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12.09.2017
"We have never been abroad so close to home", said Jan Ignahhin, the President of Hiiumaa LAG, when we drove to Latvia. It is sadly true that we think that we know about our closest neigbours already everything. We were positively surprised to see how latvians manage their lives in the UNESCO Biosphere area. 

The networking trip, supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers, to the Vidzeme Biosphere Reserve (Latvia) took place 4-6. September 2017. The story of the Northern Vidzeme Biosphere Reserve is similar to that of our islands in the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Program area. Created at the end of the 80's of the last century, programs for zoning and management were launched, main directions of research were developed both on land and at sea, but also focused on enlightenment and training of local people. All this was stopped by the governments in the early 2000s, when it was found that the market is putting everything in place, including the relationship between nature and human coexistence. That, of course, did not happen. Approximately two years ago, the Vidzeme program coordinator Laura Taube was recruited, to start with nature awareness projects. 

12.07.2017

In Båstad (Sweden) seminar on CLLD in December 2016, Reet Kokovkin (Hiiumaa, Estonia) and Christina Kalatha (Parnonas, Greece) met to talk about transnational cooperation on the topic of UNESCO Biosphere program areas. Both Hiiumaa and Parnonas LAGs have stated in their strategies for 2014-2020 that the ideology of biosphere program is useful to implement in their areas. The first visit was done in 6-9 July 2017 when delegation of Hiiumaa LAG and a representative of Saaremaa FLAG came to Leonidio to see the area and to have a feeling of famous festival: Melitzazz of Leonidio named «Loving Melitzazz 2017».

Seminar with new partners gave us rather good overview on what are the trends of development in Peloponnesus. Also discussion on the future project took place. Both partners agreed that defining stakeholders and informing them of the Biosphere program in our respective areas will be the main topic of the project. Next meeting is planned to take place in Hiiumaa on September, during the Autumn festival. 

 

Photo: partners discussing the project

29.05.2017

Suported by the Nordic Council of Ministers program for networking of NGOs, 5 people from Hiiumaa and Saaremaa came to Blekinge Biosphere Program Area to refresh contacts and to learn the method of management of nature and hisotric value areas. Blekinge BPA is situated in the southern part of Sweden, in the Karlskrona and Ronneby commune territory. The area size is 210,000 ha, with 156,000 hectares of sea and 54,000 hectares of land. BPA combines culture ühet Reserve - Ronneby Brunnspark, 37 nature reserves, 72 Natura 2000 area. In the region lives 85 000 inhabitants, of whom about 4,000 live in the archipelago, where some islands are, however, connected to mainland via bridges. Locals are proud of Blekinge Institute of Technology where it is possible to study the master's program for the sustainable development magement . Blekinge BPA consideres as its main brand value the coastal fishing and small farms, where traditional skills such as boatbuilding; landscape values, small islands and bays, which create a unique sea views, have been kept alive.

12.05.2017

During the last week of April, Hiiumaa and Saaremaa LAGs had a study tour to Sweden - first to Landsort and then to Gotland (and Farö). The aim of the visit was to follow the developments of the Region Gotland, especially in the field of local food. Gotland has a very strong island brand which should be of big help to sell local produce. The Food Strategy of Gotland confirms this, but also sees the challenge to work with larger variety of production and putting the consumer decisions in the centre of the strategic plan.

05.04.2017
On 21 September 2016, the General Assembly of Hiiumaa LAG approved the the preparatory application of transnational cooperation, in which Karhuseutu LAG from Finland and LAG Knyszynska Forest from Poland are the partners. First partner meeting of this project with expert Jukka Järvinen was carried on in Finland in February 2017. Visit to People's Republic of China took place on 15-23. March 2017. The visit of ELARD delegation to China had a target to get acquainted with Chinese authorities and to prove that LEADER method in Europe exist and is successful. The head of the delegation was the ex-president of ELARD Petri Rinne, accompanied by Hiiu County Governor Riho Rahuoja and the Head of the Hiiu County Development Department Aivi Telvik. The project partners were represented by Jaana Mälkki and Heikki Perko from Finland, Adam Kaminski and Martha Malecka from Poland and Reet Kokovkin Hiiumaa. In addition, the project involved experts Jukka Järvinen and Chen Ruiyan. The transnational project aims at organizing thematic seminars to the Chinese public sector in partner countries together with Europe-China meetings for our entrepreneurs to establish contacts; create travel packages for tourism marketing of our areas in China, and if all goes well, offer European advise on topics of interest to Chinese rural areas.
In the cooperation agreement, prepared by partners, the first seminar is intended to be carried out in Poland in autumn 2017, the second in 2018 in Finland during the winter and the third in Hiiumaa in autumn of 2018. Tour packages must take into account the specificities of the Chinese public, be interesting for visitors, and useful for Europeans.
On photo Adam Kamiski, Heikki Perko, Petri Rinne and Jukka Järvinen
21.12.2016

Hiiumaa LAG wishes you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

20.12.2016

Since December this year, all major gateways to Estonian islands Hiiumaa and Saaremaa, such as harbours and airports are marked with sighs indicating that visitors have arrived to UNESCO West-Estonian Biosphere Area. Hiiumaa LAG is unique in Estonia, for we have declared in our development strategy to carry out the ideas of the MAB (Man and Biosphere) program. The slogan of our biosphere area  is: “Islands and Sea – safeguarded environment”.

Lia Rosenberg, the Program officer comments: "Our desire is that people would be aware of our biosphere and realise that all in this world demand responsible care and safeguard. Islands have limited resources and are isolated, but also a rich natural and cultural heritage. The most important thing is that both locals and visitors know how to keep and manage our heritage in sustainably way”.

16.12.2016

Somewhere a year ago we learned about the interest for cooperation from the municipalities in Moldova. We submitted an application for the project to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, but got rejected. Now Moldovian municipalities of Telita (Mayor Rodica Russi) and Speia (Mayor Vitalii Cotet) together with representatives of business (Vitalii Cebonu) and women associations (Natalia Cotet) came to see how the LEADER measure is implemented in Estonia. As a candidate country, Moldova little by little is connected with EU structures. LEADER as quite influential in rural areas, is a good measure to rise the local activity. In Hiiumaa, a contract was signet with LEADER LAG to start cooperation. Proposal for cooperation Moldovians also made to Hiiumaa municipalities.

on the photo: Chair of Hiiumaa LAG Jan Ignahhin and Mayor of Telita municipality Rodica Russu shaking hands after signing the agreement on cooperation. 

16.12.2016
on 6-8 December 2016, in Bastad (Sweden), the seminar discussed ways to better implementation of CLLD method. This two-day seminar focused on how to make the best possible use of the Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) method supported under Rural Development (EAFRD), Fisheries (EMFF), Regional Development (ERDF) and Social (ESF) Funds.

The event brought together Local Action Groups (LAGs) and other local actors; Managing Authorities (MAs); and National Networks from across the four ESI Funds. It enabled mutual learning through exchange of practical experience in implementing the CLLD method and a field visit to local projects.

This is the second in a series of seminars organised jointly by the four EU Commission Directorates General managing the ESI Funds and supporting CLLD. It follows last December's successful 'Implementing CLLD across the ESI Funds' seminar in Edinburgh. 

John Grieve introducing the work groups

10.11.2016

Ten years of activities of the LAG Hiiumaa is the perfect Jubilee to celebrate. During this time, we supported more than 350 local projects, both small and big, influencing thus the development of Hiiumaa. We can even say that the LAG Hiiumaa is a portrait of the life and people of Hiiumaa. In the new period, which began in 2014 according to the EU regulation, in reality in 2016, the new Integrated Development Strategy of Hiiumaa highlights the theme of the UNESCO Biosphere Program, according to which all project will be evaluated in Hiiumaa.

On October 13th 2016, in the Kärdla Culture Centre, the Jubilee Conference was held under the theme: Community implements the Biosphere Program. We had presentations about why the Biosphere Programme it is useful for Hiiumaa; how our neighbouring countries, Sweden and Latvia, are implementing the program and benefit from it; as well as about the cooperation in the energy field with Japan.

We invited to the Conference all who value Hiiumaa nature, culture, science and education in favour to the development of our municipalities, and our colleagues in local action groups in Estonia. The Conference program and speakers introduced the different ways of approaching interactively the education, science and culture, and the impact of environmental protection on Hiiumaa island and the wider world.