ZAGREB, Jan 28 (Hina/Ivo Lucic) – What is Mediterranean identity and whether it exists, what can be done to prevent wildfires in Mediterranean countries which, in the period from 2001 and 2014, were hit by 37,000 fires, and what is the globally known phenomenon of Mediterranean cuisine – these are some of the topics dealt with by the international science monograph “Mediterranean Identities – Environment, Society, Culture”, edited by Croatian geographer Borna Fuerst-Bjelis.
The 426-page publication, featuring 17 chapters authored by close to 50 scholars from different countries and continents, deals with the Mediterranean environment, societies and cultures throughout centuries, with emphasis on the environment as one of the most important topics, says Fuerst-Bjelis.
The monograph is released by INTECH, currently the world’s leading open-access publisher of science books.
The monograph incorporates a firm idea of the Mediterranean being a space of constant contact, mixing of peoples, cultures, traditions and plant and animal species, says Fuerst-Bjelis, a professor of geography at Zagreb’s Faculty of Science.
“The Mediterranean is not about homogeneity and uniformity, it is about unity that comes from diversity, contacts and interconnections. There is no Mediterranean identity but Mediterranean identities,” says Fuerst-Bjelis.
The publication also deals with major threats to the Mediterranean today, such as threats to biodiversity, primarily due to climate change, as well as depletion of traditional practices and landscapes.
The book is divided into four sections – the first deals with the identity and uniqueness of the Mediterranean from different cultural and natural perspectives; the second deals with biodiversity and the impact of climate change on it; the third deals with risks and dangers that have always been present in the Mediterranean, such as drought and fires, as well as fire prevention and post-fire recovery; and the fourth deals with cultural ecology and the Mediterranean way of life, including new insights into Mediterranean urban planning and the potential of using vegetation in ensuring human comfort in the urban climate.