Ecosystem Approach

Ecosystem Approach Sourcebook - Case-Study Details

1. Project Details
Author or Responsible Organization JOCHEN LAMP, World Wide Fund for Nature, Baltic Sea Office, Knieperwall 1, D-18439 Stralsund, GERMANY, phone: 03831 297018, e-mail:
Project Title LEADER+-Projects and their Potential to Contribute to Conservation - Experiences from the Model Region Rügen
Date of Publication
Project Status
Project Start Date
Project End Date
Countries Germany
Regions Western Europe and Others
Funding Source
2. Background to Project
Project Issue/Problem Statement LEADER+ is a European Community initiative for assisting rural communities in improving the quality of life and economic prosperity in their local area. It runs from 2000 to 2006, plus two years to finish all other projects. It is the third LEADER Programme, and was preceded by LEADER I and II. The programme is designed to encourage enhancement of the natural and cultural heritage, to reinforce the economic environment in order to foster job creation, and to improve the organisation abilities of local communities. Important underlying concepts are the use of regional structures, the donation of identity, sustainability in the strong sense (i.e. economical, ecological and social), a bottom-up approach and the promotion of networking and integrated approaches as well as innovation and gaining transferable experiences in projects with a pioneer character.
Project Description The island of Rügen with its approximately 75.000 inhabitants is well suited as a LEADER Region both because it is governed by a single administration and because of its rich natural values: two national parks, a biosphere reserve, several SACs and SPAs. The administrative district of Rügen participated in LEADER II until 1999. The participation in a competition for further funding under LEADER+ in Germany was successful with an approach of valorisation of natural/cultural heritage (which is one of the four Strategy options set out by the EU). In 2001, four preparation meetings were held with all interested parties. These meetings led to the formation of a LAG (Local Action Group), which was approved by the district parliament, as well as the matching funds budget. After participation in the final competition on the level of the federal state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the LEADER+-Strategy for Rügen was prepared, and management of projects started at the end of 2002. The focus of the LEADER Strategy for Rügen lies on the rural part of the island. The Strategy aims to redevelop a common identity for the region, to balance the tourism development boom with nature conservation and to promote networking within sectors and between sectors. Under the main heading "valorisation of natural and cultural potentials", the Strategy lays down four fields of work: • identification with cultural heritage, • enhancement of natural and cultural resources, • establishment of effective networks of quality, and • sustainable agriculture and regional flows of resources. The LAG for the model region Rügen consists of 17 members active in different sectors on the island (e. g. the tourism board, the farmers' association, the labour agency, the finance sector, public transport, the youth and education sector, nature conservation NGOs, the National Park administration, the forestry administration and the head of the district administration). In addition to this, there are three speakers and a professional LEADER management unit consisting of a manager and an assistant. The LAG is responsible for establishing the Programme Strategy and the terms of reference for project design and local conditions (co-financing), as well as for the approval of projects. The financial volume of the whole programme is 2.5 Mio € until 2006, while an average project has a budget of about 60.000 €. The final approval of projects rests with the funds manager in the ministry for agriculture and forestry of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The tasks of the LEADER management unit include consultation for project applicants, the organisation of qualification workshops, public relations work, project administration, the preparation of LAGmeetings and reporting. Some examples of projects supported under the LEADER programme are: Enhancement of re-colonisation of rural settlements with endangered birds and bats (under the programme element "enhancement of natural and cultural resources"): this project aims to improve the supply of nesting facilities for endangered animals at and close to buildings and to sensitize private house owners for taking responsibility for endangered species. Quality standards for nature tourism (also under the programme element "enhancement of natural and cultural resources"): this project is intended to define a quality standard for touristic outdoor activities in protected areas (e.g. respect for nature and protected area regulations, good performance and safety) through a cooperative effort involving nature conservationists, tourist operators and tourist organisations, and to secure implementation of the standard and its transfer into the Quality Brand “Rügen“. Independent Primary School „Freie Schule Rügen“ (under the programme element "identification with cultural heritage"): the project encompassed the establishment of an independent school with a special educational approach (e.g. Montessori teaching methods, ecological education, one-world-aspects), which was opened in August 2004. The necessary reconstruction of the school building was conducted in line with the principles of ecological building. Experiences of the LEADER process on Rügen can be summed up as follows: Although LEADER is a time-consuming process and restrictions posed by the EU and the responsible German federal states can make processes even slower and frustrate active group members, the introduction of a bottom-up approach is possible. The LEADER programme offers opportunities for capacity-building of actors and for the development of a common understanding among stakeholders, which grows during the joint decision-making processes. The financial commitment of project applicants enhances responsibility and performance. For the success of the process, transparent and clear rules/terms of reference and the existence of a professional management are important. The degree to which links between conservation and development can be established successfully depends on the composition of the LAG, the level of trust established during the process and the participation of creative activists with good project ideas. A characteristic feature on Rügen is the linking of conservation with the mainstream economy (e.g. tourism); conservation is introduced rather as a crosscutting issue than an explicit working field. The well-balanced composition of the LAG and the speaker board have created reliability and enhanced a good climate for conservation projects. It can be hoped that the structures created by the LEADER Process and the evolving know-how constitute a good basis for future work beyond the LEADER+ period.
3. Sectors and Biomes
Sectors Agriculture
Biomes Agricultural Biodiversity
4. Tools and Approaches
Tools and Approaches   Relevance
Public Participation 3-High
- Methods for stakeholder consultation 3-High
- Local community approaches 3-High
Education and Awareness 3-High
Management and Incentives 2-Medium
- Conservation enterprises/Diversification 3-High
- Market pressure 2-Medium
5. Issues
Issues   Relevance
Economics, Trade and Incentive Measures 3-High
Governance, Law and Policy 2-Medium
Public Participation 3-High
Sustainable Use of Biodiversity 3-High
Tourism and Biodiversity 3-High
Traditional Knowledge, Innovations and Practices - Article 8(j) 3-High
6. Ecosystem Approach
7. Lessons Learned and the Outcomes
Lessons Learned
Other Information
8. References
References This case study and further information can be found in Opportunities of EU Agricultural Policy Instruments for Biodiversity Conservation and Integrated Rural Development in Protected Areas of the New Member States, Report of the workshop convened by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation at the International Academy for Nature Conservation, Isle of Vilm October 27 - 30, 2004. Editors: Horst Korn, Rainer Schliep Cordula Epple
9. Contact Details
Contact Person Ms. Diana Mortimer
Job Title Ecosystem Approach Officer
Organization Joint Nature Conservation Committee
Address Monkstone House, City Road,
Postal Code PE13 4LA
City Peterborough
ZIP/State/Province Cambs
Telephone +44 1733 866857
Fax +44 1733 555948
E-mail Address