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AEIDL charts future EU policy directions for mountain regions: Key insights from the MOVING Scientific Conference

Mar 22, 2024 | News

CORDOBA, SPAIN – 21 March 2024

From March 19th to 21st, mountain experts, researchers, policy-makers, and stakeholders convened in Cordoba, Spain, for a Scientific Conference, organised in the framework of the EU-funded MOVING project (MOuntain Valorisation through INterconnectedness and Green Growth). Our Rural and Territorial Development Expert Serafin Pazos-Vidal also had the opportunity to give his thoughts on EU policy directions for mountain regions.

This gathering delved into the last four years’ scientific results of the MOVING project on the transformative capabilities of mountain regions and their value chains, aiming to foster resilient and sustainable futures, and set the tone for the MOVING Final Conference, to be held on 13th-14th June in Brussels, Belgium.

Hosted by the University of Cordoba, the conference kicked off with a warm welcome from notable regional leaders, including José Carlos Gómez Villamandos from the Regional Ministry of Innovation and Universities, and Salvador Fuentes, President of Cordoba Province Government. The university’s Vice Rector of Scientific Policy María José Polo Gómez contributed her insights, setting the tone for an in-depth exploration of the mountains’ potential.

Hence, Mar Delgado, the Project Coordinator, underscored MOVING’s significant achievements and impact on sustainable mountain development. Prof. Dr. Delgado stressed the importance of raising awareness about the significance of mountains and valuing local expertise, pointing out the need to “connect mountain areas with lowlands and the wider world”, as events in the mountains resonate globally.

Kirsty Blackstock from the James Hutton Institute delved into the enablers, barriers, and added values within the MOVING 23 value chains by exploring economic, social and environmental dimensions. “It’s important to raise awareness of societal values provided by mountains”, she emphasised, highlighting the revitalisation of traditions, preservation of cultural landscapes, and improvements in identity, trust, and employment as key factors.

The event showcased a diverse range of presentations addressing environmental challenges, contributions of MOVING mountain value chains, and the promising future of mountain areas, drawing insights from across Europe.

The most valuable aspect of MOVING was the dialogue with local actors. Using local knowledge is important for contextualising and understanding firsthand the challenges mountains face“.

Lukáš Zagata, a partner of the MOVING project from the Czech University of Life Sciences.

Later on, the Director of EuromontanaGuillaume Corradino, offered his perspective on the role of mountain areas in European policy-making. He highlighted the years 2024-2025 as pivotal, emphasising the necessity for mountain areas to receive greater consideration in the post- 2027 CAP and Cohesion Policy, as well as in the EU’s Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas. This was further enriched by Serafin Pazos-Vidal from our association, who outlined potential EU policy directions for mountain regions. He provided insights into a roadmap that anticipates future engagement and the evolution of policy, proposing “a common strategic framework that encompasses partnership agreements, CAP Strategic Plans, the EU Social Climate Fund, and specific territorial targeting that includes mountain areas”.

The MOVING Scientific Conference emerged as a beacon for collaboration, fostering a commitment among the scientific community and local actors towards enhancing the vitality, resilience, and sustainability of Europe’s mountainous regions. The conference not only paved the way for fruitful discussions and exchanges but also set the stage for the MOVING Final Conference, to be held in Brussels, Belgium, on the 13th and 14th of June 2024.

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