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Poland: Between the Rivers Bug and Narew

WECF and SIE are developing local partnerships in order to manage and cultivate 15 rural Masovian communities along the river Bug sustainable.

13.04.2010 | WECF Project


Countries: Germany, Poland
Donors: European Commission, DG Environment; Stefan Batory Foundation,Poland; Foundation for German-Polish Cooperation (FWPN), Germany, Poland
Partners: Social Ecological Institute Warsaw (SIE), Unser Land
Issues: Biodiversity & Food
Duration: 01/2008 - 12/2009

WECF supports its Polish partner SIE - Social Ecological Institute Warsaw - especially in the project "Between the rivers Bug and Narew." This project is carried out in 15 rural Masovian communities along the river Bug - an area with important nature reserves. Aim of this project is to develop local partnerships between community organizations, farmers, food processors, eco-tourism agencies and local NGOs in order to manage and cultivate the region sustainable.

Priorities of the partnership are organic farming, eco-tourism and local food production. In this context, WECF organized a Polish-German exchange in cooperation with the network UNSER LAND, successful example of economic partnership. From 13 - 17 Oct. 2008, 25 participants visited different farms and enterprises in the counties of Ebersberg, Fürstenfeldbruck and Munich to share and convey information and knowledge in the field of economic partnerships, regional and direct marketing. The group mostly consisted of small (eco-) farmers and processors such as butchers, bakers as well as participants from the Polish municipal and agricultural administration.

Background

Many polish farmers are interested in organic farming, as grants from EU are higher. Although the demand, especially in the larger cities, already exists, most of the farmers currently still have difficulties with the marketing of their products. They have to do all work - from cultivation to packaging, transportation and sale – by themselves, which costs much time and energy. The aim of this project is therefore to convince the participants that collaboration and partnerships like UNSER LAND make sense for the benefit of all stakeholders. Especially in Poland historically the idea of cooperation is very negatively tainted, because in times of socialism the farmers have been forced to mergers and they are now rightly responding very hostile to any kind of cooperation. The rural districts in Poland are not working together at all yet. The visit of the farms and the enterprises as well as the presentation of the idea of OUR COUNTRY concept have, however, visibly impressed and inspired all the participants.

Contact:

Sabine Brueckmann, sabine.brueckmann@wecf.eu

The project is being (co-)financed by the European Union and partly by the Stefan Batory Foundation and the Foundation for German-Polish Cooperation.



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