“Landscape of the Year 2013/14 – the Upper-Rhine Valley” is a project designed to advance sustainable tourism, nature and environmental education and the formation of a cross-border civil society in the region
Strasbourg, 25 August 2012
On the occasion of the centenary celebrations of Naturefriends France, Manfred Pils, the President of Naturefriends International, outlined the projects to be mounted by Naturefriends in the context of the cross-border initiative “Landscape of the Year 2013/14 – the Upper-Rhine Valley”, at a press conference in Strasbourg.
Boosting sustainable tourism and dialogue
By way of introduction Manfred Pils stated that “the decision to declare this region ‘Landscape of the Year 2013/14’ has been prompted by the wish to highlight its immense geographical diversity and to boost cross-border dialogue. Within the coming two years, our focus in the Upper-Rhine region will be on a wide range of sustainable tourism activities along the Rhine river and on sensitising people who look for rest and relaxation to our objectives.”
The Landscape-of-the-Year project is designed to act as a prime mover
The project kick-off in Basle, in April 2013, will be the prelude to a series of events and activities in the Upper-Rhine valley, which are intended to attract both the local population and local stakeholders as well as Naturefriends from all parts of Europe. The range of activities will extend from environmental and nature education programmes via tri-national cycling and culture tours and a day of sporting events focused on bridges, to the laying out of several cross-border themed trails, to lectures and to a series of workshops designed to make people aware of their common history on the shores of the Rhine river. Pils holds that “what Naturefriends wish to achieve is to heighten awareness of cross-border links and a common identity in the Landscape of the Year. As members of a movement with a hundred-year tradition and commitment to voluntary work, we have always sought to be actively involved in the sustainable development of our environment and our societies and in translating international solidarity into practice”.
Landscapes of the Year – Bridges in Europe
Ever since 1989, Naturefriends, who number over 500‘000 worldwide, have every two years singled out a cross-border, ecologically valuable European region for designation as Landscape of the Year. The idea is for Naturefriends to espouse the cause of sustainable development and cross-border exchange at each and every level within the Landscape of the Year.
The “Landscape of the Year 2013/14 – the Upper-Rhine Valley” owes its designation to a regional development initiative of Naturefriends Germany (NFD), France (FFUTAN) and Switzerland (NFS), launched in cooperation with Naturefriends International (NFI) in its capacity as the movement’s umbrella organisation.
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