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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.

Michael Müller, federal chairman of Naturefriends Germany, emphasises the importance of the initiative: “The Landscape of the Year Upper Rhine Valley has created a bond between people and societies and has contributed to dialogue and joint experiences. Today this is more important than ever, because we need a cross-border, social and ecological transformation of our society.”

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.
The project was awarded the The “Landscape of the Year 2013/14 – Upper Rhine Valley” is a regional development initiative of Naturefriends Germany (NFD), France (FFUTAN) and Switzerland (NFS), launched in cooperation with Naturefriends International (NFI), the movement’s umbrella organisation.

More information:

Contact and queries to regional coordinators:

Naturefriends Germany
Regina Schmidt-Kühner | This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it | +49 (0)721 40 50 96
Naturefriends France
Marie-Bernard Lefebvre Dumont | This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it | +33 (0)6 87 93 67 71
Naturefriends Switzerland
Edmond Rund | This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it | +41 (0)61 422 1822


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