Following the success of the Samos Symposium, six years later we decided to organize an international conference on the issue. The first international Conference on the Ecological Importance of Solar Saltworks (1st CEISSA) organized under the authority of Global NEST, on the beautiful Greek Island of Santorini on October 20-22, 2006.
Experts from 16 countries including U.S.A., Brazil, Mexico, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, India, China, Australia, Tunisia, Ghana, Egypt, Israel and Greece gathered at Santorini conference center P. Nomikos, to discuss the importance of Solar Saltworks as coastal ecosystems. Prominent participations at the conference were that of the president of China National Salt Industry Corporation Mr. Mao Qinqquo and the Salt Commissioner of India Dr. S. Sundaresan.
Although solar saltworks are industrial sites that produce one of the most essential commodities of human society, they also offer shelter to wildlife! The vast fields of shallow saline water support growth of great variety of species. Fish, algae and birds, many of them protected, coexist in a unique environment, aiding salt production if managed wisely. The conference gave a chance to biologists, urban architects, ecologists, engineers and solar saltworks managers to present their views in their areas of expertise.
With surprise, we realized that almost worldwide, investments in Solar Saltworks are facing environmental problems similar to ours! Generally, there was a global need and requirement for the identification of Solar Saltworks as constructed coastal wetlands. Thus, the Santorini conference came like summer rain to the international solar salt community and actually gave birth to CEISSA movement!
The substantive discussion, that held at the conference closing session, resulted in very important proposals and actually laid the foundations and determined the objectives of our movement.