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Über Thomas Schultze-Westrum

Dr. Thomas Georg Hans SCHULTZE-WESTRUM Author of Scientific and Popular Publications Producer and Director of Documentary Films and Videos Adviser in Nature Conservation and Preservation of Rural Cultures Initiator of Conservation Programmes German national. Born 1937 (Berlin). Classical education at the Benedictine monastery of Ettal in Upper Bavaria. Graduate of Munich University, with degrees in Zoology, Geology and Cultural Anthropology (Ethnology). Scholarship by “Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes”. Research (University of Munich, other scientific institutions) and publications on social and population physiology of marsupials and other vertebrate fauna of New Guinea and the Mediterranean Region, cultural anthropology, conservation and resource management on the village level, mainly in Greece and New Guinea. Author of the books “New Guinea” (Berne 1972) and “Biologie des Friedens” (Biology of Peace), Munich 1974. Dr. Schultze-Westrum has joined for several years the Commissions on Ecology and Environmental Planning of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). He is the founder of the working group (IUCN Commission on Ecology) “Conservation and Traditional Life Styles” 1979; the “ECOCULTURE” Movement 1981; the “Gesellschaft für die Erhaltung alter und gefährdeter Haustierrassen” GEH (Society for the Preservation of Old and Endangered Breeds of Domestic Animals) 1981; and the non-profit-making society “KALLIERGIA”, for traditional agriculture and village conservation in Greece, 1993. As a consultant he has worked for the EU, IUCN, OECD and WWF. As a film maker he has produced, directed and mostly also shot, for German television and international TV networks, 75 documentaries, mainly ecological portraits with emphasis upon the integration of local and traditionally living people into conservation projects. His first film (1974) was about alternative (sustainable) utilization of tropical rainforests in New Guinea, for ZDF. Never Dr. Schultze-Westrum has entered any of his films into an award winning competition, because he is more concerned about the effects of his TV work in actual conservation and public awareness. One of these real awards was the creation of the Marine National Park Alonnisos Northern Sporades in Greece as a result of his film “The Coast of the Monk Seals” in 1976/77 for ZDF (ratings 36 % - shown in 11 countries). His programme “Green Desert”, about traditional water management in the Sultanate of Oman was distributed by the Television Trust for the Environment TVE to 44, mainly Third World, countries. Another leading aspect of his film work was the production of environmental films for the people of the country where he was filming. So, he produced the first TV series of films on ecology, rural life styles and conservation for Greece (in the early 80’s, 14 programmes) and for the Sultanate of Oman (late 80’s, 12 films). His deep interest in ancient human traditions inspired him to produce “Omani Seafaring”, for Oman TV; “Im Kielwasser Sindbads” (In the Wake of Sindbad), for the series Terra X of ZDF; and “Insel der Magier” (Island of the Sorcerers: Waigeo) for ARTE TV. After retiring from TV film production at the end of 2002 he is returning to his earlier scientific work (abandoned in the early 70’s) about the social and population physiology of marsupials ( Petaurus breviceps papuanus and closely related species); village based conservation; the evolution of human communal behaviour and cultural diversity; and the evolution of art styles in the Papuan Gulf province of New Guinea. Since 1992 he is also involved in eco- and agrotourism programmes that are based on his earlier promotion of this alternative “soft” tourism through publications and films, in Greece and West Papua. His conservation activities are continuously focussed on Greece and New Guinea, since 1957 and 1959, respectively. Dr. Schultze-Westrum now is writing up his experiences of many years field work and he is keeping communications alive through his homepage, from the ancient village of Kazaviti on the island of Thassos in the northern Aegean Sea. The conservation and re-activation of outstanding traditional values of Kazaviti stand at the centre of a local museum and documentation centre to be set up in one or even two old Macedonian stone houses.

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Thassos, the northern-most large island in the Aegean Sea, was extensively cultivated in antique times. The first settlers with a high level of agriculture were probably the Phoenicians: according to folk tradition they introduced the troumbes variety of olives and they may have been the first farmers to cultivate the land on terraced plots. ...weiterlesen "Agro-biodiversity on Thassos, northern Aegean Sea"

When the island that we now call Thassos was discovered in ancient times by the earliest settlers, it was covered by abundant mixed broadleaf and pine forests. In the lowlands near the seashore, extensive wetlands teeming with eels and birds reached inland into wild gorges with rushing water all the year round. A grand natural landscape that was highly praised by Herodot and other classical writers.

Compared with today, Thassos still maintains much of this unique natural beauty and has preserved a wealth of diverse habitats, fauna and flora. And with the new developments in tourism on Thassos, these natural assets are getting in the focus of economic interest, because they sustain a stable and crisis-resistant kind of tourism: eco- and agrotourism are the new actual highlights in the island’s economic development.

But how can this kind of economic potential survive, if the very assets upon which the economic resources of nature-related tourism are based are not being effectively preserved? Of course, and it is clear without many words: it cannot be sustained and the tourism potential will vanish for ever! Therefore it is in the hands of both the communal authorities and private landowners to take adequate and immediate steps in order to preserve this money-generating natural potential. And to do so in a very serious and professional way! Without much further delay! It is an obligation of this generation, NOW! ...weiterlesen "Nature conservation on Thassos"

Considering,                                                   

integrating,

activating,

supporting

local communities

in their conservation efforts.



ECOCULTURE was founded by Thomas Schultze-Westrum as an inter-commission task force of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 1981. This movement originated from an earlier working group, Conservation and Traditional Life Styles, set up by the same initiator in the IUCN Commission on Ecology.

The following introduction is quoted from the ECOCULTURE leaflet (designed by Keith Pointing; text by Clare Richards and Thomas Schultze-Westrum). ...weiterlesen "ECOCULTURE: Conservation and Traditional Lifestyles"