|LAG AKTIIVINEN POHJOIS-SATAKUNTA RY|
– Our local tool for highly diversified rural development !
LAG Aktiivinen Pohjois-Satakunta is one of the 55 Lags established to implement the European Union Community Initiative for the programming period 2007 – 2013 in Finland. Our development association has been active since Leader II –period and we continue to promote vigorously manysided local actions for the best of our territory and its inhabitants.
The main goal of our association is to finance "grass-root "-level development projects, which regenerate economical, cultural, social and environmental vitality in our area.
Our LAG- territory as administrative area
The area of Aktiivinen Pohjois-Satakunta association is located in the West –Finland province and the Lag-area consists of thirteen municipalities. Three of these municipalities are small towns - Kankaanpää, Ikaalinen and Parkano.
Nine municipalities belong to Satakunta region and three to Pirkanmaa region. Even though the municipalities of the area are situated in two different regions and four sub-regions, the area is homogenous , when it comes to population and economical structure. We have a long tradition of inter-regional co-operation in our LAG-area.
LAG-areas characteristics – a piece of the most beautiful Finland
Pohjois-Satakunta area has a quite varied and multisided nature. You can find the seashore with characteristic archipelago areas, plenty of lakes and rivers, bogs, forests, sweet hilly areas as well the agricultural sceneries. We have wide NATURA-areas as Hämeenkangas and Pohjankangas and tens of protected oasis and areas. In some areas the human being hasn’t touched anything after the last Ice Age!
Although we are located in southern part of Finland we have also large wilderness areas - you can climb on sand ridges of Jämi and admire all the coniferous green forests covering the territory so far you are able to see. Pohjois-Satakunta is not called the Lapponia of South Finland in vain!
The big number of different cultural environments give also their own significance to the areal development of Pohjois-Satakunta.
Architectonic particularities are for instance special decorated glass-verandas in old wooden farmhouses. One of the oldest wooden buildings of entire Finland can be found in Jämijärvi in village of Kontti. Beautiful wooden churches are worth of visiting. In Merikarvia municipality we have the most big all-year round utilized wooden church of the world!
In Honkajoki municipality we have one of most old ruins of house in entire Scandinavia - it tells that the people has enjoyed our zone already for a long time. First as peaceful and rich hunting areas -nowadays as safe, clean and modern place to live and work!
Innovative entrepreneurship – high level education sector
We have a very strong entrepreneurship tradition in Pohjois-Satakunta area and many special entrepreneurship sectors, too. Some important branches are for instance ecological greenhouse cultivation, intelligent clothes, steel industry and the construction sector (windows, modular houses and so on). The natural tourism, ecotourism, strong food industry and the bioenergy belong also to our growth sectors.
In our area we have the most great thermal Spa of entire Scandinavia in Ikaalinen town , the Scientific Research Unit of Finnish Forest Institute in Parkano town , one of the topmost colleges of Finland in Kankaanpää - just to mention some of our main motif of proudness. Our zone has plenty of educational institutes, for instance Satakunta University of Applied Sciences - Art School in Kankaanpää and Ikata (most great Arts and Crafts School in Scandinavia).
The cultural life is very colourful and active. The International Accordation Festival Sata Häme Soi in Ikaalinen municipality, Art Festivo – music event in Parkano, theater event "Ramppikuume" and plenty of local events (theater,artistic weeks, music festivals etc) guarantee a good offer of cultural activities for our inhabitants as well the tourists. There are a great number of cultural associations and different hobby circles.
Some words about LAG's development activity and programme
LAG Aktiivinen Pohjois-Satakunta has been the most active Local Action Group in Finland during the Leader+ programming period as regards the transnational collaboration projects. Our LAG was for instance the most active single European LAG collaborating with Italian LAGS. We have plenty of contacts and projectual partners in all European countries and new ones are warmly welcome!
The main goals of our development programme are:- improve the attractiveness as a place of residence
- increase inhabitant-based activity
- make more manysided the entrepreneurship activity in rural areas
- create new possibilities for hobby and free-time activities
- promote the internationalization process of the area
- promote the partecipation of young persons in developing work
Aktiivinen Pohjois-Satakunta ry’s main empahasis of development programme 2007–2013:
Strenght from the nature and communities - Innovations from the co-operation of different actors
- manysided entrpreneurship
- new forms of service production- internationalization
- integration of tourism and culture in new innovative mode
- village activity and other community developing activity
- involving of young persons in developing and decision making processes
- ICT-technologies enabling development in rural areas
STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME OF LAG AKTIIVINEN POHJOIS-SATAKUNTA RY
The development programme of LAG Aktiivinen Pohjois-Satakunta ry bases the emphasis on areas strength points. New innovations and action modes are being approached also by connecting the increasing collaboration and skills. Skilled projectual working, existing cooperation networks and the quite established position of LAG are founding the basement on which the strategy will be constructed.
Entrepreneurship , which is mainly concentrated on small and medium size enterprises is one of the strengths of the area. The development of enterprise oriented services , enterprise managed linear strategic work and entrepreneurship education of youngsters are the focus of the future. Moreover, important arguments are the promotion of generational change of enterprises, promoting of measures helping entrepreneurs mental wellbeing and safeguarding the obtaining of professional labour force.
The structural reforming of primary production sector sets in important position the developing of rural areas secondary source of livelihood and the creating of completely new jobs. The solution for this entity of matters is searched by connecting the marketing of residence in rural areas, subcontracting and the utilization of possibilities of telecommuting, growing possibilities of service oriented entrepreneurship and the opportunities offered by bioenergy production for the countryside. Enterprise consultancy, developers, financial backers and educational sector will be linked to the activity and the premises for development of collaboration will be created.
The nature, peace and safety of the area will be highlighted as positive factors. The countryside will be marketed as a living and working place where active working life, satisfying pastime and community participation can be joined. The people is encouraged to work in order to develop their own living conditions and sources of livelihood . The characteristic culture will be interlinked as a part of activity and the proper traditions will be a source of pride – in meantime, however, the glance is cast on future and the transformation of operational environment will be considered in all development actions.
The sense of community and the cultural approach of “doing together” are still vigorous and in future that resource will be directed to more and more goal-oriented developing work. The projectual work of past programming periods and the experiences gained during them will be utilized and the quality and proper effectiveness will be increased more than before. The local action group will support and encourage associations and other communities to spontaneous and partnership based developing work. The borders of functions of public, private and third sectors will grow dim and new action modes will be born. The LAG is willing to promote and experiment them.
The internationalization is already everyday life also in countryside in many respects, but it is expressed indirectly or in modes to which one can’t have influence by himself and which consequences can be negative (for instance the transition of jobs to cheap labor countries by cause of globalization). Aktiivinen Pohjois-Satakunta ry will promote the active European citizenships development and introduce the positive effects of internationalization to the area. The collaboration will be encouraged in every level and as goal are long term partnerships thus that the results can be identified for instance in tourism, cultural sector, village activity and in enterprises.
The ways to improve the possibilities of young persons participation in decision making will be tried to be found and the visibility of their points of view will be encouraged. This means for instance the making available the methods of civil influencing, the increasing collaboration with educational institutes, enterprises and other sectors of working life and the providing of meaningful alternatives for participation to rural areas developing work for the young.
The next steps of developing of information society can even favor the rural areas if one is able to grasp the possibilities. Cyber-based business, virtual organizations and the independency of a certain geographical position allow the transfer of activities to the rural areas. This kind of development will be contributed for instance with marketing of commercial premises, combining the know-how of actual local actors and encouraging them to creative conception. For instance as a result of the combining of skills of strong cultural sector actors and ICT experts may arise digital cultural production.
The nature , rural area and the people of countryside are the basement of developing actions. All the activity will be adapted in this framework. The nature will be respected, its values will be maintained for the future generations but contemporaneously the renewable natural resources will be utilized in a sustainable mode. The locally produced food, energy, wooden products and services are sustainable development at its best.All the above mentioned aims to maintain the distinctive infrastructure of rural areas also in the future. The diversified productive infrastructure and utilization of opportunities enhanced by it will guarantee the vitality of area. This goal will be reached by applying for active and spontaneous activity, large-scale collaboration and favoring of creative solutions.
CONTACT SHEET OF LAG AKTIIVINEN POHJOIS-SATAKUNTA RY:
For international contacts (In English, Italian, German, Spanish, French, Swedish):
Transnational project example - Italy- Finland - Sweden
Orienteering – green and ecological sport as source of innovation for sportive and ecological tourism
Description: The first steps in the path which led to the absolutely innovative project formation between two countries nearly in the antipodes of Europe were taken during the summer 2004 when an Italian delegation of enthuastic representants of Tourism Consortium of Valli del Cimone and Italian Orienteering experts from the Province of Modena came to visit the area of Lag Pohjois- Satakunta ry and in the same occasion the most great orienteering event in the world – Jukola. Jukola-event was held in the terrains of natural wilderness zones of Jämi in small municipality of Jämijärvi and organized mainly by volonteer work of local orienteering associations. This event gathered something like 13 000 agonistic practisers of orienteering to make a day-night relay and many tens of thousands of spectators together in two days and it’s really an annual good will mass event in the best sense of green sportive tourism.
Orienteering is one of the most popular sports in Scandinavia – count like a civil duty to be known and it has been taught in schools for tens of years. Orienteering is also one of the rare sportive disciplines where one must use the intelligency and reason in order to reach good results as the good physical form is not enough. Meanwhile, it’s an economic sport, which bring the devotee in the middle of nature and green values, it’s also a family sport which can be pursued letterally from babies to seniors. All you need is a compass and an orienteering map.
The role of Lags
The local Lag Aktiivinen Pohjois-Satakunta ry had a very active role in organizing meetings for Italians with the key persons of local orienteering associations and local authorities. The group of Italians remained very well impressed from the visit and discussions had with local orientists and thus the very first ties of the future projectual network were born. The Italians invited a group of orienteering specialists and Lag representatives from Pohjois-Satakunta to visit their zone to give their valutations concerning the terrains of Modena and to discuss possible collaboration –in terms of technical, technological and organizational sense.
In October 2004 the Modena visit of Finnish experts reinforced the feeling in both side that a project realized together could be a useful tool to obtain something of new in both regions in economic touristic terms and in the terms of developing internazionalization skills, social know how expertise and to have something of new to give for the youngsters in the local associations in Finland. One determining point was naturally the thing that the groups of persons realized to have also similarities in spite of geographical and cultural distances– they both live in rural territories surrounded by green nature which is in the touristic sense still not put into use. The projectual planning was activated and in the start of 2005 the project was already in Lag council in both two areas. In Satakunta the project started in March 2005 and in Modena three months later.
In autumn 2005 the projectual partnership was enrichened with a new Italian area - Lag Allba of Basilicata South West and a new worldwide partner – Park World Tour Organization from Sweden.
The cultural difference has been understood to be the most great richness – because only making confrontations between two different realities and modes to work can be the birth of something really innovative! The similarity doesn’t ever create anything too new! This must be understood also as richness of all the European model and to be put in use, too!
Efficiency and high scored goals
Orienteering- Sport and Innovation-project has been constructed ambitiously and it’s the first pilot project in its kind in the world as treats one sportive discipline. The transferable projectual pattern contains: 1)Developing of orienteering as hobby specially for children and young 2) Start up of concrete interregional collaboration 3.) Transfer of orienteering know how 4.) Developing of international skills of local actors 5.) Developing business activity and marketing regarding orienteering 6.) Developing and increasing of ecotourism and sportive tourism concerning orienteering 7.) Developing of new innovative modes of social working 8) Teacher and tutor education.
Volonteers force – great results with the will to do good
The projectual functions have been very active. In less as one year have been created a well functioning projectual organization locally and internationally, organized a Finnish and Italian orienteering camp for 50 persons in Italy, educative packages of international orienteering for 70 teachers in Modena and all the educative material, Italy, orienteering technician education package in Finland, organized Mediterranean Open Championship event and a Park World Tour event in Basilicata, made touristic and event promotion in different events , created touristic journey packages to be sold in travel agencies, created www.fi-ori.com , marketing material, newsletters, education of young tutors for orienteering, made tailored cartography consultations, education of orienteering tutors for disabled just to mention something. In the very half of projectual work based mainly in volonteer work in Finland – the networking status of project has been enormous – over 200 persons have been in direct contact with projectual work only in Finnish associations. In Italy the projects are carried out partly by employed staff and partly by volonteers; in every area has been obtained the locally suitable mix of measures, but the projectual international network is that which make function all.
Remember – the green is the colour of rural areas , youth and orienteering
The collaboration hasn’t remained in this project something only written or talk in international steering group meetings, but it has a very lively every-day contact life Europewidely, side-by-side work producing concrete results in economic extra projectual terms. It’s measurable in growing simpathy and incresing quantity of organizational learning. The transferable pattern of internazionalization and activation of young persons, transfer of orienteering know-how (organizing competition events, technical backgrounds like cartography, orienteering tehcnician education etc) between many areas, developing of sportive tourism and also the business activities as spinn-off results of the project like giving opportunity to private consulting activity and making cartography will give surely their results in every involved area and internationally. Leader+ has been here giving a tool to develop common Europe, to transfer knowledge in a completely new way and to give its birth for a transferable pattern of a really innovative ecosportive rural developing alternative.