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Lead Partner: Regional Development Fund of Central Macedonia on behalf of the Region of Central Macedonia
Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe have been established since 1987, stressing the importance of European identities. The Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes currently comprises 31 routes contributing to protection and development of natural and cultural heritage. Cultural Routes are used as powerful tools to promote and preserve EU’s shared and diverse cultural identities, as well as provide a better understanding of the history of Europe through inter-regional exchanges of people, ideas and cultures. The impacts of Cultural Routes on SMEs’ innovation and competitiveness have showed that they are: at the heart of cultural tourism development,achieved a noteworthy impact and progress, and shown remarkable potential for SME generation, networking, social cohesion and intercultural dialogue,promoting the image of Europe,represent a source of innovation, creativity, small-business creation, and cultural tourism products and services development.  There is a common challenge, in terms of evaluating and exploiting the benefits of existing cultural routes and deploy them in the development of new routes, so that Growth & Jobs targets can be met faster. The overall objective of the Cult-Ring project is to highlight the value of investments in European Cultural Routes, in terms of their contribution to Growth & Jobs, with capitalisation of good practices, policy learning, policy implementation, development of new Cultural Routes, monitoring and capacity building. Main outputs are Action Plans on CRs development and upgrading, with implementation and monitoring of improved policy instruments in 6 regions, communication and dissemination tools for policy learning and capacity building, contribution to EU policies and EU2020 targets. The beneficiaries are regional authorities looking for capturing the benefits of CRs, both existing ones with greater visibility and new ones, NGOs, European Networks, EU institutions, international organisations and other stakeholders.
Lead Partner: VITO n.v. (until 31-12-2017 vzw i-Cleantech Vlaanderen - innovatie in cleantech)
Since the 1950s Europe has been disposing vast levels of waste in landfills. Estimates have revealed that 90% of Europe’s 500,000+ landfills are “non-sanitary” landfills, which predate the EU Landfill Directive and have limited environmental protection technologies. The EC has acknowledged that a vision for managing Europe’s landfills is urgently required. Landfills are to be considered as dynamic stocks of resources (landfill gas, water, other) that can be integrated into the economy, while landfill management (LfM) supports reclaiming land and avoids astronomic remediation and aftercare costs. Although many EU regions are already implementing LfM, no targeted, specific European LfM legislation currently exists. Nor are existing Waste Management and Soil Protection policies integrated in an overarching circular economy framework. Therefore, the COCOON objective is to develop, integrate and improve relevant policy instruments, while increasing subsidies through operational programmes (OPs) for LfM projects. COCOON brings together distinct EU regions to share and capitalise on regional good practices. The six targeted policy instruments include : The Soil Remediation Decree in Flanders (BE), the Environmental Protection Act in the Netherlands.Funding of LfM projects through the OPs in Andalucía (ES), Brandenburg (DE), Cyprus and Malta. As a result of LfM projects, the recovery of resources (landfill gas and water first, other resources later), as well as land recovery is increased while future environmental hazards can be avoided. LfM projects generate economic development opportunities; create new (local) jobs, all within the context of a EU-wide transition to a resilient, low-carbon, circular economy. Obviously, the governments of the partner regions directly benefit from the improved policy. But as LfM contributes to a safe environment and more resource efficiency, other public bodies also benefit from the project, as will companies, knowledge institutes and civilians.
Lead Partner: The Malopolska Region
The protection of the cultural heritage in the mountain areas is of vital importance for ensuring the cultural diversity of Europe and saving local traditions and customs for the next generations. However, this field is often neglected and local communities have insufficient potential and funds to ensure sustainable use of cultural heritage. Therefore, more support should be provided at the regional level. The aim of CRinMA is to improve the regional policies in order to provide better support for the mountain areas with intangible and tangible cultural resources. Based on the previous profound experience in the implementation of the cross-border programmes, the CRinMA partners have decided to focus on the mountain border areas, assuming that many of the challenges are similar within one geographical area on both sides of the border (or regardless of the borders). All CRinMA regions are eligible within at least one cross-border programme and face challenges typical for the border areas. At the same time, all CRinMA partners can influence the stakeholders from both sides of the borders, which will bring a new dimension to the project. The thematic focus of the project will lie on the heritage related to the mountain folk architecture, traditions, customs, and skills. In some European regions, including Malopolska, Podkarpackie and Presovsky Kraj that kind of heritage is protected by open-air museums. The partners would like to find the solutions on how to make those museums more lively and better integrated with the local communities, which would lead to better promotion and protection not only of tangible, but also of intangible heritage. The exchange of experiences and transfer of good practices between different regions and mountain areas (Carpats, Alps and Gêres-Xurés Cross Border Park) will lead to the elaboration of practical solutions to facilitate valorisation and better protection of the precious cultural heritage in those remote localities.
Lead Partner: Town & Country Planning Association
PERFECT integrates the many benefits of green infrastructure into the planning and investment for the future of urban and rural areas. It seeks to influence the policy-making process by raising awareness of the social, environmental and economic potential of green infrastructure. The project will:  Identify and analyse good practice in multi-use of green infrastructure;Fully engage Managing Authorities on the socio-economic benefits of green infrastructure to influence new projects and improve governance of policy instruments;Increase the professional capacity of key stakeholders in delivering new projects;Develop Action Plans focusing on policy change to influence strategic investment in green infrastructure based on its multiple benefits.  “From climate change adaptation and mitigation; health and leisure benefits; energy; tourism and economic uplift, green infrastructure is key to the future success of European regions.” 
Lead Partner: Southern Apennines River Basin District Authority
The Land-Sea project illustrates the joint efforts of partners from four European regions to promote an integrated approach towards improving the policies for sustainable management of the land-sea ecosystems. “The ultimate goal - establishment of joint guiding principles for promotion of interventions for regional growth in the field of the eco­tourism and the related sectors” Interregional learning Based on the interregional learning approach the project includes intensive exchange of experience and knowledge in the field of conservation, restoration and sustainable management of coastal marine areas, as well as in the development and promotion of sustainable and responsible eco-tourism. Integrated activitiesThe networking activities under the project include interregional and local activities: thematic seminars, study visits, expert papers, conferences. Expected results -   Improved skills and competences of the policy makers, local stakeholders and project partners for sustainable management of the land-sea systems-  Improved  Policy Instruments: 3 Structural Funds Operative Programmes and 1 local Plan-  Implemented 4 local action plans envisaging measures and instruments for sustainable management of the land-sea system, supporting ecotourism strategy in the concerned regions.
Lead Partner: LAB University of Applied Sciences (until 31.12.2019 Lahti University of Applied Sciences)
BIOREGIO boosts bio-based circular economy through transfer of expertise about best available technologies and cooperation models.    AIMS improving knowledge related to circular economy of biological streams i.e. bio-based circular economyincreasing recycling rates of biological materials e.g. food waste/biowaste, municipal and industrial sludge and agricultural residues    transferring expertise about:             - cooperation models, e.g. ecosystems, networks, administrative cooperation,             - best available technologies, e.g. bio refinery, biogas production ACTIVITIES joint development of policy instrumentsdefining best practices of bio-based circular economy: cooperation models and best available technologiesdescribing regional biological streams ACTIONS regional stakeholder group meetingsinterregional events: roundtable discussions, seminars and site visitspolicy briefs, expert papersregional dissemination events RESULTS six policy instruments will be improved: funding of new projects, improving the management of the instruments, influencing the strategic focus of the instrumentsregions will be better equipped to implement new technologies and cooperation models in order to move towards bio-based circular economyincreasing professional capacity among stakeholdersraising public awareness of bio-based circular economy 
Lead Partner: Birmingham City Council
Industrial Symbiosis (IS) is a building block of the Circular Economy, a means to sustainable growth increasing resource efficiency and SMEs competitiveness and resiliency.  Despite the acknowledged advantages, IS is not yet fully widespread. The challenge TRIS is facing is to enable a systemic uptake of IS in 5 European regions, supporting policy makers to increase the competitiveness of their SMEs by introducing IS practices. To do so, the TRIS consortium will: -Identify facilitating elements and obstacles and embed them in (or remove them from) the appropriate policy instruments. -Reach out and engage with the actors that can drive and/or be impacted by the change and involve them in structured local networks.   Starting from the knowledge already achieved within the Climate-KIC initiative, TRIS will benefit greatly from interregional cooperation, given the diversity in terms of geography, productive system and maturity of IS practices: the City of Birmingham, project leader, is the most advanced, Hungary and Emilia-Romagna regions have already tested pilot projects, while Småland och Öarna and Valencia regions have approached the topic more recently. Industrial Symbiosis Ltd will play both an advisory and dissemination role, acting as a bridge between the consortium and the European perspective.   TRIS is determined to cause the following CHANGES and accomplish the following RESULTS: -Raising awareness on the concepts of IS and its economic and environmental benefits -Causing a mind-shift and building a cooperation culture in the stakeholder groups (including SMEs and policy actors) -Standardize IS practices into regional policy instruments -Launching tangible initiatives in the regions: reaching out to more SMEs, supporting their business with new IS cases/projects, preventing industrial waste production, testing new governance models. -Bringing IS to a higher position in the European political agenda.
Lead Partner: Pafos Regional Board of Tourism
Cultural and natural heritage is very important at all levels, local, regional, national and European, consisting of several dimensions that can lead to resource efficiency, through deployment for sustainable and responsible tourism development with innovative character. Policies for heritage applications to eco-cultural tourism need to be further developed, implemented and monitored, through interregional cooperation. The common challenges that are jointly tackled in the CHRISTA project are: natural & Cultural Heritage assets are valuable treasures, sometimes in danger and in need of proper conservation, preservation and/or restoration,these assets can be deployed for the purposes of sustainable and responsible tourism development, namely cultural tourism, heritage tourism and ecotourism,the tourism potential of these assets may facilitate the preservation and restoration efforts, if performed in a sustainable and responsible way, innovation can contribute greatly towards improving cultural and natural heritage policies for sustainable and responsible tourism development. The overall objective is to protect and preserve natural and cultural heritage assets and deploy them for the development and promotion of innovative, sustainable and responsible tourism strategies, including intangible and industrial heritage, through interpretation and digitisation, with capitalisation of good practices, policy learning, policy implementation and capacity building. Expected changes are in terms of improved policy instruments in destination regions, advances in relevant policy implementation, upgrading of cultural and natural assets and innovative applications. Main outputs are Action Plans, with implementation and monitoring of improved policy instruments in 9 regions, communication and dissemination tools for policy learning and capacity building, contribution to EU policies and EU2020 targets. The beneficiaries are public authorities and their stakeholders.
Lead Partner: Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fishing and Sustainable Development.. Regional Government of Andalucía
New management models to balance preservation and exploitation of protected areas (Natura 2000) has become a priority in most EU regions. Protected areas are primarily defined to preserve biodiversity. This is undoubtedly their main goal. Well managed, protected areas are an opportunity for green jobs creation. However, this does not necessarily mean that they cannot host controlled, biodiversity-friendly, economic activities within and outside their boundaries. Well managed, protected areas are an opportunity for green jobs creation,  with such activities as eco-tourism, outdoors sports or recreational fishing.  The video below tells the story of "The Amber Catcher", which was collected during the implementation of the IMPACT project. It portrays the description of a commercial activity developed inside a Protected Area that does not impact its natural values.  Some  challenges are : How to combine profitable activities and, at the same time, not damage nature?How to mediate with different stakeholders having diverse (economic and conservationist) interests?How to stabilise green jobs during all seasons?How to involve stakeholders in biodiversity preservation and raise general awareness about natural assets (risks and potential)? IMPACT project aims at changing management policies in order to promote productive activities in and around protected areas without compromising biodiversity conservation. Interregional cooperation will help to achieve this goal.  Through stakeholder groups meetings, interregional events, study visits and forums the potential of protected areas will be transformed into growth, income and green jobs in and around protected areas. Natura 2000 sites could be turned around more sustainable and efficient if improved policy instruments and approaches are adopted.
Lead Partner: Sanitation Córdoba (SADECO)
Cities are places where environmental performance management is of utmost importance: in the majority of them there is a concentration of unsustainable behaviours in terms of waste management, energy efficiency or mobility. Heritage Cities share this fact with other cities but, in addition, the preservation of heritage and the management of significant amounts of waste, due to high tourist and economic activity levels, make the observance of waste-related strategies by authorities, private actors and households of specific importance.  Heritage cities share different characteristics:  Historical artistic heritage, which leads to permanent flows of tourists, remarkable economic activity and significant production of related wasteMostly ancient cities with winding city centres where ordinary waste management methods and equipment hardly workNeed to observe aesthetic criteria for interventions in urban protected spaces, waste- field interventions includedVisibility to the rest of the world Improving local and regional policies for sustainable waste management in Heritage Cities. Even though Heritage Cities have probably developed interesting solutions and policies in many fields, running waste-related services is complicated in such scenarios. In such a framework, the aim of INTHERWASTE is European Heritage Cities to exchange experiences and policies for efficient and sustainable management of municipal waste and  in order to contribute  through mutual capacity-building, policy learning and drafting action plans - to the environmental performance of waste management in EU cities.The capacity of the staff of involved authorities to design and implement policies and measures in the waste field and governance in the same field are expected to be improved, too. Solutions and policies proved feasible in INTHERWASTE are believed to be transferable to most Heritage Cities as well as to non-heritage (less-demanding contexts) cities in the EU. The visibility of Heritage Cities worldwide can help reduplicate experiences identified in many other cities.   One project, Four steps Learning and exchanging best practices and policiesIntegrating this knowledge into concrete action plansMonitoring the action plans implemented in each citySharing the solutions and policies with other European cities Watch our video to discover more about INTHERWASTE & waste management in Heritage cities