Note: chers amis francophones, bien que notre bulletin soit en anglais, n’hésitez pas à cliquer sur les liens qui renvoient à notre site web qui est traduit en français.

ERSG 2014 - Living countryside in BEAUFORTAIN, FR - a review

From 18 to 21 September 2014 Forum Synergies met in Beaufortain territory (Savoie district in Rhones-Alpes - France).
Around 50 participants coming from 16 different countries, many of them below 35, discovered what rural sustainability means in such a remote alpine region. Hosted and guided by Savoie Vivante - a very dynamic local development organisation - we focused on the topics of local food chains, youth, civic dialogue and herbs.
Participants enthusiastically contributed to discussions and commonly developed ideas for a "follow up". The great diversity of backgrounds - many participants came from the South East Europe, Serbia, Macedonia, but also Ukraine through the PREPARE or Slow Food movement's context, Estonia, Sweden - made it a very inspiring and motivating experience. 
Catch a glimpse on that inspiring event:
ERSG 2014 report, ERSG 2014 photo gallery, ERSG 2014 video

Forum Synergies scholarship 2014
Scholarship experiences: A report about working in a remote valley in Lesachtal, AT. Fabian Baier was visiting the Natur- & Kräuterwerkstatt Lesachtal in August of this year. Besides gaining practical skills in cultivating, processing and selling of herb products Fabian got an inside into the traditional knowledge related to the use of herbs for medicinal purposes. As the Lesachtal valley is known as a region with long tradition in sustainable rural development Fabian learned more about philosophy and strategies by interviewing local stakeholders and key persons.
The full report is available now! Click here

Forum Synergies scholarship: new hosts registered!
Boerengroup foundation: We would like to stimulate a sustainable agriculture and food system by connecting students with agricultural & rural topics. Hereby, we highlight the (im)possibilities that farmers in practice face, approach agricultural topics from different angles and thus visualize the situation of farmers and food systems today and in the future.
We offer a working place for a period of 2-3 months to develop your practical (agricultural) and organizational skills and extend your network in the field of rural development and agriculture.
To learn more about Boerengroup Foundation visit their website or contact st.boerengroep(@)

Sherkin Island Development Society. We have over 20 years experience as a community development organisation. We would offer an office and workplan and supports. A varied workplan from social topics to environmental topics would be covered. SIDS work under four main headings information dissemination; employment; education and governement engagement. The candidate would be able to gain work experience under all headings.  Weekly meetings regarding the progress and learning experience of the candidate would be held. SIDS would be able to provide the candidate with examples of good rural development practices.

If you are interested to become a trainee please contact Simone Matouch at info(@) or make direct use of our online form for registration

Civic Dialogue Workshop: postponed to April 2015
We are happy to have found a very experienced and competent partner in the topic of civic engagement, participation and cummunity led development with PLANED, UK. So following to the workshops in Estonia, 2013 and Beaufortain, 2014 we are taking the next step. From 10th to 12th April 2015 we will meet in the region of Pembrokeshire in the South-West of Wales. Together we will discover the region, PLANED's philosophy and way of work. We will take a common further step to develop and promote CIVIC DIALOGUE in times of conflicts and economic crises all over Europe.
To have a look at the announcement and 1st draft programme please click here.
Please feel ree to circulate within your networks!
For any questions please contact Simone Matouch at info (@)

PLANED in brief: PLANED, (Pembrokeshire Local Action Network for Enterprise and Development) was established in 2001. It has developed a strong evidence base for working with communities, on the basis of its activities.  Simultaneously, the company has invested in staff expertise in evaluation, research and training. PLANED has a strong track record of inclusive, participative and successful community development, spanning social, cultural, heritage and environmental activities, community based sustainable tourism, agricultural support and enterprise development, including:
  • Learning for policy and decision makers;
  • Innovative approaches for mainstreaming;
  • Integrated and holistic rural development; and
  • ‘What works’ in addressing rural poverty.
 PLANED believes ‘An enterprising community can help to build a better future. Developing local resources can strengthen the local economy. The greatest resource of any area is its people, their skills, knowledge, enthusiasm and commitment.’  PLANED supports the sharing of best practice development in delivering locally tailored initiatives, which build on existing community strengths and empower local people, to engage in the sustainable development of their area.
PLANED has extensive experience of working with European partners and can offer study tours covering a wide range of activity and interest as well as workshops.

Last PLANED Newsletter: link

Supporting small-scale farmers in the Balkans – EC hygiene rules and access to markets (ESSEDRA - Terra Madre Balkans). As part of the 3rd edition of Terra Madre Balkans meeting held in Dubrovnik from the 19th to the 22nd of June, the Terra Madre Balkans delegates gathered for a specific conference titled “Supporting small-scale farmers in the Balkans”. The aim of the conference was to introduce the flexibility provisions existing in the EU regulations and present case studies where the governments of the member states in the Balkans have availed of this opportunity. The conference presented the Policy Brief developed by the ESSEDRA partnership and Forum Synergies, followed by some recommendation provided by the Deputy Head of Unit of the Directorate-General for Health and Consumers of the European Commission, Mr Paolo Caricato...follow reading 

CIVITAS Foundation, RO is organising a international workshop on traditional seeds from 10-14 November 2014. The international workshop is dedicated to develop partnership between different NGOs and institutions working in the field of traditional seeds. To have a look at the programme click here
Deadline for registration is October 31st. For further information you can contact Monika Pakot, Civitas Foundation, email:

The 1st European Herb Gathering of 2012 is stimulating activities. At the beginning of September 2014 the TEH organisation, AT was visiting the region Odorheiu Secuiesc, RO for exchange with local producers of fruit and herb products. Under the guidance of Monika Pakòt, CIVITAS Foundation, participants from Austria got an insight into traditional and modern recipies and methods of production. For download of the report (DE) click here.

New films from Future Farmers in the Spotlight inspire and encourage the next generation of sustainable farmers.  Future Farmers in the Spotlight is a film project about innovative and courageous young farmers that have managed to set-up or to take over an ecologically sustainable farming business. Watch the film about Anne and Remi. They started their small-scale organic berry farm in the mountains near La Brigue in the South of France. Next to the organic fresh small-fruit, marmalades and syrups they sell eggs from their 60 chicken on weekly farming markets and through AMAPs (=Community Supported Agriculture groups). Read the whole text
Would you like to contribute to Future Farmers in the Spotlight or do you know a young farmer with an inspiring concept that the world should know about?  Get in contact; we look forward to hearing from you!

"It’s not the European dream; - it’s the economic and political nightmare that makes young people jump into the Mediterranean Sea”.  Hannes Lorenzen (PREPARE)  participated in the International “Seminar on Mediterranean Family Farming”. He met and interviewed Sanaa Moussalim, secretary general of REMADEL, the civil society network of local rural development initiatives in the Maghreb countries on the situation of Southern Mediterranean countries and what should be the role of Europe Union. Read the interview.

Calendar of events: The new calendar of events related to rural sustainable development is online!
· Territorial cooperation for the provision of public goods under the new CAP: dialogue with European institutions and NGOs: this new network, initiated by groupe de Bruges will be presented in Brussels on December 8th.
· Conference: “Learning by doing" on  models, methods and best practice for youth 
involvement and innovation support. 
24-26Nov. 2014 - Sweden
Our ressource center - success stories, organisations, documents - is now organised under the following topics:  (Agri)-tourism, Access to Land, Agroecology and agroforestry, Attracting new inhabitants in rural areas, Local governance and dialogue, Conservation and management of natural resources, Herbs and Health, Local ecological knowledge, Local Food chains, Renewable energy, Rural entrepreneurship, Rural youth, Sustainable forestry. We follow trying to improve its use but meanwhile, have a look here.
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