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The forestry sector in regional policy

May 16, 2007
Around 50 experts, mostly from the forestry sector, took part in the two-day workshop on regional policy held in Brig/CH on 29 and 30 March. The event, which was held in French and German as part of the series of workshops entitled "Getting Knowledge Across - Networking People", was attended by participants from France, Germany and Switzerland.
The event began with an introduction to the basics of regional policy and a presentation of the Future in the Alps Project. Light relief came in the form of a field trip to the Pfyn-Finges Nature Park to illustrate successful regional development, which was scheduled during the late afternoon. On Day 2 examples of regional policy from France (Region Rhône Alpes) and the Valais were presented and discussed in small groups. One important finding to emerge from the workshop was the fact that the forestry sector should work much more closely with other sectors such as tourism and agriculture in regional policy, and that it should conduct targeted, more intensive and above all more professional PR work. It was felt that there was a great need, but also a great opportunity, for the forestry sector to become more involved in regional policy. Key factors for the success of regional development projects include the appropriate platforms for good networking among the participating agents, prominent leaders with personality and staying power, and innovative project ideas.
The sunny weather, combined with the successful Valais setting with wine tasting and a delicious raclette, not only provided the perfect framework, but also served to promote the networking among the participants, who took home not just the know-how and new incentives and ideas, but also lots of interesting new contacts.