Presentation on theme: "Leader+ OBSERVATORY Leader: funding for environmental, social and economic benefit Martin LAW, Leader+ Contact Point, Brussels Workshop on Sustainability."— Presentation transcript:
Leader+ OBSERVATORY Leader: funding for environmental, social and economic benefit Martin LAW, Leader+ Contact Point, Brussels Workshop on Sustainability of the Natura 2000 network Peterborough, October 18 2007 European Commission
Outline of presentation The ‘Leader approach’ – what it means Leader+ funded projects: some relevant examples to date
Understanding the Leader approach The key benefit is in the approach: n Leader is based on local strategies which are area-based and make best use of existing resources, and capitalise on a common identity n Public-private partnerships known as local action groups (LAGs) identify development needs which are set out in a plan n Leader funding supports LAGs’ plans and encourages the development of small-scale, innovative projects that help achieve sustainable development n Promotes inter-territorial and trans-national cooperation between LAGs across the EU to develop joint projects and build networks
Understanding the Leader approach The Leader approach Promotes the cooperation and development of integrated projects, and is very suitable for areas with strategies that: Combine nature conservation and land use in a sustainable way, e.g. enhancing the value of diverse Natura 2000 sites by projects related to eco-tourism or marketing of sustainable regional products. Where the key benefit is the approach and not as a source of large funding!
Specific Leader+ funded projects 1. Spain (Menorca) - “ Agreements and sustainable agrarian practices” Partners: the LAG ‘Illa de Menorca’ + the Baleares Group of Ornithology and Nature Protection (GOB) Aims to reach voluntary agreements with farmers and the GOB to combine sustainable environmental management with economic viability Ensures environmentally friendly farm production and high quality value added products Allows compatibility between environmental protection and economic activity Main output: publication of a guide specifying 38 measures for agrarian good practice. This has led to a change in mentality in the farming sector + economic and environmental improvements.
Specific Leader+ funded projects contd… Addressing the Leader approach: Area based: using local natural + human resources, and taking account of local needs (to improve the competitivity of local farm products) Bottom-up: participation of GOB + volunteers Partnership approach: GOB; farmers and landowners; public sector; schools; and tourism sector Innovation: social dialogue between partners; multiplier effect to increase environmental awareness Integrated approach: between the tourism and farming sectors; participation of schools and agro-shops for awareness raising; link with the project CARB (contract for the preservation of the biosphere) Networking and cooperation: GOB works part of a national network to promote voluntary conservation of the environment Local finance and management: LAG selects project and manages funding PLUS Transferability: the methods used to reach agreements; the model which is economically and environmentally viable Sustainability: pilot project shows possibility to produce high quality, environmentally aware products, and introduce behavioural changes.
Specific Leader+ funded projects contd… Project Funding: “ Agreements and sustainable agrarian practices” Total budget: EUR 24 179 EAGGF:EUR 6 503 Public National: EUR 6 503 Private Funding: EUR 11 173 Low funding but high territorial impact
Specific Leader+ funded projects contd… 2. Greece (South East Peloponese) - “Adding value to Nature 2000 sites through signposting” The LAG ‘PARNON S.A’ + the Greek Ornithological Society Aims to inform visitors by using information signposts, about the natural environment (local flora and fauna) of these protected areas Consistent with the region’s ‘Eco-development plan’ for soft economic development Information to be used for environmental education in local schools Main project beneficiary is the Greek Ornithological Society who organised the project activities Main outputs: Project acts as a main centre for environmental information in the LAG intervention area; creates awareness and interest beyond the normal tourist destinations for visitors and local population alike; increased the quality of tourism in the area
Specific Leader+ funded projects contd… Addressing the Leader approach: Area based: builds on the strengths of the area to exploit its ecosystems, natural cultural heritage, while addressing the weakness of poor economic development. A high visitor inflow will have multiplier effects on local development. Bottom-up: concensus among local actors to build a local culture of cooperation; public consultation in the design and implementation of the project Partnership approach: wide range of partners; development agencies, local public administrations, agricultural cooperatives, mountain climbing and cultural associations etc Innovation: project filled a gap for information on environmental awareness necessary for eco- tourism Integrated approach: project complements other environmental initiatives Networking and cooperation: for mapping natural spaces, the project used information from the Geography service of the Greek army; developed a large database to be shared for similar initiatives Local finance and management: LAG selects project and manages funding PLUS Transferability: high potential to transfer to similar areas, especially GIS system for mapping and information gathering, the development of signposts, and working with schools Sustainability: economic sustainabilty is not main issue but maintenance and updating of signposted information is. This is guaranteed by large range of local actors as key project stakeholders.
Specific Leader+ funded projects contd… Project Funding: “Adding value to Nature 2000 sites through signposting” Total budget: EUR 130 000 EAGGF:EUR 97 500 Public National: EUR 32 500 Low funding but high territorial impact
Specific Leader+ funded projects contd… 3. Austria (Steiermark) - “Nature GeoLine” The LAG Gesäuse-Eisenwurzen + 12 local municipalities Aims to develop a unique branding for tourism based on the area’s diverse natural (geological) assets Brings together 30 projects under ‘Nature – GeoLine’: geology, botany and regional history and includes a range of tourist sites and attractions Project also acts as an umbrella for two smaller regions allowing GeoLine to develop and promote the whole region: focus on ‘Geo Village Gams’ Currently 19 top GeoLine destinations participate in initiative. Outputs: geological exhibition; cave trail; video about natural formations; reconstruction of a wooden footbridge; development of trails, 3D models, cyber flight over the mountain range.
Specific Leader+ funded projects contd… Addressing the Leader approach: Area based: links the spectacular and protected alpine scenery with a well-defined tourist offer Bottom-up: concensus among local actors to build a local culture of cooperation; public consultation in the design and implementation of the project Partnership approach: Managed by the LAG who established the network and promotes contacts among the players involved and other Geoparks Innovation: the guiding theme and strategy; high quality standards related to educational content; the bundling of the different activities in a broad awareness-raising strategy; and cooperation with other European Geoparks to ensure knowledge transfer related to standards in geo-tourism Integrated approach: the project added value to the area’s natural asset in order to broaden the tourist offer starting with the Nature Park Styrian Eisenwurzen Networking and cooperation: works with the European Geoparks and UNESCO Global Geoparks to have exchange of ideas; linked to an INTERREG IIIc project, and another LAG project ‘Snail Safari’ to be included in the GeoLine initiative Local finance and management: LAG financed by 12 member communities; for the GeoLine project, all 19 partners contribute to the finance for common marketing and project management PLUS Transferability: high potential to transfer as evidenced by the INTERREG IIIc project. Sustainability: the project generates regional income and adds value and collaboration with new partners and projects ensures sustainability.
Specific Leader+ funded projects contd… Project Funding: “Nature GeoLine” Total budget: EUR 1 939 000 EAGGF: EUR 584 000 Public National: EUR 200 000 Private Funding: EUR 1 155 000 High territorial impact, high private sector contribution
Specific Leader+ funded projects contd… Find details of more Leader+ funded projects: European database of Leader+ Good Practise http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/rur/leaderplus/gpdb_en.htm Leader+ Magazine Subscribe or download via web-site http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/rur/leaderplus/publications/magazine12005_en.htm or write to the Leader+ Contact Point: email@example.com
Workshop on Sustainability of the Natura 2000 network Thank you for your attention !