On 20th October, some of the Catalan LSG met in Barcelona to identify possible improvements of European Funds management in Catalonia. The group concluded that the best framework to develop actions funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) would be the Catalan Strategy of Biodiversity.
Although not yet approved, there are sectoral plans which could help accomplish this, for example the Plan of Spaces of Natural Interest (PEIN) or the Catalan Management Instruments of Natura 2000.
In addition, some stakeholders commented how the information provided by the Observatory of Catalan Natural Heritage could help funds managers to better prioritize and monitor future funded projects.
To reach these conclusions, this part of the Catalan LSG (dedicated to connecting European funds to the conservation of natural heritage), first had to understand how these funds (ERDF, EAFRD) are already working in Catalonia. Also, it was important to work on the current functioning of Axis 6 from Catalan ERDF Operational Programme, which is the priority investment focused on protecting environment and promoting efficiency.
The presence of representatives from key departments responsible of EU funds management, allowed participants to ask questions about its management and to have a fruitful debate.
Jordi Vilalta from Leader Catalunya Central explained some examples of EAFRD usage in Catalonia and gave examples of successful projects, as Leader Natura ( leader.cat/projects/leader-natura/). Isabel Garcia, from Department of Territory and Sustainability, contributed explaining how ERDF are managed inside her department which is responsible of natural heritage conservation.