Ecocultural Littoral


Back to

Participant research for the preservation of cultural and natural heritage and its application to sustainable development of Cantabria´s Littoral.






The Project


The project deals with the Ecocultural Heritage as a Resource for the Sustainable Development of Cantabria’s Coastline. 


The Ecocultural Littoral Project arises from the need of citizen participation and involvement in fostering constructive relationships between culture, nature, and social development, having chosen Cantabria Coastline region (in the Atlantic North of Spain) as a case study.


Our main interest is to try to identify elements of integration between local knowledge and its ecological environment.  Our aim is to do  situational diagnosis and to articulate action proposals for a sustainable development based on the preservation and promotion of cultural and natural heritage of the communities living at the coastal areas of Cantabria. 


The Project is organized by EcoCultures, and funded by Fundación Marcelino Botín through the Eduardo Fernández Miguel Section within the IV Grant Call for Research on Sustainable Development and Environment of Cantabria´s Littoral. 



The goals


· To elaborate integral diagnoses on present and future impacts of traditional and modern human activities on the regional marine environment.


· To analyse the potentials for a sustainable development of Cantabria´s Coast, based on the situation of natural and cultural heritage.


· To identify the lore, popular techniques, and environmental resources implying an integration between culture and ecosystem, to analyze the application of new technologies on action plans leading to a sustainable development of the region.


· To promote, through participatory research, integral and sustainable management plans for the coastline, involving social entities, institutions, and general population.


· To test new integrative and interdisciplinary methodology on sustainable development.



Traditional Approaches for Innovative Experiences



The Ecocultural Littoral Project sets as a priority the participation of local actors and population in order to gain an effective management and sustainable development, by using local knowledge built through centuries of respect of nature.  This knowledge, understood here as cultural heritage, has been getting lost faster and faster.  The aim of this project is to] collectively elaborate environmental and social diagnoses, to create integral management and action proposals in each of the study areas, through collective creative techniques using local knowledge as “raw material”.


Innovative methodology merging qualitative, quantitative, and participative social and environmental research techniques is therefore needed, searching for an active individual and institutional involvement in the research process.



The process


Due to the integral and interdisciplinary approach of the Ecocultural Litoral Project, the research process includes different moments and procedure mechanisms:


· Obtaining Secondary and bibliographic information and analysis on natural and cultural heritage in the Cantabria Coastal region, and its management programs, experiences, social development models, etc. 


· Training of ecocultural researchers and agents through the Ecocultural Research and Development Course.  


·     Participant field work for cultural and environmental study in the project’s geographical areas.


·     Social Creativity Workshops to [elaborate] draw up participant proposals for sustainable management and development.


· Creation of a Delphi Experts´ Group.


· Returning results to social agents, population, and experts, searching for the elaboration of strategic action lines (see Exhibition of Preliminary Results).


· Divulgation of results and promotion of ecocultural heritage.


Any person or institution interested in fostering integration between society and environment, or in applied research experiences on sustainable development through methodological integration between social and environmental sciences, is invited to participate in this study. 


Click here about results.





EcoCultures is a non-profit organization which promotes the integration of society and environment through interdisciplinary and integral activities studying and enhancing popular techniques and local knowledge implying a better understanding of culture and nature within the frame of a sustainable development.


The project initiative comes from the Technical Area of EcoCultures, which provides scientific and technical assistance to the projects of EcoCultures since its foundation in 1997.   This interdisciplinary team includes experts from different fields such as local development, public management, environment, community health, human resources, social psychology, or new communication technologies. 


The Ecocultural Littoral Project is funded by Fundación Marcelino Botín through the Eduardo Fernández Miguel Section within the IV Grant Call for Research on Sustainable Development and Environment of Cantabria´s Litoral.







Go to:


Exhibition of Preliminary Results



Final results:  The Book Litoral EcoCultural



Asociación EcoCulturas

ecoculturas@ecoculturas -


Other links











Curso de Investigación y Desarrollo Ecocultural









El Noticiero EcoCultural










Aula de Investigación EcoCultural









Formación EcoCultural