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Lead Partner: Province of Fryslân
Celebrating Biodiversity Governance (BioGov) is about the improvement of natural and cultural heritage policies. We want to reach our goal through participatory governance, by way of  stakeholder cooperation.  Stakeholders include nature organization staff, land owners, citizens government staff. Stakeholder cooperation means information sharing,dialogue, deliberationexploring new models of shared decision-making. The expected changes are more effective policies due to improved governance and broad stakeholder support, projects using participatory governance and/or policy instruments that actively encourage participatory governance as a new priority. As outcomes, partners will increase their capacity to facilitate Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships in their region, to engage in interregional learning, to learn to produce and communicate best practice narratives. Study visits - as part of interregional partner meetings - enable project staff to meet regional stakeholders and dialogue about policy improvement. Biodiversity and cultural landscapes are at the core of our regional identities. In our view, effective natural and cultural heritage policies are rooted in deliberation about, as well as care for and celebration of nature that sustains us.
Lead Partner: University of Patras
Green Public Procurement to achieve Green Growth  GPP4Growth brings together nine partners from nine countries, to exchange experiences & practices and improve their capacities on implementing resource efficiency policies that promote eco-innovation and green growth through Green Public Procurement (GPP). Project objectives GPP4GROWTH aims to address the challenges and exploit the opportunities related to the adoption of the new EU public procurement system, effective since April 2016. Europe's public authorities consume 14% of the EU GDP on goods, services and works of a total estimated value of EUR 1.8 trillion annually. This purchasing power is now anticipated to promote environmentally friendly and resource–efficient goods and services (e.g. energy efficient electronic and electrical equipment supplies, electricity from renewable energy resources, sustainable construction works, low-emission public transport vehicles, cleaning services using environmentally friendly cleaning products, etc). For this purpose, GPP4Growth will support public authorities to seize new opportunities for using their purchase power to stimulate eco-innovation, resource efficiency and green growth, mostly by using new award criteria in calls and tenders that pay particular attention to environmental considerations. The updated framework that will emerge is anticipated to  address the needs of the territories regarding compliance to the new EU public procurement system.  More specifically the project aims to: Increase the capacity of regional administrations to effectively implement resource efficiency policies, applying green public procurement.Improve the implementation of national/regional resource efficiency policies, providing incentives to businesses to integrate environmental factors and costs when producing goods and/or providing supplies, services and works.Unlock regional/national investments on green public procurement to promote the development of new green products and services.Improve regional actors’ readiness and create knowledge awareness on the influence of green public procurement on the adoption of sustainable consumption and production patterns by businesses operating in the region. Expected changes Over 7% increase in the number of businesses in partners’ regions, integrating environmental factors and costs when producing goods and/or providing supplies, services and works. Increased capacity of 200 staff of public administrations to effectively implement resource efficiency policies, applying GPP. 10 million Euros of investments unlocked to promote new green products and services development. Increased knowledge awareness of over 1000 stakeholders on the influence of GPP on the adoption of sustainable consumption and production patterns by businesses. Main activities and outputs Analysis of the factors that influence businesses to participate in green tenders and contractsEvaluation of existing regional and national policies that promote eco-innovation and green growth through GPP. Identification of good practices on GPP methods that led to the implementation of green contracts. Development of a digital lifecycle costing (LCC) method and resources for all EU public administrations to allow harmonised application of LCC. Promotion of interregional learning and capacity building through 3 interregional workshops, 2 existing experience visits, and policy learning events. 14 policy briefs to transfer GPP4Growth lessons learnt to public authorities beyond the partnership. Joint development of 9 regional action plans to improve the addressed policy instruments.  
Lead Partner: Atlantic Axis of Peninsular Northwest
EPICAH aims to promote the improvement of the policy instruments for crossborder cooperation processes in the natural and cultural heritage protection. The objective of the project is also to develop the management of the border by using it as a tourist attraction factor. It shall improve the effectiveness of tourism activity in managing the organization and valorisation of these assets.  Working together to support a better crossborder cooperation in the preservation, protection, promotion and development of natural and cultural heritage.  For the next five years partners will learn from each other and share their knowledge and also their challenges they face in crossborder development in order to enhance the cooperation between border entities by encouraging coordinated actions of the policy makers and technicians responsible for its implementation by developing sustainable, homogeneous and consistent tools on both sides of the border in heritage preservation.  Connected by borders. The partners various cultural and natural resources situated in border areas like forests, sea, monuments, rivers or vineyards, calls for a particular focus on the collaboration between local stakeholders in order to carry out actions for a common goal: nature conservation and preservation of cultural heritage  by making accessible for tourism in a sustainable approach. 
Lead Partner: Lombardy Region
CircE Project (European regions toward Circular Economy) involves 8 partners both at regional and local scale and representatives of different European social and economic scenarios: Lombardy RegionGovernment of CataloniaMarshal’s Office of Lower SilesiaProvince of GelderlandLondon Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB)Creation Development EcoEntreprises (CD2E)Sofia MunicipalityAssociation of Municipalities and Towns of Slovenia (SOS). The project aims at strengthening the diffusion of Circular Economy (CE) in Europe, consistently with the European Commission’s Circular Economy Package (2015). In particular the project aims at helping the Partners involved to increase the capability of their Policy instruments to steer economy towards a circular model. The project carries out this task by aiming at modifying or readdressing the selected policy instruments through an exchange of knowledge/experiences among Partners, through a continuous involvement of Stakeholders and through a deeper analysis of economic system. In the first phase (2,5 years) every Partner is intended to work on the main relevant economic sectors, identifying opportunities to develop CE as well as barriers, hampering their development. A prioritization of the identified opportunities will be produced on the base of shared criteria agreed in the project process. Policy options, already provided or potentially provided by the policy instruments, will be analyzed to find out best practices or new potential effective policy options.  "Every Partner will draft an action plan to transfer the lessons learnt in the interregional exchange into its own policy instrument, according to the prioritized opportunities and the highlighted barriers." In the second phase (2 years) the project will directly involve the political level to integrate the main findings into the selected policy instruments, modifying or reorienting them. In this phase effective implementation of the action plans will be monitored. 
Lead Partner: Ministry of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda, Government of Catalonia
Organizations, large and Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly aware of the benefits of closing loops by improving resource efficiency: saving material costs, creating competitive advantages and new markets are among the main reasons for organisations to take action. At this respect, the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is considered as a driver of the Circular Economy by encouraging organisations to develop techniques which make better use of resources in the production phase and retain physical goods longer and more efficiently in productive use, thus increasing their competitiveness. Starting from these considerations, ENHANCE project overall objective is to improve the implementation of regional policy instruments oriented to increasing the efficiency of resources by the exchange of experiences and practices on supporting EMAS registration. Main barriers perceived by EMAS adopters are: lack of EMAS recognition from the market and Public Authorities (PA), technical support from PA and external incentives; high cost, etc. In this regard, the role of PA supporting EMAS as a competent body becomes essential in order to remove these barriers and to encourage organizations to adopt EMAS through various means, such as reducing the technical barriers for EMAS adoption, enhancing benefits derived from EMAS, public subsidies and rewarding EMAS implementers with reduced enforcement (e.g., regulatory relief). Derived from the activities to be carried, such expected changes shall become effective upon the production of these main outputs: 1)Regional Studies on supporting EMAS registration. 2)Methodology to assess the feasibility of good practices on supporting EMAS registration. 3)EMAS Joint Database. 4)Thematic workshops to exchange experiences. 5)Regional Studies on the exchange process. 6)Toward EMAS Action Plans. Main beneficiaries from the cooperation will be PA, but direct effects resulting from the project will also affect organizations as EMAS adopters.
Lead Partner: Sviluppumbria Spa
The diversity of cultural heritage assets, whether tangible (museums, buildings, archaeological sites, archives) or intangible (such as cultural itineraries and events) is a cornerstone in European identity and a catalyst for social inclusion. It also plays a specific role in achieving the Europe 2020 strategy goals for a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, given its relevance not only in culture, but also in social and economic development, cohesion, education, tourism and innovation. However, pressure applied by visitors and residents means that heritage professionals, institutions and stakeholders face growing challenges to keep cultural assets and the territory around them protected, enhanced and, at the same time, accessible to all. SHARE aims at exchanging experiences in cultural heritage policies in urban settings, in order to identify best practices and innovative methods to develop a sustainable and smart approach to its management and use. The project will target ways in which smart cities projects can be effectively improved by including a smart and sustainable agenda for cultural assets in urban centers. The project will review existing policy tools, European policy outlines and best practices and will include specific research to be carried out in each partner’s area. The result of the interregional exchange process, lasting 24 months during Phase 1 of the project, will be conveyed in 6 Action Plans that will indicate ways to successfully transfer of SHARE’s outputs into mainstream policies, with particular reference to 5 ERDF funds. The partners represent a variety of public bodies, agencies and academic centers coming from 7 countries across Europe dealing with cultural heritage and smart cities policies and will commit to effectively share results of the project with local stakeholders groups and the MAs and institutions implementing local policies, and to ensure monitoring of the Action Plans over the 2-year period Phase 2 of the project. SHARE PGI02343
Lead Partner: Province of Fryslân
A satellite image of night-time Europe shows a continent that is covered in light. Over 85% of the EU territory is subject to some degree of artificial illumination. This increasing loss of natural darkness has a negative impact on biodiversity and ecosystems and on the quality of nature and the environment. Regions across Europe must intensify their policy efforts to reduce light pollution and protect areas with naturally dark night skies to help preserve their nature and vulnerable landscapes and prevent biodiversity loss. At the same time there are opportunities for sustainable economic development linked to the protection of dark skies. Several EU regions already demonstrate this by creating areas where the dark sky has a protected status and successfully positioning this as an asset to develop new eco-tourism services. In the Night Light project regional authorities from The Netherlands, Hungary, Spain, Luxemburg, Denmark, Slovenia and Italy join forces to improve their regional policies for the prevention of light pollution, preservation of dark skies and the sustainable exploitation of dark sky places. The project will introduce packages of regional policy measures for each of the partner regions that will result in a lasting reduction of light pollution, the designation of nature areas where dark skies are protected and the introduction of new services and facilities to attract eco-tourism to these dark sky areas. 
Lead Partner: International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies - Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Montpellier (CIHEAM-IAMM)
The ECOWASTE4FOOD project brings together seven local and regional authorities from seven countries throughout Europe. Its ambition is to address the crucial issue of food waste, not only to stop an unacceptable situation which causes the loss of up to 50% of the agricultural production that keeps not consumed or is consumed in a wrong way regarding health concerns, but also to demonstrate that food waste could be at source of a resource efficient and environmentally friendly economy for the territories.
Lead Partner: Kent County Council
Green Growth and Pilgrimage  -  The continued fragility of Europe’s economy means that growth and development policies often take precedence over environmental policies, threatening our cultural and natural heritage assets. The Green Pilgrimage (GP) project will show how growth and development policies can economically exploit AND protect natural and cultural heritage. Key to this is our focus on the power of pilgrimage- recognized today as one of the fastest growing segments of the travel industry (UNWTO, 2015) with more than 300 million pilgrims every year. ‘Now is the time to harness the power and potential of religious tourism to make a positive difference in the world.’ United Nations World Tourism Organisation The Power of Pilgrimage  -  Ancient pilgrim routes such as The Way of St James to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, report an annual 10% increase in numbers, particularly among non-religious. Harnessing this increased popularity to protect natural and cultural heritage is a common challenge faced by those responsible for Europe’s major pilgrimage routes. GP will show policy makers how to protect natural and cultural heritage whilst developing jobs and growth along pilgrim routes through developing low impact tourism, digitalization, pilgrim accommodation and strengthening local traditions. This reconnects pilgrims with their environment, landscape and culture. Policy Impact  -  Policy influence will increase pilgrimage across Europe through creating a greater awareness of its benefits. GP will hold exchanges and workshops on sustainable pilgrimage promotion, pilgramage tourism impact, environmental protection and European best practice. The Main Beneficiaries  -  The project will principally benefit: GovernmentLocal communities and businesses on Europe’s main pilgrim routesManagement groups safeguarding our natural and cultural assets. The project’s advisory partner, The European Green Pilgrimage Network, will ensure that the indirect beneficiaries of the project are: the major pilgrimage routes and destinations of Europe and working with the support of the European Institute of Cultural Routes, the project’s findings will also benefit the diverse 33 certified Cultural Routes of Europe.
Lead Partner: Agency for the development of the Empolese Valdelsa
There are an estimated c.2.5 million potentially contaminated sites across Europe, of which at least 14% require remediation. Managing contaminated land costs around €6.5 billion per year. 42% of this comes from public budgets. Partners from 5 regions have identified the potential of connecting new and future materials and clean technology to natural heritage protection, in order to address these environmental and economic problems. Through TANIA, they support wide and effective application of nanoremediation for contaminated soil and water. Nanoremediation is a low-cost, safe and effective technique to clean up pollution, improve current treatments and prevent future contamination. Effective uptake is limited by issues concerning technological novelty (need for further R&I, lack of standardised methodologies, patenting and pilot applications, understanding) and the governance model (engaging various policy departments and multi-disciplinary stakeholders). TANIA uses interregional exchange and participation of stakeholders from environmental and innovation fields to address these limitations. Regions are relative newcomers to the concept of nanoremediation. They compare different experiences on techniques to treat contamination, innovation in environmental protection and governance. They improve ERDF policy instruments, thanks to Action Plans defining measures to support more and better funding for nanoremediation, coordinate governance models and evaluation criteria and insert integration between innovation and environmental protection in their strategic focus. TANIA aims to Create new business opportunities for enterprises promoting nanoremediation products and services. Raise awareness on contamination of EU natural heritage, its effects and the potential of nanoremediation.Promote long-term, sustainable regional development and competitiveness: better environmental conditions, consequent improvements to health and increased business opportunities.