First Stakeholders General Meeting in Murcia Region with many participants, contributing to the natural and cultural heritage in Greenways.
OUR WAY project aims to contribute to the conserving, protecting, promoting and developing natural and cultural heritage in Europe using Greenways by means of the improvement of policy instruments related to the cultural and natural quality of the territories involved, including tools for their governance and developing specific measures for their promotion and preservation.
Partnership is composed by 6 regions with different levels at developing, managing and promoting natural and cultural heritage in and around Greenways as well as an advisory partner, the European Network of Greenways with large experience and knowledge in the project field.
The project intends to improve coordination among the different key actors:
The interregional cooperation is essential in order to identify, exchange and transfer of practices among regions and, what is more important to plan and prepare specific Action Plans to integrate lessons learned from the interregional cooperation in regional policies programmes.
Environment and resource efficiency
Murcia OP included a mention and money allocated specifically to develop the Greenways due to its importance for the preservation of cultural and natural regional assets that exist in our territory. Tourism Institute was asked to support in the definition of it, proposing as a first step to include basic infrastructure, without being able to add promotional measures for the valorization of its cultural and natural resources. OP measures are to extend the works around the first Greenway developed to reach natural and cultural paths not valorized and the improvement of the infrastructure for other three Greenways delicted.
The most important improvement for the policy instrument is to be able to support the sustainable tourism based in the cultural and natural qualities of the regional assets around the Greenways, allowing for the maintenance of the built infrastructure after the investments made. It should be taken into consideration that Tourism represents in Murcia up to 10,1% from Regional GPD and 11,2% of employment. Regarding natural and cultural resources, Greenways are an asset not enough exploited in Murcia Region. It is highly important to integrate different aspects, policies and stakeholders, find financial solutions for sustainable development and develop touristic products that can valorize the resources around them. For that it is required experience and innovative practices to do it in an efficient way.
Preserving and Protecting the environment and promoting resource efficiency (6).
Taking action to improve the urban environment, to revitalise cities (6(e)).
The reason we are trying to improve this policy objective is that our Operational Programme is now aligned with our Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies. Our Horizontal Principles are committed to sustainability, promotion of our natural & builds heritage and connectivity of our cultural resources. Greenways have been identified as a key product supporting our regional propositions - development, job creation and sustainability. In addition, the policy instrument is promoting a more effective understanding of our natural and built heritage due to enhanced access. Most importantly the governance of Greenway Development has been effected due to the lack of coordination and other funding mechanisms. At the completion of the 'Our Way' project we aim to have an effective regional plan and full understanding of available financial instruments
The Podkarpackie Region Board have adopted a program document entitled Regional Innovation Strategy for the Podkarpackie Region for the years 2014-2020 for smart specialization (RIS3), where regional smart specializations were defined. As one of them pointed out is the Smart Specialization - Quality of Life, which takes into account the development of sustainable tourism. One of the Operational Objectives of the RIS3 Strategy of Podkarpackie Voivodeship is the development of eco-innovative profiled tourist services. As the part of the innovation system is the operating of the Podkarpackie Innovation Council - an advisory body for the Board of Podkarpackie Region and the Smart Specialization Panels - including the Panel on Quality of Life. Their functioning is financed under the system project implemented within the priority axis of the Podkarpackie ROP for the years 2014-2020. Implementation of the RIS3 Strategy involves the continuation of the Entrepreneurial Discovery Process - EDP(including the activities of the Podkarpackie Innovation Council and the Regional Panels of Smart Specialization - Quality of Life). EDP aims at identifying business areas where joint action and innovative projects can be implemented, as well as searching of synergies and opportunities for cooperation between regions. There is a need to focus the Quality of life panel for strengthening the sustainable tourism in region by the OUR WAY project.
Thematic objective: 06–Preserving and protecting environment and encourage the efficient use of resources.
Priority of the investment: 6c-Conserving, protecting, promoting and developing natural and cultural heritage.
The ERDF OP supports the valorisation and promotion of the cultural and natural sites in our Region. The expected results of the chosen policy instrument are as stated in OP: to support the activities of labelling for qualification and categorise the sites and support the actions which are aiming to promote and develop natural and cultural sites in order to contribute to structuration of products and leisure in Languedoc-Roussillon (Occitanie) region. The content of OP actions refers to these results and also to do studies and prospective on frequentation of the sites and their accessibility to tourists. The priority of the policy instrument is to both to preserve and protect environment and on the other hand to promote the sustainable use of natural resources by conserving, protecting, prioritising cultural and natural heritage.
The policy instrument should be improved, as there is not, to support touristic economy which represents 15% Regional GDP and 7% employment. This can be realized by designing and implementing a systematic and integrated management plans for natural and cultural sites in Greenways. In this way the lack of promotion and attractive offer can be tackled and innovative practices for the protection of environment can be developed.
The Regional Development Programme of Hajdú-Bihar County for 2014-2020 integrates the strategic goals of the county at both sectoral and territorial levels. The objectives of the programme include 8 priorities; within this project we plan to address Priority 3: Competitive Economy focusing on Measure 3.5: Tourism based on county values. This covers developments in Hortobágy National Park; health, eco, pilgrim, nature-related, cultural and active tourism developments with specific focus on preserving built, natural and cultural heritage; formulation of new networks focusing on thematic trails, with special regard to keeping people in the region and promoting local collaborations, while strengthening SMEs. The main aim of the policy instrument is clear but an improved structural background is required with an appropriate approach, enhanced capacity and the potential to creating institutional programmes with incentives as well. New methodologies to efficiently implement the preservation and maintenance tasks are also needed.
The policy includes following measures and activities relevant to the project:
Under priority 6c -Conserving, protecting,promoting and developing natural and cultural tourism -OP Regions in Growth/Related training for the staff, working at the supported attractions.Development of tourist infrastructure (tourist paths, climbing routes, horse riding and biking routes
and fairs and organize of expedition trips, visits of travel agents, tour operators,
writers of travel guides, journalists for promoting the supported attractions;
• Public awareness, including through campaigns for raising the awareness
• Improving the access of people with disabilities to the cultural heritage sites
• Integrated tourism management schemes, coordinated tourism supply development
The main reason that the policy instrument should be improved is to focus more intensively on the role of Greenways in protection, promotion and development of natural and cultural tourism as an innovative approach and quality new glance to the opportunities that the region give for territorial development and growth. The access to unique natural and cultural attractions using Greenways, is an economic and environment friendly infrastructure and transport and also healthy way for tourism. The policy instrument should include measures to promote Greenways
services more visibly and involve more players and better participation of the enterpreneurs.