Developing Initiatives exploiting the Potential of.. (Parks&Economy)
Developing Initiatives exploiting the Potential of Natural Heritage for Regional Spatial Development
Start date: Mar 31, 2006,
End date: Mar 30, 2008
Many rural regions of the CADSES area are lagging behind in their economic development while their landscapes and habitats are considered natural heritages. The conservation of these landscapes and their day-to-day management is often too expensive to be done on the pure merits of environmental protection alone. Yet, these natural assets bear a great potential for the development of the regional economy. The original idea of the Parks&Economy project was to help sensible park areas to overcome their weaknesses in regional economic development. The aim of the project is the foundation and development of national parks and nature and landscape parks in rural Europe. By setting up integrated Development and Marketing Plans, actions will be outlined to spur economic development while at the same time promoting environmental protection measures. The natural heritage will be used as a driving force for marketing regional products and for shaping regional and citizens' identities. Parks&Economy brings together public authorities responsible for the management of nature and national parks, local NGO partners and scientific institutions as well as a national ministry. The project targets actors within the eight involved park areas, such as park authorities and environmental organisations, as well as other stakeholders, such as business representatives, NGOs involved in cultural topics and local residents. Particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises which are active in the field of sustainable tourism or which produce typical regional products will benefit from the project. Moreover, Parks&Economy should be a demonstration project for other regions within the CADSES space which could also apply the project's approach and tools. Expected Results: The establishment of nature parks should help to protect sensible eco-systems while offering better marketing tools for the promotion of sustainable tourism and environmentally-friendly products. Along with the co-operation of stakeholders the project should help to foster regional identities. Expected results are, among others: - Establishment of a nature park in each project area, - Development of a corporate management for each park to enable the registration of an official trademark for marketing purposes, - A shared corporate strategy developed by the stakeholders (administration, businesses, communities) to foster the regions identity, - Development of a framework to carry out SWOT analyses in the parks, - Parks&Economy guidelines to draft Development and Marketing Plans, - Establishment of a Parks&Economy standard for the creation of regional product labelling trademarks to help promote the regions typical products and services in the park areas.
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