Traditional salt pans and small salt pans are in continuous decline from the 50s of the twentieth century. As reported in many works, in the Mediterranean basin and the Black Sea region there are more than 170 saltworks (of which 90 still working) are recognizable today in 18 Mediterranean countries. The abandonment of saltworks is considered negative for local salt culture and sometimes for biodiversity and therefore accelerates further loss of cultural and natural heritage. Salinas across Mediterranean are today facing many pressures due to social values change and economic stresses; the market of their products is subject to strong competition from cheaper land-produced salt and the world trade. Faced with the need to be economically viable, salinas are confronted with the choice of closing, industrializing the production or changing the business orientation towards sustainable tourism and new artisanal products, already successfully experienced. A sustainable production of salt may deeply stimulate the development of other sectors (business, tourism, and environment), while increasing biodiversity.
The project MedArtSal aims to promote the sustainable development of the Artisanal Salinas, providing concrete support on economic, environmental and governance issues. Addressing common challenges in four Mediterranean regions (Italy, Spain, Lebanon and Tunisia), will promote the development of a sustainable and adaptable management model fostering the territorial valorization of artisanal salinas.