Author: Carla Lostrangio (AEIDL)
From November 6 to 8, around 100 mountain representatives spanning 16 countries and 22 mountain ranges converged in Hungary for the Workshop, ‘Unlocking the Power of Mountain Value Chains’, organised in the framework of the EU-funded MOVING project (MOuntain Valorisation through INterconnectedness and Green Growth).
The main goals of these three-days intensive workshop were to foster robust connections and facilitate knowledge exchange among participants from diverse mountain ranges.
Mar Delgado, Project Coordinator, set the tone by highlighting the untapped potential within mountainous territories. “Let’s make our policymakers understand that mountains are not areas with constraints, but territories brimming with opportunities – from their rich diversity and high-quality resources to their pivotal role in providing water and energy. The biggest opportunity is that mountains house a community of motivated actors fighting for the future of mountains,” Prof. Dr. Delgado emphasized.
Attendees actively engaged in discussions focused on addressing common challenges and collaboratively developing shared solutions in five pivotal topics: Social and demographic change; Value and quality products; Innovation and infrastructure; Nature and ecosystem services; Governance, territoriality, and cooperation.
It emerged that “value chains can be an instrument to reconnect mountain areas with cities and other territories,” said Michele Moretti, partner of the MOVING project. As he added, participants underlined that “beyond the quality of products and landscapes, we need to look at the quality of the community. Quality of the community could be the driving force for fostering the resilience of mountains”.
Outputs from the thematic discussions will contribute to produce a cross-case comparison report on mountain value chains, under the coordination of Emilia Schmitt, Scientific Coordinator of the project.
Dominique Barjolle, in charge of coordinating the foresight exercises across the 23 MOVING mountain regions added that “what seems very strange to deal with might seem very clear in some years”. The results of the regional foresight exercises will be discussed with an EU-wide Foresight workshop on 11 January in Brussels, Belgium.
Blandine Camus, representing Euromontana at MOVING Advisory Board, commented that “those challenges discussed here are shared by all mountain regions. I am delighted to see that the MOVING project is not about an idealised vision of mountain value chains, but it considers both positive and negative synergies emerging from value chains’ interactions and resources competition”.
On November 8th, on-site excursions organised by the local hosting partner, Gusztav Nemes, provided firsthand exposure to notable Hungarian socio-ecological initiatives, including the Kóspallag socio-ecological endeavors, Terény socio-ecological initiatives in North-Hungary, and rural development projects led by the Felső-Homokhátság Local Action Group.
The ‘Unlocking the Power of Mountain Value Chains’ Workshop served as a dynamic platform for capacity building, knowledge exchange, networking and fostering collaboration among diverse stakeholders. These people share a commitment to preserving the vitality and prosperity and boosting resilience and sustainability of mountainous regions across Europe. Over the following days, the MOVING Steering Committee took place and focused on the final steps of the project before its end, scheduled for August 2024.