In the isle of Pantelleria terraced landscape is a matter of identity for the island. The geographic localization of Pantelleria forces all the species living on the island – included human beings – to adapt themselves to such extreme natural conditions, which are mainly due to the extreme wind intensity, high temperatures and a dry climate. Hence, in Pantelleria, dry-stones walls, used for terraced building, play a multiple role: adapting the surface for agricultural purposes, absorbing the atmospheric humidity, and protecting from wind and salt. In such environmental conditions different peculiar techniques have been developed, such as the giardino pantesco (a characteristic construction used as citrus garden), the dammuso (an ancient dry-stone construction), the windbreaks, et cetera. On the other hand, agricultural products such as capers and grapevine represent an absolute excellence.
Here, better than anywhere else, the terraced landscape is synonymous for environmental sustainability, fighting climate changes, biocultural resistance and resilience, seeking a dialogue with the earth, which excludes any kind of domination.
Due to climate changes, water management in semi-arid or in aridity transition environments is one of the most important and complex function. It has to face the water scarcity conditions by wise techniques of catchment, rainfall harvest and drainage. In Mediterranean areas, terraced systems make often productive many areas that, by contrary, would be unproductive or close to a complete aridity, even by a strict agronomic selection of varieties.
Which drainage management systems could presently be a model of sustainability, adapted to dried environments characterized by water scarcity? Which hydraulic and crop system solutions could be adopted to face climate changes in transition areas? Which strategies have to be implemented to protect and promote a sustainable use of water resources?
The thematic session Water Harvest, Resilience and Arid Agriculture organized in the Pantelleria island will collect studies, researches and good practices related to traditional and innovative systems for water management in terraced areas, as parameter for a sustainable development.