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Leader+ OBSERVATORY Leader: funding for environmental, social and economic benefit Martin LAW, Leader+ Contact Point, Brussels Workshop on Sustainability.

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Presentation on theme: "Leader+ OBSERVATORY Leader: funding for environmental, social and economic benefit Martin LAW, Leader+ Contact Point, Brussels Workshop on Sustainability."— Presentation transcript:

1 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 European Commission

2 Outline of presentation  The ‘Leader approach’ – what it means  Leader+ funded projects: some relevant examples to date

3 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

4 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!

5 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.

6 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.

7 Specific Leader+ funded projects contd… Project Funding: “ Agreements and sustainable agrarian practices” Total budget: EUR EAGGF:EUR Public National: EUR Private Funding: EUR  Low funding but high territorial impact

8 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

9 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.

10 Specific Leader+ funded projects contd… Project Funding: “Adding value to Nature 2000 sites through signposting” Total budget: EUR EAGGF:EUR Public National: EUR  Low funding but high territorial impact

11 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.

12 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.

13 Specific Leader+ funded projects contd… Project Funding: “Nature GeoLine” Total budget: EUR EAGGF: EUR Public National: EUR Private Funding: EUR  High territorial impact, high private sector contribution

14 Specific Leader+ funded projects contd… Find details of more Leader+ funded projects:  European database of Leader+ Good Practise  Leader+ Magazine Subscribe or download via web-site or write to the Leader+ Contact Point:

15 Workshop on Sustainability of the Natura 2000 network Thank you for your attention !


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