Project - Wildlife Economy : Nature as a viable Economic Alternative


Description (EN): WILDLIFE ECONOMY (WLE) is based on the conviction that nature is an economic asset. In some cases, especially in remote parts of Europe, it can be one of the main building blocks of a sound economic development strategy. This conviction is not common practice. Nature is seldom considered an economic asset, making implementation of policies for nature conservation ineffective as nature conservation measures are regarded an expense or threat for economic development, leading to a lack of local support. Regional economic development policies often fail to capitalize on the opportunities arising from nature development and conservation. Additionally, mechanisms for re-investment of income from natural capital into nature and visitor management tend to be lacking. WLE aims to support European regions in delivering sustainable growth, by enabling them to improve policies for regional economic development rooted in their regional natural assets. Good practices of wildlife economy will be exchanged, showcasing WLE as an innovative, viable and attractive economic strategy. Partners will: • develop Regional Action Plans (RAPs) supported by local communities, including hunters, farmers and fishermen, that integrate entrepreneurial development strategies in nature conservation policies to make nature conservation policies more effective. • exchange good practices and generate input for the RAPs through tailor-made study visits with regional stakeholders. • organize peer2peer sessions to generate joint solutions for common issues. • build a knowledge base in cooperation with an international team of experts. • joint monitoring plan of WLE results. • generate new projects that implement the wildlife economy principles. • communicate results to relevant stakeholders, amongst other via the dissemination events. WLE impacts existing nature areas by attaining a better conservation status. Moreover, the regional economy benefits from an improved business climate for regional entrepreneurs.
Expected Results (EN): OVERALL OBJECTIVE: WLE aims to support EU regions in delivering sustainable growth, by improving policies for regional economic development rooted in their regional natural assets. Thus, WLE improves the conservation of natural heritage through sustainable exploitation, creating viable economic activities for rural areas with limited economic potential. The targeted policy instruments will be improved, based on exchange of experiences, good practices and transnational learning. Various examples of wildlife economy will be showcased as a viable and attractive economic strategy, thereby inspiring developments on the ground. SUBOBJECTIVES: 1. Develop RAPs that integrate entrepreneurial development and natural heritage conservation policies, with the support of local communities and economic actors, in order to make nature conservation policies more effective [4 RAPs in 2020]. 2. Improve the conservation status of natural heritage and nature areas through increased support and financial mechanisms to reinvest economic benefits into nature conservation. [150.000 hectares of natural areas affected in partner regions by 2022]. 3. Create a favourable environment for entrepreneurs with sustainable business models based on natural heritage assets. This increases employment in the WLE sector in the partner regions. [average increase of 10% in partner regions by 2022]. WLE impacts existing natural heritage and nature areas that attain a better conservation status. In addition, the regional economy benefits from an improved business climate for regional entrepreneurs. NEW PROJECTS AND IMPROVED GOVERNANCE In all regions, the initiation and development of new projects and improved governance is envisaged. The Regional Action Plans in the regions will provide a detailed approach on how this will be implemented. New projects could incl. both local and regional projects and funding schemes as well as EU programmes in the 2020-2027 programme period.
Expected Outputs (EN): OUTPUT A: - 4 RAPs incl. 4 drafts. - 4 project proposals for new projects. - 4 improved policy instruments (1 IG/CC; 2 ETC, 1 cross-border). - 1 presentation at Policy Learning Platform/IR-E Annual Event. - 1 presentation at EC-day (or similar). - 4 tailor made study visits of stakeholder groups (min 25 stakeholders in total) to another EU region. - 28 stakeholder meetings (1 per sem. in NL/BE, DE, ES and 4 per sem. in SE) B2B with 7 dissemination events (1 in NL/BE, DE, ES, 4 in Sweden). - 1 study report sustainable business models incl. 1 brief for study. - 1 exchange with IR-E IMPACT project. - 1 monitoring plan to assess economic and ecological impact of WLE in partner regions. - 1 long list for tailor made study visits. - 4 region reports (request/demand, potential learning areas, etc.). - 9 Interregional P2P meetings (B2B with 3 partner meetings in semester 1,2,3). OUTPUT B: - 1 project pages/website. - 8 information pages on websites partners. - 1 communication guideline . - 4 E-newsletters. - 1 project poster. - 5 press releases. - 1 project brochure. - 32 updates on partner websites/social media. OUTPUT C: - 1 subsidy contract with MA signed. - 8 partnership agreements signed. - 24 updates project management team. - 5 partner meetings B2B with 5 steering group meetings, B2B with 1 financial manager meeting. - 4 conference calls (min.). - 1 detailed planning for development RAPs. - 3 progress reports to JS. - 1 progress report on development of RAPs. - 1 implementation plan phase 2. PHASE2: - 1 high-level political dissemination event, 2 progress reports, website updates, 1 project/partner meeting. RESULTS: - More projects based on the WLE framework are proposed and accepted in the programmes - A selection of better projects through improved governance - Projects will be based on the WLE approach. Important criteria are: integral approach to economy and ecology in which the two strengthen each other; increase in biodiversity; involvement of business; community involvement. IMPACT: - 150.000 ha. of habitats supported in order to attain a better conservation status. This is induced by: RAPs with stakeholder support for nature conservation measures; 4 new projects will be proposed by the project partners; MAs will select better projects that feature a strong involvement of local economic stakeholders; value created in the wildlife economy flows back into nature management, resulting in financially sustainable nature management that is not dependent on decreasing subsidies - Increased employment in wildlife economy: 10% on average in partner regions by 2022 through improving policy instruments addressing that issue. - An EU-wide audience of (potential) tourist, locals and experts inspired and interested to take similar action in through engagement of a European community of experts and other regions (international conference, Interreg Policy Learning Platform, Rewilding Europe network, Europarcs Foundation, (social) media channels)

Thematic Information

Thematics: Regional planning and development  Sustainable management of natural resources  
Specific Objective: Improve the implementation of regional development policies and programmes, in particular Investment for Growth and Jobs and, where relevant, ETC programmes, in the field of the protection and development of natural and cultural heritage.
Thematic Objective: (6) preserving and protecting the environment and promoting resource efficiency by:
Investment Priority: (6c) conserving, protecting, promoting and developing natural and cultural heritage

Project Summary

Project name (EN): Wildlife Economy : Nature as a viable Economic Alternative
Project acronym: WLE

Period: 2014-2020
Date of latest update: 2019-06-12


Project start date: 2019-08-01
Project end date: 2022-07-31
Project status: Ongoing

Total budget/expenditure: EUR 1.234.146,00
European Union funding: EUR 1.008.189,50

ERDF budget: EUR 1.008.189,50
ERDF equivalent budget: EUR 0,00

Project documents

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Partners Data

Lead Partner (EN): Province of Limburg
Lead Partner: Provincie Limburg
Address: Limburglaan 10, Maastricht, Netherlands
Legal status: public

Department: Environment and Urbanism Department
Address: Plaza de la Provincia s/n, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
Legal status: public
Department: Projectbureau GrensPark Kempen~Broek
Address: Winterslagstraat 87, Genk, Belgium
Legal status: public
Address: c/o Norrsken House, Box 24. Birger Jarlsgatan 57C, Stockholm, Sweden
Legal status: private
Department: Vatten- och fiskeenheten
Address: Stationsgatan 5, Lulea, Sweden
Legal status: public
Address: Toernooiveld 1, Nijmegen, Netherlands
Legal status: private
Department: Nature Conservation
Address: Hackescher Markt 4, Berlin, Germany
Legal status: private
Address: Ernst-Thälmann-Straße 4, Löcknitz, Germany
Legal status: private

Partners Location

  Lead Partner     Project Partner