Robinwood PLUS

Project Details

Title: Apply participatory forest planning for sustainability: Robinwood Plus
Priority: 1: Innovation and the knowledge economy
Theme: Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Type of intervention

Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Mini-programme: Yes
Duration: 1st Jan 2010 - 31st Dec 2013


Total budget: €3,063,463.56
ERDF contribution: €2,358,322.66

Lead partner

Liguria Region - Environment Department
Via D'Annunzio 111
16121, Genova

  • Click for contact details
    • Contact Person: Ms Laura Muraglia
      Phone: +39 010 5488983
      Fax: +39 010 5488425

Project summary

Rural areas still need to bridge the gap that differentiate their growth to that of urban areas, by finding their own route to sustainable development through natural resources exploitation. Main project theme is FORESTRY as key resource for rural development, environment protection and quality of life, as it is addressed not only by EU policies (eg. EU Forestry Action Plan) but also by the regional policies of all the partners involved, mostly in their rural development plans or structural funds plans.

The project idea was born out of previous successful Interreg III C projects (Robinwood, RURAL Innova, etc) devoted to sustainable rural development. Whilst the previous projects have allowed the project partners to increase their knowledge on this issue and have allowed the local stakeholders to start activating locally, there is now a need to keep momentum, to promote a more systematic approach (in terms of policy and governance) to the revitalization of rural areas and

to pave the way for future investments.


The partnership, built around the former "Robinwood" leader Regione Liguria -centrally positioned-, comprises representatives from each EU area: Kainuu (North), Hargita (East), Limousin (West) and Calabria (South). They share the same high forestry potential, as well as the same problems and aims, though they have gained different experiences and practices.


The lack of entrepreneurship in rural areas and the presence of forest-products-related SMEs with little market power are important issues for all, therefore this proposal focuses on priority 1, sub-theme "Entrepreneurship and SMEs". In order to foster forestry role for rural development we need to improve regional and local governance and policies especially in the field of information to and involvement of private stakeholders (such as land owners or forest businesses, mainly SMEs), of development of entrepreneurship in many sectors (industry, tourism, craftsmanship, energy), of

technical and management innovation of existing businesses, of funding.

PARTICIPATORY FORESTRY PLANNING is considered by alla project partners (though at different levels of application) as a global public governance tool for sustainable land management addressing all those issues at a time with the involvement of local stakeholders.

The project will therefore focus on the identification of best practices -and of their exchange- about the methodology for the application of quality participatory forest planning, that is, able to take into account local needs and global competitiveness. This exchange will take place at partners level as well as at subprojects level.

Final main outputs will be common guidelines for application of quality participatory forest planning to improve governance and common policy recommendations for forestry economy development targeted at both regional (eg. in view of the new programming period 2014-2020) and EU policies.

Project achievements

Robinwood Plus is a miniprogramme that aims at revitalising rural economy by means of promoting participatory forest planning and sustainable forest management.

The project started in March 2010 and the first activity developed was the identification of 25 best practices, 5 for each region, which have been visited by the partners during the life of the project (at least 2 per partner). These Best practices have been entered in the knowledge base developed by Limousin and now available on line on the project website (

Thanks to this process, the partners identified the key themes on which to base the call for subprojects proposal that has been lunched in October 2010. The call was articulated in 2 steps (the 1st for beneficiaries selection, the 2nd for project proposals selection). At the end of the 2 steps, 5 subprojects have been selected and in July 2011 they started with technical and communication activities: ELWOOD - Local wood use (handcraft, furniture,

home building, carpentry) and promotion of links between wood workers and schools, FOR MARIE - Management of forest resources and development of a local wood-energy supply chain through stakeholders’ engagement, PASFORMMA - Promotion of rural areas through new models for forest management, SHAREWOOD - Information and environmental education about the multifunctional role of forests, DESTINATION MOUNTAIN - Development of tourism on forest land (theme parks). Subprojects involved 23 beneficiary bodies and over 120 participants from local staff.

Two interregional global subproject exchange workshops were organised in Liguria in October 2011 and in Kainuu in June 2012. This two meetings had the goal to optimize knowledge sharing and to identify lessons learnt that will inform regional policies. A third party observation system allowed partners to follow all subprojects' activities and to learn from their experience. Moreover, the best practices exchanged among subprojects

participants implemented the best practice knowledge base.

On 31 Dec. 2012 subprojects finished their activities but, on the basis of joint results, some participants decided to continue the interregional cooperation beyond Robinwood Plus and some spin-off activities are now ongoing.

Lessons learnt by subprojects, their results and final outputs have been used to identify Policy recommendations for the implementation of participatory approach in the partners’regions (targeting the 2014-2020 programming period) that have been shared with EU officers (a policy meeting was organized in Bruxelles in June 2013), national and regional policy makers. Recommendations themselves have been developed through the participatory approach during the international conference of Limousin (March 2013).

The final international conference of Robinwood Plus ("Management of Forests in Europe. Participation and sustainability" - Genoa, October 2013) gathered together European stakeholders at

technical and political level; on the basis of RW+ outcomes and results, the participants discussed about regional and European strategies to enhance our forests while ensuring environmental and biodiversity protection and investigated the new opportunities of forestry management within the 2020 horizon. On this occasion, Robinwood Plus partners presented the "Joint Guidelines for the application of quality Participatory Forest Management Plans", a guidebook collecting best practices and project experiences targeted to all administrators and local stakeholders interested in the participative approach to set up forestry management, bring local development and protect the forest resource.

Robinwood Plus final results were then disseminated in Rovaniemi (Dec 2013), during the "European Forest Week" organized by the "FAO".


Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
Liguria Region - Environment Department, Genova ITALY Liguria +39 010 5488983
Joint authority of Kainuu Region, Kainuu FINLAND Itä-Suomi +358 8 6155 4211
Regional Council of Limousin, Limoges FRANCE Limousin 00 33 555 45 17 76
Harghita County Council, Miercurea Ciuc ROMANIA Centru 0040-266-207701;
Regional Government of Calabria, Catanzaro ITALY Calabria 0039 0961852057
Regional Council of Kainuu, Kajaani FINLAND Itä-Suomi 358447970197


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