villages, and Byzantine monasteries. The rich cultural heritage is never the less, the result of a rich geological and natural environment, that led to its recognition as UNESCO Global Geopark.

Territory

By enhancing its rich history, cultural and natural heritage, Lesvos is sustainably regenerating through migration. In the last couple of years, migrants have arrived at Lesvos near situated Turkey. Lesvos has, therefore, developed integration and information programs for newly arrived as well as citizens. These educational programs contain guided tours tailored for creating awareness of the cultural and natural heritage on the island. With heritage integration is boosted, creating intercultural dialogue and giving migrants a sense of place.

The Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest, the operator of the Lesvos Island UNESCO Global Geopark is organizing a variety of activities and events aiming for the support of the refugees and immigrants arriving on the Island.

Guided tours at the Museum, educational activities, photo exhibitions and athletic events with the participation of refugees and immigrant groups are organized in the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest and in the sites of interest and landscapes of the Lesvos Island UNESCO Global Geopark, aiming to boost mutual understanding and integration with the local population.

Rural Heritage

The hub is located at the Natural History Museum in Sigri which already has a function as a gathering point in the UNESCO Global Geopark. The Natural History Museum is accessible and already well-established as a multi-purpose venue offering a conference hall and laboratories among other things. The hub offers all necessary facilities to gather local stakeholders successfully.