Together we can make a difference. This is the motto for the project Diverse Collaboration where different categories of people in the countryside come together in project groups.
Everyone can participate
The thought is that everyone with a constructive idea can participate in the project group. For example farmers, landowners, countryside residents, entrepreneurs, associations, authorities and other interested parties that can contribute with knowledge and solutions.
So far the groups have had the common goal to create a more biologically and economically viable use of land, for example through restoration of natural pastures. Lars Johansson, advisor at the agricultural and rural unit at the County administrative board of Västra Götaland, and Bengt Skalstad, advisor at the Swedish forest agency have both been involved in the project from start.
The project supports groups of people with a common goal from idea to realisation. To facilitate finding and defining the common goals of the group is an important sub-target and almost always lead to the actual implementation.
In each group there is one person, or more, from the authority (county administrative board or forest agency). This catalyst operates as a soundboard and helps out with questions that needs answered before the group can find a common goal.
The catalyst can also operate as advisor regarding composing proposals for applications for funding the measures that the group has decided to take.
Land management goals
One of the goals with the project is to get authorization from forest owners to prepare proposals of management of at least 1000hectares of forested land. Another goal is that the forest owners convert their land management on at least 500 hectares of those 1000 hectares to a more economically, ecologically and socially viable management.
The sense of affinity in the area is strengthened when new ways of collaboration arises. People feel a sense of belonging and have more reasons to get to know each other. You can also assume that the work method of the project enables women and youths to get a more active and central part in the project groups.
The common goals affect for example the residential environment, recreation, conservation and production. All participants benefit but in different ways.
So far 28 different groups have gone from planning phase to implementation. Their goal is to restore 500 hectares of natural pastures in the county. In the articles below the progress of two groups is described.
Östad - Betesdjur ska hålla markerna öppna
Högsäter - Varsam röjning ger gladare natur
The awarded project Collaboration (Farmers, land-owners, countryside residents and authorities towards common goals) has ended but a similar work method continues in another project. See below.