“Adotta una mucca”, (“Adopt a cow” in English) is an Italian initiative from the Valsugana Valley in the Trentino province. Its objective is to introduce tourists, children and families to mountain life and culture. Adopters can visit various Alpine huts, learn how mountain products are made faithfully following old recipes and enjoy cows on mountain pastures.
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This new SIMRA brochure aims at showcasing the diversity of social innovations in rural areas of Europe and the Mediterranean regions. A sneak peek of what you will find in this brochure includes revitalisation plans of a UNESCO site in Slovakia, a renewable energy community trust in the UK, sustainable fishers delivering boxes of seafood to your doorstep in Greece, or a public-private partnership to support dairy producers in Tunisia!
Extensive livestock farming is the most important population-fixing activity in Iberian rural areas. This is so because, unlike other activities, it requires people to take care of the animals every day. Furthermore, in many marginal rural areas, extensive livestock farming is often the only possibility that the territory has to offer.
SIMRA – a European Cooperative Research project funded by the H2020 EU Framework Programme is making its first advances in identifying key success criteria and good practice examples for social innovation in some of the most marginalised rural areas in Europe. The project was born with the aim of decoding and explaining the criteria of what makes a good idea or project successful in often under populated, isolated or challenged geographical areas. It aims to drive innovative solutions through reconfiguring social practices and implementing proven and successful civil society actions. The SIMRA project is set to run from April 2016 to March 2020 and involves 26 organisations across Europe and the Mediterranean. The project aims to understand the mechanics behind the success of trialled and tested examples of innovation that improve people’s lives, add value to the local economy, enhance the circular economy (i.e. placing sustainable production and farming techniques at the core of all actions) and, encourage people to reinforce their “roots” in marginalised areas.
On behalf of the European Rural Development Network, the Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics hosted a conference on 3-4 October 2017 in Eisenstadt, Austria. It brought together around 50 researchers and policy makers from the European Union and neighbouring countries, giving lectures, presenting posters and participating in lively discussions.
Project H2020 SIMRA – Social Innovation in Marginalized Rural Areas was introduced in the invited lecture during the Slovakia’s National Info Day Horizon 2020, particularly considering the societal challenge 2 – “Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine, Maritime and Inland Water Research and the Bioeconomy. The event took place on November 7th, 2017 at the National Agricultural and Food Centre in Lužianky, with the participation of Marc Duponcel, the Head of the Research and Innovation of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development. Professor Tatiana Kluvánková presented the most important outcomes of SIMRA project gained during the first year of the project on behalf of SIMRA scientific team. Institute of Forest Ecology at Slovak Academy of Sciences within Centre of Excellence SPECTRA is participating in the project research as Slovak partner leading Work Package 2 dealing with the transdisciplinary understanding of social innovation in marginalized rural areas.
The project “Adotta un terrazzamento” [“Adopt a terrace” in English] aims at regulating and expanding mountain farming activities by giving any interested person the opportunity to adopt a terrace and provide direct or long-term support to the mountains of the Brenta Valley, in the Alps region in Italy.
The SIMRA Work Package tackling Theoretical and operational approaches to social innovation (WP2) is pleased to share with you the outcomes of Deliverables 2.1 and 2.2.
Social innovation (SI) has rapidly expanded in the debates and agenda of the research and policy communities over the last decade, with considerable expectations of its potential for addressing urgent societal challenges. A key question addressed is why communities in some marginalised rural areas (MRAs) respond to societal problems whereas others collapse?
Wherever you go, whatever you produce, whatever you believe in, Women of the mountains are determined to lead their societies for survival.
It’s 5 o’clock and the alarm goes off. She has breakfast and, with the radio in the background, she gets dressed for work. Milking starts at 6, but before that she needs to take the cows to the milking parlour. They aren’t many, but with the old facilities they find it hard to get in. Once she’s done, she goes back home, wakes up the children, gives them breakfast, gets them dressed, and takes them to school. Then she goes back to the farm… and resumes her work day. She does so until noon, when she cooks lunch, picks up her children, then takes them back to school, does the afternoon milking, and afterwards she brings the children back home and stays with them until they are tired and drop off to sleep. Sometimes she wishes she had a different life, a different job that didn’t enslave her and allowed her to be more in control.