Every two years since 1989, Naturefriends International (NFI) has proclaimed a transboundary and ecologically valuable region as Landscape of the Year. Starting with current challenges, the project aims to work out prospects of sustainable development together with the population and all regional interest groups as well as to implement corresponding measures.
The key objective of every Landscape-of-the-Year project is a sustainable development of the selected region. The idea is to achieve a balanced mix of the implementation of projects, specific activities (in the fields of tourism, leisure-time pursuit, culture, nature and environmental protection) for a wide range of participants, political awareness raising and lobbying at the regional, national and international level.
Within the framework of the Landscape-of-the-Year project, cooperation and networking of organisations, associations, local communities, regional authorities and experts constitute the basis for a joint development of initiatives for the future of the region.
The model regions are to be presented throughout Europe and awareness of positive developments as well as of problems of the regions are to be raised.
In cooperation with organised groups, local communities, organisations and political representatives workshops and other events are to be organised in the model regions with a view to picturing the perspectives of sustainable development and pointing the way to the future.
Model projects are implemented in the regions together with interested regional bodies and groups. These projects are designed to create jobs and in this way to sustain the economic viability of the regions.
The information media of Naturefriends are employed in networking important activities within the regions as well as Europe-wide. Active public relations work helps to nationally and internationally advertise the project.
Ecological and socially acceptable travel offers (e.g. Tour d’horizon) of Naturefriends provide opportunities to get in touch with the regions and, at the same time, encourage the development of sustainable tourism.