The primary aim of this project was to strengthen regional capacities for rural development through integrated forest and water resources management in SEE. To contribute substantially to the overall objective, the project was supposed to achieve the following outputs:
- Regional inter-sectoral coordination and cooperation at the interface between agriculture, rural development and sustainable management of natural resources contributed to the implementation of regional strategy processes in Southeast Europe (SEE) – contributed to the establishment of a policy dialogue platform on Environment, gathering high level government representatives and other stakeholders to discuss relevant matter in respect to the Strategy implementation and set measures, but also addressing current hot spots on environmental protection, climate change and natural resource management to meet EU environment, climate and agriculture acquis and achieve a more sustainable growth model.
- Evidence-based policy assessments and gap analysis have been developed and have provided policy recommendations in respect to rural development including areas with natural constraints and sustainable management of natural resources in SEE – contributed towards strong regional networking in a very unique platform of researchers and policy-makers. It impacted the policy-making process to become evidence-based. It provided participatory approach in making policy recommendations, and finally involved the decision makers – the ministers.
- Income generation from the sustainable use of natural resources has been fostered via implementation of the Area Based Development approach in selected rural regions (comprising the support for small projects, the organisation of regional trade fairs and events promoting cultural heritage, environment protection and traditions) – contributed to income generation from the sustainable use of natural resources in the selected cross-border regions. The implemented P2P events (regional trade fairs and events promoting cultural heritage, environment protection and traditions) fostered via the Area Based Development approach additionally contributed to the economic development and cooperation in selected rural regions.
- The SWG Policy Dialogue structure is consolidated and serves as a backbone for common policy recommendations and crosscutting networking activities – impacted the approach of agricultural and rural development in the SEE, where countries and territories share very similar issues in the area of agriculture and rural development. SWG RRD through Output D provided regional cooperation and regional development as an approach to deal with the common issues of the SEE countries in their path towards EU accession. The SWG policy dialogue structure was consolidated and continues to serve as a backbone for common policy recommendations and crosscutting networking activities
This project was commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and was jointly implemented by GIZ and the SWG.
Project duration: February 2016 – August 2018.