Save Project. Natural Parks: involvement &effects for rural residents.Portugal

imaxen cabeceira The Public Service Decentralisation Programme

Logos Save Project.

SAVE – Valorization of Agri-Ecossistem's Environmental Services in Protected Mountain Areas.The purpose of this research is the production and dissemination of knowledge about the Ecosystem Services (ES) based on the agri-forest-pastoral systems in the Serra da Estrela protected area. On the basis of such information, the Project also aimed at delivering insights about the design, application and governance of policies concerning ES valorisation. Part of the Project was focused on a payment system called ITI (Integrated Territorial Interventions) – a set of financial support measures to landowners and agri-forest producers in protected areas meant to promote sustainable farming practices, biodiversity and nature conservation. The Project assessed ITI program design, its effectiveness and results.

The focus was on the Serra da Estrela Natural Park – municipalities of Seia, Celorico da Beira, Guarda, Manteigas, Covilhã and Gouveia. On a later phase, a comparison with Peneda-Gerês National Park was started – districts of Braga, Viana do Castelo and Vila Real.

Imaxen fauna na Serra de Estrela

Being a PES (Payment for Ecosystem Services), the ITI scheme is also an instrument for local development, providing income for peripheral communities and economic retribution for conservation practices. Results have shown that effectiveness, as well as locals' involvement, were significantly better in Peneda-Gerês. Thus, though iniciallyfocusing on the Serra da Estrela Natural Park, the study of the ITI implementation scheme can serve as a model to assess the program's effectiveness in other protected areas where such measures configure a portfolio of policies meant to preserve ecological values and, at the same time, turn local stakeholders as an active part of environmental policy.

Key questions for debate
  • Are the nature protection policies a positive factor in order to offer living opportunities for long term local residents, or, on the contrary, another "expulsion factor"?
  • Is the actual involvement of locals the key success factor?
  • To what extent is direct financial support is the right, sustainable and successful strategy?

Decentralisation of public offices out of the country’s capital. A controversial attempt in Ireland

imaxen cabeceira The Public Service Decentralisation Programme

The Public Service Decentralisation Programme, announced in December 2003, lasted until November 2011, when it was cancelled by Government. Its purpose was to decentralise the Irish civil service to rural locations.

imaxen decentralisation

In 2003, this policy envisaged the movement of some 10,000 positions over a ten year time period. To date some 30 per cent of the envisaged numbers have moved.

It was cancelled in 2011 by a new government for a mixture of reasons some of which were party political others more practical. It had been partly hijacked by the previous administration as some ministers wanted to bring employment to their own constituencies.

Locally its effects have been highly positive: it has brought young blood in ageing communities, it has stimulated the local housing market besides improving the local economy and bringing many more benefits.

Key questions for debate
  • Decentralizing public offices to less populated areas, may it help to resettle people and contribute to rural revival?
  • How to do it in a coherent and sustainable way? (Promoting resettlement without generating inefficiencies)
  • How to minimize negative side effects such as to significantly increase commuting –bussing time- and working hours wasting?

Prove Project. Taking advantage of trustful and proximity. Portugal

imaxen cabeceira web Prove Project

mapa nucleos productores Prove Project
PROVE originated as an inter-territorial co-operation Project between eight Local Action Groups located around Portugal to continue the experience and methodology developed as part of the IC EQUAL inititiative which is intended to resolve issues related to the marketing of local products and to take advantage of the proximity of producers and consumers in peri-urban areas.

The Prove Projectaims at promoting new forms of short marketing chains between small producers and consumers. Prove, thereby, is on one hand helping producers to sell their produce, directly and immediately, obtaining a fair price for their work. On the other hand, consumers receive quality products and have direct contact with producers.

imaxen Prove Project

Key questions for debate
  • Potential of new ITC technologies to enhance marketing possibilities and quality of life in declining territories
  • New chances of labour inclusion in rural communities: potential of quality agriculture in times of massive unemployment.

Design for emptiness in Parkstad (Limburg- The Netherlands)

In the context of Parkstad Limburg (shrinking and ageing) city of Heerlen, as the centre of the region, is facing vacancy of buildings, many of which are in city centre. This contributes to the bad image and unsafe experience of the city.

imaxen Parkstad

In order to fight these negative consequences of vacancy, as well as to give (young) people opportunity to start up their own business Design for Emptiness competition is held every year. In this project entrepreneurs can apply for a location in the city centre and initial grant for their business.

Project is initiated by the municipality of Heerlen , in order to achieve optimal results, with partnership of NGO initiatives, university etc. Every year this project attracts many (young) entrepreneurs who see Heerlen as a good option for their business due to possibilities demographic transition offers.

At the same time, city benefits from economic and creative activity these people bring with them and the regeneration they contribute to in the city centre.

Available info in

Key questions:
  • How to attract young entrepreneurs to shrinking and depopulating areas?
  • How to deal with building vacancy?
  • Is population shrinkage an opportunity to build up new public-private partnerships and new bottom-up strategies?

Irish Rural Link

This is a platform linking all rural development actors and agencies over the island of Ireland. It is essentially an NGO digital platform which acts as both a link and a network of networks for more than 500 local Irish development centred groups with a cumulative membership of over 25,000 individuals. It is a bottom up agency devoted to analysing and presenting the needs of disadvantaged rural communities in Ireland at county, national and EU levels. It has the support of government. The web page of IRL outlines the diversity and range of the themes that it works on in its advocacy programmes.

imaxen cabeceira páxina web

More info in

Key questions:
  • At what extent, rural environment may be an opportunity for innovative ways of labour inclusion in times of growing joblessness?
  • Is territorial inequity linked to social prejudices against rural life?
  • May a bottom-up organization movement contribute to remove those prejudices and inequities?

“Ellinkulma”, day active centre in North Karelia (Finland)

This centre is a meeting point amongst older persons, enterprises , professionals and NGOs, where is to demonstrate good practices related to the self-care, living and housing of ageing people and develop barrier-free housing and living environments.

imaxen Ellinkulma 1

It’s built up in the centre of the municipality of Juuka, with about 5.600 inhabitants, being an aged area (more than 26% ar over 65 y.o.), with low rural density. The centre’s main objective is to strengthen elder people ability to take care of themselves and to network with other actors in this field in order to be able to olive at home as long as possible.

imaxen Ellinkulma 2

More info in

Key questions:
  • At what extent, smart technology solutions are the answer to elderly quality of life in sparsley populated areas?
  • How to ensure a better use of ITC to the elderly?
  • Is silver economy an opportunity for companies in rural areas?

Granxa Familiar (Family farm) is a project aimed at developing the Galician rural milieu both socio-economically and culturally in order to appreciate the quality of life and rural culture, to create communication links between the rural and urban world, to emphasize the importance of the traditional self-supply production market of Galician family farms, and to promote the spread of new technologies as a social intervention tool against the phenomenon of social and territorial exclusion known as the "Digital Divide".

imaxen páxina web

The objective is to boost social, economic and cultural development in the Galician rural environment. It's is our aim to bring about the recovery of historical memory and the appreciation of local rural culture in the context of the information society. For that purpose,the architecture of has been planned, thus developing the creation of a virtual community focused on boosting commercial transactions and the possibilities for buying and selling traditional self-supply products that exist in the rural environment.

Granxa Familiar is hoping to promote the project globally across the Internet by promoting the use and spread of ICTs (information and communication technologies) as tools and commercial channels for agricultural products, equally well-known among rural and urban communities, as well as information and learning channels.

Learn more in CapBookGranxaFamiliar.pdf


Key questions for debate
  • Potential of new ITC technologies to enhance marketing possibilities and quality of life in declining territories
  • New chances of labour inclusion in rural communities: potential of quality agriculture in times of massive unemployment.
  • Stereotypes on rural life

Ribeiro wine producers’ cooperative takes care of their Alzheimer patients

imaxe uvas

Traditionally Alzheimer disease have been hidden in some rural communities and, at most, considered as a domestic issue, another difficult challenge for the ladies to deal with. Those ladies usually took the whole responsibility, together with the rest of tasks they were already entrusted with, with no proper training, but an extra amount of workload and solitude.

logo afaor

That overwhelming, tiring situationis faced by some organizations. The association AFACOR took the challenge of decentralizing services and made them accessible to some rural community. They give support to the caregivers and promote therapies, training and other activities.

In this particular case, a Galician wine producer's organization initiated a programme to face the problems affecting families with some Alzheimer patients at home. This cooperative makes possible, at the same time, a living opportunity for small family owned vineyards. As a result the Cooperative is not only providing actual means of live to rural families, but also integrating social support to their needs.

imaxen páxina web

Key questions for debate
  • The scope of social economy in rural areas: production and corporate social responsibility
  • Public and no-public social services: complementarity, synergies, sustainability
  • Care at home: proximity, user's decision, gender issue (Who cares for the caretaker?)