… to cross-border network of communities located on Natura 2000 sites.
“Common Initiatives in Conserved and Protected Areas”(CICPA) is a project invented by organizations responsible for protected areas management and people who manage with daily duties in those areas. In June 2017 four partner organizations from Lithuania and Poland submitted application to Interreg South Baltic Programme. In November 2017 CICPA was the one of 11 projects selected for funding by programme’s Monitoring Committee. The project has started in January 2018.
The overall idea of the project is to support communities situated on Natura 2000 sites, together with their institutions, associations, local public bodies and other organizations, in building long-lasting international cooperation focused on protected and conserved areas exploitation. The aim is to increase cross-border networking of particular target groups: local actors representing branches of economic activities which are inspired and strictly connected to natural values exploitation: fishery, forestry and agriculture, tourism, education, culture and art.
Protected areas of South Baltic region play a valuable role in maintaining biological diversity but also create a desire to reap economic benefits from their direct exploitation. The challenge is to encourage small communities and municipalities situated in Natura 2000 sites to share good practice examples of taking advantages of protected areas with other communities abroad. The most common issue is low experience in international communication and simple deficiency of knowledge on how to start, how to connect with interested partners, how to reach target groups and how to use cross-border cooperation in developing actions and services based on using natural resources.
The project is also a chance for comparing actual situation of exploitation of NATURA 2000 areas in neighbouring countries in South Baltic region.
The CICPA project connects the large potential of stakeholders working in protected areas with knowledge of organizations responsible for nature management and their experience in international cooperation. The Project Partners together with Associated Partners from two partner countries will create a model of international cooperation focused on common actions taken by local actors from project’s target groups. This will lead to joint organization of international events dedicated to sustainable nature exploitation.
This method requires an involvement of stakeholders and active support of local authorities. Representatives of target groups from neighbouring countries will take initiative of creating working groups dedicated to each target. That gives a unique opportunity to share their experience of economic development difficulties, challenges and possibilities based on responsible exploitation of the nature in protected areas as well as to adopt existing solutions to less advanced regions.
CICPA project offers interesting and evolving meetings with local communities, international workshops, common support in building durable networks and attractive study tours. Moreover, we invite to jointly organized multicultural events encouraging local stakeholders to be involved in cross-border networks dedicated to exploitation of the most unique natural attractions of their regions (local fish, outdoor activities, famous traditional cuisine or wild horses). This is the nature of our network!
We are focused on continuous building of open, active and creative cooperation between local communities living on protected areas, sharing knowledge of sustainable development on NATURA 2000 and inspiring more organizations to take part in cross-border cooperation. Our network invites next South Baltic local authorities, municipalities, regional governments, NGOs, associations, societies, SMEs, and all of those who seek for their chance to get experience in international projects connecting extraordinarily valuable and protected areas in this part of Europe.
First CICPA workshop for representatives of project’s target groups took place in Stepnica and Międzyzdroje (West Pomerania, Poland) in May 2018. Very fast we learnt that there is huge potential of joint activities. Thanks to first CICPA workshops, over thirty common ideas of cooperation between regions have shown up thus organizations started with realization of some of them immediately.
If your organization is looking for cross-border cooperation in Natura 2000 areas, we invite you to share your opinion, search for contacts using our website and exchange experience! Contact us.
South Baltic CICPA ends on March 31, 2020, but after the project’s end date we will continue to cooperate in valuable natural areas!