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LAG of Shëngjergj a model for sustainable local development

On May 03, 2017 on the premises of the Regional Development Agency 2 (RDA2), it was held the signing ceremony of the Cooperation Agreement between this Agency and the Albanian Network for Rural Development (ANRD) aiming at promoting and supporting sustainable rural development in the territory of Region2 (Qarks of Tirana-Durrës-Dibër), with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life for rural residents.

Picture1This Agreement stems from the agreed platform of the two institutions about the main problems and challenges of rural areas in our country, but above all from the common understanding about rural development and awareness about the considerable potentials of rural territories (well-endowed with natural resources, cultural heritage etc.) and further to the benefits of the European integration process as well as the good models and development practices.

Knowing the potential of the LEADER/CLLD (Community-Led Local Development) approach and the impact that Local Action Groups bring to local communities, both institutions initiate awareness raising and capacity building of local development actors about tripartite partnerships among public actors, business and civil society, particularly LAG-type partnerships promoted by theEU’s Community-Led Local Development EU Policy for 2014-2020.

Picture2The agreement covers a long-term co-operation plan, but in a concrete perspective, it was agreed that both institutions coordinate efforts for a more qualitative holding of the first Albanian Rural Parliament. Moreover, both institutions discussed and agreed on joint efforts to model and initiate Local Action Groups (LAGs) in specific territories characterized by development cohesion in all three Qarks of Region2: Tirana, Durrës and Dibra. More specifically, it was discussed about the potentials of Shengjergj area and agreed that within next month (June) to contact local actors of this mountainous area to discuss with them the possibility of establishing the LAG of Shëngjergji having agribusiness and mountain rural tourism as its main theme.

This model is expected to remain at the core of the joint efforts to align European models of organization and financing for rural areas from the EU.