|Naturefriends close the Landscape of the Year 2013/14 in a cross-border closing event|
Naturefriends‘ regional development initiative “Landscape of the Year 2013/14 Upper Rhine Valley” promoted sustainable tourism, nature and environmental education and cross-border civil society bonds in the region.
For more than two years, Naturefriends‘ activities have revolved around the “Landscape of the Year 2013/14 Upper Rhine Valley”. Over 500 participants took part in the closing event in Karlsruhe to celebrate the initiative’s success.
Awareness-raising of the civil society at the heart of most activities
Edmond Rund, president of Naturefriends Switzerland, explains the joint efforts of Naturefriends in Switzerland, Germany and France: “Naturefriends aimed to raise the awareness for sustainability in the Upper Rhine Valley. Sustainability includes conserving areas for living and recreation within the region, raising the civil society’s awareness for social and ecological issues and promoting cross-border cooperation.”
“All participants have realised that we face common challenges, and that a sustainable way of life knows no borders. It is now up to the citizens to support and live this – and I hope that we made our contribution”, says Manfred Pils, president of Naturefriends International.
Protection of the environment, sustainable tourism and dialogue
More than hundred events such as seminars, conferences, environmental education, hiking and bicycle tours, journeys, projects for the protection of the environment and language courses that were offered over the last two years enabled people from all three countries to meet and experience their region, the Upper Rhine Valley, together. Challenges like the energy transition, fracking, protection of the environment and sustainable tourism were also addressed at these events. Sylviane Quèze, president of Naturefriends France, is delighted with the success of the project: “About 4000 participants took part in these events and Naturefriends have contributed to cross-border, social and ecological awareness-raising.”
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.
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