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Lead Partner: Lazio Region
Circular economy (CE) is essential for the future of Europe due to the lack of raw materials and to the evolving environmental problems. REPLACE -REgional PoLicy Actions for Circular Economy- has the goal of integrating, deploying and capitalizing on lessons learnt through the H2020 project SCREEN by engaging policy-makers and managing authorities with the common objective of improving Regional Operational Programmes (ROPs) to enhance CE performances, aligning with the European Commission's Circular Economy Action Plan. REPLACE aims at improving management, implementation and monitoring of regional policy instruments targeted at facilitating the transition towards a CE, while boosting sustainable development: the main operative target refers to the development and application of policies and actions focusing on identification, valorization, assessment and financing of circular value chains, resulting in new local and interregional projects. REPLACE will develop a replicable framework for regional benchmark on circularity excellence level. REPLACE wants to fulfil a synergic use of funding for CE, connected to RIS3, to enhance innovation and competitiveness, as well as economic and employment performances while increasing effectiveness of policy instruments. In fact, REPLACE has an innovative horizontal cross-cutting approach, not focusing on one or more specific aspects of CE, but dealing with the lack of an effective and shared strategy for CE at regional level.
Lead Partner: Government of Aragon
LINDANET is an ambitious project that aims to join efforts among European regions to work together towards the improvement of the HCH (Lindane) contaminated sites. Lindane was a pesticide widely produced during second half of the 20th century around Europe and the world. Lindane production generated huge amounts of high pollutant organochlorinated compounds (HCH isomers and others) which present high persistence, high toxicity, and carcinogenic, bioaccumulative and endocrine disrupting properties. For example, several isomers of HCH are included in the list of the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) of the Stockholm Convention. Lindane production and use has been prohibited in EU regulation from 2007, but the Lindane related pollution still represents a very important risk for the human health and european environment and is still a quite unknown problem by the population and the political representatives. So, the intention of the LINDANET project is to advance in the direction of improve the knowledge and solution of this problem, starting from a regional point of view and reaching a European level. For this, the project has set the following general objectives: • To create a network of European regions affected by the contamination derived from the lindane production wastes (HCH and others), • To establish an Action Plan focused to the problem solution in each region, • To interchange experiences and knowledge that contribute to the solution of the contamination derived from the lindane and lindane production wastes, • To involve the stakeholder groups in the knowledge and the solution to the problem, • To contribute to the Policy Learning Platform of the Interreg Europe programme, • To raise public awareness about the HCH pollution and other related contamination problems derived from POPs and Obsolete Pesticides.
Lead Partner: Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
Peri-urban landscapes are located at peripheral locations of cities, often beyond their administrative boundaries. Build-up areas, such as new housing estates, leisure and industrial areas, communal infrastructure as well as valuable peri-urban open spaces, such as green spaces, brownfields or agricultural fields, can also be found here. Due to increasing urbanisation and investments beyond the city boundaries, these peri-urban open spaces are decreasing. With the decrease, the natural heritage of these open spaces and thus biodiversity, climate and air quality regulation as well as recreation services are lost. The aim of RENATUR project is to draw attention to the importance of peri-urban open spaces and their natural heritage in order to preserve it. For this purpose, model regions were selected, which have a great interest in the promotion and protection of the natural heritage of the peri-urban open spaces in planning practice.
Lead Partner: Institute of Advanced Studies
Major tourism attractions are emerging as internationally acclaimed hubs of visits and services, leading to oversight of other cultural sites and to non-sustainability of most-visited destinations. At the same time tourists are upgrading authentic cultural heritage, offering specific experience rooted in local history and the preserved cultural legacy of communities, adding unique flavors and excitement to their adventure. Small and medium sized towns with rich but undervalued cultural heritage possess the potential to offer new, unique and authentic experiences, but suffer from either the dominance of major attractions in their vicinity, or from their relatively remote locations. Positioning them as authentic destinations can simultaneously sustain local cultural heritage and create better prospects for locals. The attraction of tourists to less recognized places can create a more even distribution of tourism and more cohesive regional economies. Local Cultural Flavors’ objective is to improve policies supporting places unable to fully exploit their cultural legacies due to less-advantaged locations. The project will help partners to meet the challenge of identifying the most effective ways to support unique local sites with an innovative analysis toolkit, extensive knowledge sharing and with assisted interaction with local public and private stakeholders. This way the specific local and regional potentials and bottlenecks can be properly explored and used to elaborate the right policy frameworks elevating and positioning new authentic destinations. As a result of the cooperation of the international partnership, 8 Action Plans will be produced as main outcomes, targeting various policy instruments (ERDF Operational Programmes, development and marketing strategies) supporting the addressed locations in their pursuit to become more integrated and integral players in regional tourism, based on their recognized and properly used authentic cultural assets.
Lead Partner: Regional Government of Murcia, Ministry of Water, Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Environment, General Directorate of Water
What is AQUARES?  AQUARES brings together 10 partners from 9 countries, to achieve efficient water management through water reuse, profit from the opportunities in the water market, and secure the protection of water bodies. Water reuse is a key way to both promote resource efficiency in water scarce areas of Europe, and to profit from opportunities in the expanding water market, thereby alleviating pressure on wetlands and littoral areas of Europe. The EC "Strategic Implementation Plan of the European Innovation Partnership on Water”, was set in place to promote and support efficient water management in Europe where water scarcity affects 11% of its population. In this context, AQUARES will support public authorities to initiate efforts, join forces and exchange experiences to: identify viable strategies to utilize water reuse to confront inefficient uses of watermake the most of EU financing tools, andpromote public dialogue to address conflicting interests.  Expected impact Increased capacity of 200 staff of public administrations to effectively support water reuse 10+ million € investments unlocked to support projects on water efficiency and to improve the management of water bodies Increased awareness and consensus building among water providers, the workforce, and citizens, to support measures for water reuse (over 1000 individuals).  Main outputs & Beneficiaries 9 action plans to improve the addressed policy instruments, benefiting managing authorities and beneficiaries 3 interregional workshops, 3 study visits and 10 bipartite site visits promoting capacity building among partners and stakeholders  1 online toolkit on the evaluation of water reuse investments for regions promoting water efficiency  5 joint thematic studies and analyses reports on territorial needs and opportunities for water reuse pathways
Lead Partner: Polytechnic University of Valencia
COMMON CHALLENGE TACKLED BY CONDEREFF The challenge and opportunity faced by the CONDEREFF regions is to accelerate their policy work on improving resource efficiency at territorial level. Τhe EU Construction & Demolition Waste Management Protocol and the transition towards Circular Economy can guide the regulative roll-out of C&D waste management across EU regions; accordingly, the proliferation of infrastructures & methods for recycling and re-use of C&D waste materials can introduce a green growth opportunity. Regions can exploit this opportunity by improving their policy instruments to factor these developments in, and support projects and processes to this direction. OBJECTIVE AND EXPECTED CHANGE The CONDEREFF project brings together 8 partners from 7 countries to exchange experiences and practices on how to move forward from existing procedures on C&D waste management towards the adoption and further exploitation of the best practices and measures applied in the field. The project will enable the participating regions to advance their goals for resource efficiency and green growth through the proper management of C&D waste, which can boost demand for C&D recycled materials and support both sustainability and recycling in the construction sector. OUTPUTS & BENEFITS - 7 Action Plans aiming to improve the 7 policy instruments addressed. - 3 interregional workshops, 1 exchange of experience visit, and 1 policy & industry symposium - 42 regional stakeholders meetings - 7 regional building confidence meetings - 10 policy briefs to transfer lessons learnt beyond the partnership. - 1 “track & change C&D waste” toolkit - 1 compendium of best practices - 4 joint thematic studies & analyses
Lead Partner: Livorno Province
ThreeT seeks to improve the performance of 8 policy instruments to protect and enhance natural and cultural heritage by setting up thematic trails or improving existing ones, making them accessible to all through green modes of transport and readily available information. The ultimate aim is to maximize the eco-tourism potential of heritage sites. Partners share the challenge that sustainable accessibility to those sites is limited by lack of material links open to sustainable transport modes and of adequate information to ensure their visibility. This adversely affects strategies for a place-based, sustainable development of regional economies, since the potential of those sites is not being efficiently utilised. To address such challenge, partners’ relevant experience will be shared and jointly analyzed. A minimum of 20 documented good practices will be earmarked, tailored to the specific needs of each partner and suitably fed into the Programme Policy Learning Platform. The experience learning will ultimately result in 8 Action Plans drawn.Main benefits for the participating regions are:- Public accessibility and forms of sustainable enhancement of cultural and natural heritage improved- New practices on green mobility, intermodality and innovative information adopted- Effective system for monitoring the Action Plan to assess the actual influence of its actions on regional development strategies- Increased competence and skills of partner staff and key-stakeholders.The project privileges a bottom up approach for Action Plan formulation with key-stakeholders being involved in all project activities. Their contribution by implementing the planned actions is expected to act as a strong multiplier lever for benefit sharing and territorial cohesion of local communities. The Stakeholder Groups established in the project will constitute a permanent forum to ensure a durable impact related to the project issue and consequent actions planned/implemented.
Lead Partner: County Council of Huelva 
Cycling is a European success story tells the first heading of the Declaration on Cycling as a climate friendly Transport Mode. Over the last decade, cycle­tourism has increased exponentially in Europe, both in terms of infrastructure & service and public attendance. The cycling tourism industry generates an annual turnover of €44bn. It represents nowadays a strategic priority for many territories in Europe mostly due to its potential for attracting added­value tourism. Cycle-tourism has clearly taken substantial advantage from the extended urban mobility developments based on bicycle. New populations of cyclists are claiming for new experiences brought by new models of sustainable tourism. This is also extremely challenging for territorial management and land­use planning since Cycle­tourism represents a powerful opportunity to provide infrastructures and create services and employments in remote areas. In that sense, natural heritage could deeply benefit of cycle­tourism. Many territories in Europe are characterized by extended natural heritage in which growth is always subordinated to the strict evaluation regarding preservation of biodiversity and ecosystems at risk. We remind that the EU2020 strategy fostering sustainable environmental development and an efficient use of resources is mandatory for taking off green and competitive economy. Therefore, ECO­CICLE aims that bicycle becomes the official sustainable transport to access natural heritage while fostering endogenous economical revival through a popular modality of tourism. In order to determine the best conditions to develop cycle­tourism in natural heritage context, ECO­CICLE builds on the experience of the partnership, especially on our advisory partner ECF. Main objective of ECO­CICLE is to improve operational programs and regional development policies to allocate SF and other investments funds (about 9M€ is targeted through 24 new projects) in infrastructure and support to cycletourism service providers.
Lead Partner: Natural Environment and Climate Change Agency (N.E.C.C.A)
IMPROVING POLICIES TO PROTECT BIODIVESRITY FROM INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES Biological invasions are considered to be one of the greatest threats to the biodiversity and natural ecosystems. Invasive Alien Species (IAS) can act as vectors for new diseases, cause native species’ extinction, change ecosystem processes, and reduce the value of land and water for human activities. INVALIS will enable the participating territorial authorities to address common challenges associated with biological invasions such as a) knowledge gaps in ecosystems’ vulnerability to biological invasions and species’ distribution, b) lack of awareness about IAS environmental and socioeconomic risks, c) low level of cooperation between public authorities and key stakeholders for the implementation of IAS management measures, and c) conflicts of interests. OBJECTIVE INVALIS brings together 7 partners from 7 countries, to improve their environmental policies, by supporting policy measures for the prevention, early detection and control of IAS. EXPECTED IMPACT - Increased capacity of 200 staff of public administrations to effectively implement IAS management policies - 10 million euros unlocked to support projects for increasing natural ecosystems’ resilience to IAS and to carry out eradication/control actions for high priority species - Increased awareness of over 1000 stakeholders about IAS impact on the biodiversity, economy and human health MAIN OUTPUTS & BENEFICIARIES - 6 action plans to improve the addressed policy instruments, benefiting managing authorities and beneficiaries - 3 interregional workshops, 2 site visits and 1 EU-wide policy learning event to promote capacity building among partners and stakeholders - 18 policy briefs to transfer INVALIS lessons learnt to EU public authorities - A risk assessment framework for EU public administrations to assess regional ecosystems’ vulnerability to IAS - 4 baseline analysis reports on territorial needs and IAS management practices
Lead Partner: Autonomous Region Friuli Venezia Giulia
European regions play a multiple role in the adoption of green public procurement (GPP) policies as they elaborate and adopt GPP plans, can mainstream GPP within all policy instruments that they manage, can purchase eco-innovative and resource efficient goods and services, playing thus also a significant role the promotion of more resource efficient economies. There are still large areas for improvement in the adoption of GPP in relation to EU funded programmes and other policy instruments, in the undertaking of the tool by beneficiaries and in the monitoring of GPP implementation, hence in the evaluation and mainstreaming of its benefits. GPP toolkits, common environmental criteria, training materials and help desks have been developed throughout Europe. Limited experience is yet available on how to include environmental criteria into financing instruments and in the implementation of development strategies. GPP-STREAM builds on the idea that interregional cooperation can help mainstreaming GPP policies within the administrations involved and ensure that resource efficiency measures are spread and benefits acknowledged. GPP-STREAM AIMS The project aims to improve the management, implementation and monitoring of policy instruments that integrate GPP approaches so as to ensure that resource efficiency gains can be maximized and that resource efficiency objectives are institutionalized through GPP. The project is coordinated by Region Friuli and is implemented in partnership with 8 Bulgarian, Spanish, French, Italian and Romanian bodies that have complementary environmental and GPP expertise. RESULTS AND OUTCOMES 5 transnational learning events, at least 300 stakeholders involved, 13 GPP webinars, 5 GPP toolkits and one online platform, 8 policy instruments from 5 EU countries will integrate GPP approaches, 40 EU policy instrument managing authorities apply GPP-STREAM toolkits. Author of the cover image: Massimo Armani