Author: Miranda García (AEIDL)
After meeting physically for the first time in Switzerland last October, MOVING went back online for the fifth Steering Committee. On 7 and 8 February 2023, project partners met virtually to take stock of the progress achieved during the first half of the project and discuss the next steps for the last part of it.
The coordinator of MOVING, Mar Delgado from the University of Córdoba, kicked off the meeting by giving an overview of the project. Over the last couple of years, the project has done most of the research activities progressing positively. From now on, MOVING will focus on the cross-case comparison of the 23 value chains, the policy analysis and the foresight exercise. These activities are interconnected and complement each other, so they will be carried out at the same time.
The coordinator encouraged partners to write papers about the outcomes of MOVING and also to participate in scientific and non-scientific events, such as the XVII Congress of the European Association of Agricultural Economists, the International Congress of Rural Development, national association events and more.
During the first day, Work Packages (WPs) leaders provided updates on the work carried out so far and the next steps. The foresight exercise at the regional level should be finished by the end of March to start organising cross-regional workshops that will contribute to policy recommendations.
The main outcomes of the participatory vulnerability analysis of land systems and the mapping of mountain areas vulnerabilities were pointed out. Through vulnerability matrixes, MOVING carried out a detailed analysis of vulnerability and a detailed description of the adaptative mechanisms, which will serve as a base for other project activities.
The vulnerability and resilience performance of the 23 MOVING Reference Region was also reflected upon. Regional MAPs organised several workshops with local stakeholders to identify the preconditions for adaptative capacity from the value chains and analyse their linkage with specific threats. In particular, 23 workshops were organised with a total of 215 participants (farmers, processors, consumers, policymakers, researchers and others), who identified more than 340 examples of adaptative capacity preconditions. Together with this activity goes the global upgrading strategy. After identifying the challenges and opportunities of each MOVING value chain, it is time to give a solution to improve their added value.
The new MOVING clusters were presented. The 23 value chains are now grouped into five cluster. Depending on the shared characteristics, they belong to one cluster or another: (i) demographic and social aspects; (ii) technology, innovation and infrastructure; (iii) territoriality, cooperation and governance; (iv) nature and ecosystem services; and (v) value and quality products.
The Steering Committee meeting included a presentation about the analysis of the implementation of the EU optimal quality term (OQT) “mountain product”, a topic addressed in the second MOVING EU MAP webinar by Euromontana. There is a need to update the legislative status of the OQT at the national level, analyse its actual impact on consumer perception, farmers’ revenues and at the territorial level, and see the interaction with other quality schemes. To do so, our partners from AREPO, in collaboration with Euromontana, will carry out a survey to collect good practices concerning the use of the OQT. All the gathered information will contribute to the MOVING policy roadmap and Euromontana’s report on the implementation of the OQT “mountain product”.
The first day concluded with a workshop to help refine the Conceptual and Analytical Framework (CAF). Participants pointed out some issues regarding resources, value chains, governance, and outcomes and how can they be integrated into the updated version of the CAF.
The morning of the second day was devoted to dissemination activities. Partners heard about the making process of the MOVING Story Maps. In the last months, these story maps have been under technical updates to be more usable for visitors. Overall, there are 454 interactive story maps containing descriptions of value chains and organised into geolocalised events.
The MOVING Mountain App was another point of discussion regarding the dissemination activities. This application, about to be released after evaluating EU regulations, will foster people’s engagement in the resilience of the mountain regions.
There was a dedicated session to review the communication and dissemination activities. The task leader focused its presentation on the progress done during the first two years of the project in terms of communicating the project outcomes, and on dissemination events in which MOVING can participate and share its results.
The meeting included a special session dedicated to publications. Partners worked in groups to advance in the writing of scientific papers to further disseminate the findings provided by MOVING in the first half of the project.
The Steering Committee concluded with a discussion of the current status and progress of the project where Work Packages (WPs) leaders agreed on the next steps for MOVING:
- Continue to monitor the composition and progress of the 23 regional MAPs.
- Provide the final vulnerability, sustainability and resilience analysis of the 23 value chains and upgrade strategies to better adapt to the adverse effects of climate change and other socio-economic factors.
- Submit the second batch of Practice Abstracts in May 2023. These practice documents will summarise the main issue for the mountain value chain assemblage, the learnings coming from its vulnerability and resilience, and some recommendations to make mountains more resilient by using the value chain assemblage.
- Launch the five thematic clusters and organise workshops to develop critical benchmarking of cross-regional groups of value chains against vulnerability, sustainability and resilience criteria.
- Organise a pan-European foresight workshop with EU MAP members and experts on November 2023.
- Promote the 23 MOVING Digital Stories to generate new, practical, and user-friendly outputs about mountain products for interested groups.
- Most of the tasks carried out by the regional partners have to be finished in the upcoming months.
- Define a methodology to assess the created story maps and the related Knowledge Base.
- During the last year of the project, MOVING will focus on policy analyses, publish the final Conceptual and Analytical Framework, and communicate and disseminate the project results in all our channels.
- Launch the MOVING Mountains App.
- The MOVING Community of Practice will continue to carry out various stakeholder engagement activities and thematic actions, such as organising the third EU MAP webinar during the last semester of 2023 (topic to be defined).
The next Steering Committee is foreseen for November 2023 in Hungary. All partners are thrilled to meet each other soon!