LIFE-RII european project

Participatory process

B1 - Participatory process supporting the project

Participatory processThe definition of the work programme to be performed within the framework of the Project has been developed through a participatory process, involving public and private, social and economic stakeholders, with particular attention to local stakeholders, as provided by Regional Law R.L. no. 3/2010 and as enshrined in the Treaty of the European Union, in the Italian Constitution and in the Regional Articles of Association.

The stakeholders group involved in the project includes various types of organisations, institutions, representatives of the general interests of the sector, citizens, as well as other  stakeholders  who have shown interest in listening to and discussing land-related issues.

In order to identify the most effective actions to be implemented to achieve the project objectives, the Participatory process is mainly designed to:

-      Raise awareness about land-related issues,

-      Put forward possible and innovative solutions,

-      Apply a cross-sectoral approach to problem-solving,

-      Promote a structured and targeted discussion,

-      Promote active participation in the implementation of the LIFE Project RII,

The methodology, focused on two levels of action, informative and consultative, with different consultation provisions envisaged for several distinct phases, work objectives and communication tools:

-      The initial public information Forum.

-      A Workshop for the development of strategic shared actions and scenarios.

-      Laboratories to carry out in-depth analyses and discussions in the four Municipalities involved, including local study visits to carry out assessment and monitoring actions "in the field".

-      The Final Forum is meant to illustrate and disseminate  the process results and technical transpositions in the final design.

In addition to live meetings, on-line Web-based communication tools have been used to promote  a greater stakeholders’ involvement, through the web site dedicated to the LIFE RII Project and through the so-called “Piazza virtuale ioPartecipo+”, i.e. the "virtual participation square" specifically dedicated to stakeholders’ participation.

The public consultation timing was concentrated to let it coincide with the development of the final design.

The local benchmarking activities were carried out using various locations scattered throughout the four municipalities, in afternoon hours, in order to ensure a smooth participation in the meetings.

The various events were promoted by means of direct invitations by e-mail, advertisements on regional, municipal and Reclamation Consortium web sites, and further supported  and disseminated through the distribution of leaflets at the local level to involve the local community.

Participatory process - events

The Participatory process of the LIFE RII Project began with the public information Forum, held on 7th June in San Polo d'Enza followed by a study visit to the Rio Lavezza water stream, to better understand the questions addressed by the Workshop on "Scenarios and ideas for river regeneration", held on June 21st in Bibbiano, during which  participants were grouped together  into different interest groups to discuss the topics under question, to outline future expected scenarios for the rivers, to identify problems and solutions and to express ideas and proposals for their regeneration.

Participatory process - workshops In July, six thematic workshops were held on the individual water stream included in the project, in different locations, some through indoor sessions and others directly on site.

As a matter of fact, at this stage all the ideas / projects were immersed in a concrete context, identifying the real problems, discussing how to solve them and  identifying the entities  responsible for their solution (what, how and who), and highlighting specific and local issues. During the last two workshops, conducted through an inspection visit along the rivers, the participants filled in a "logbook" to record strengths and weaknesses with a view to put forward their suggestions.

The  Participatory process has taken place through  formalized involvement methods and  has enabled all participants to express their points of view, thus showing great maturity and collaborative spirit. This brainstorming has led to a substantial  quantity and quality of suggestions, knowledge and information sharing. All these topics will be further discussed and analysed and they will feed the following final Public Forum, during which the first answers will be provided to meet  the expectations and suggestions that have emerged.

To stimulate the discussion even further, the results emerging from the meetings were promptly disseminated through various social media.

The final Public Forum is scheduled on 28th September, in Albinea, and it will conclude the participatory phase.

During the meeting the various requests and proposals were discussed and then taken into account in the design of actions  as much as possible.

The  Participatory process has taken place along with all the other activities undertaken locally as well as through the web, by experiencing the new service platform  "ioPartecipo+ (I participate+) The participation squares of the Emilia-Romagna Region".

The participatory process virtual square, active from 1st July to 30th September, was connected to the LIFE Project RII website, containing all the information and reports. Its functions and versatility were thus enhanced through  an online discussion and participation forum.

Thanks to a set of dynamic tools, users were able to take part in various activities, to receive timely information, read the news (the LIFE Project RII newsletters) and directly participate  in the discussion with questions, reports or proposals on the online forum.

The environmental topics covered in the LIFE RII square were shared on the network through 5 keywords to channel the discussion on Twitter and to relaunch it directly on the platform, on regional portals and on the project web site.

Participants could discuss local issues in the virtual square: citizens were directly invited, and reached out through the social media, by means of "virtual flyers", or banners posted on the websites of the four project partner municipalities and of the Central Emilia Reclamation Consortium. In so doing it was possible to open  special channel of collaboration and exchange among all stakeholders.

The setting (choice of topics and interest groups) and the discussion method that were adopted  have been widely appreciated and shared, thus reflecting a strong demand for participation by citizens. The discussion Forum was also highly appreciated since it gave everyone an opportunity to express their suggestions, to learn from and listen to  different points of view, to work in mixed groups (including local administrators, technicians, citizens, associations), in an extremely  mature and open context involving all participants.

At the end of the process, it can be stated that the RII LIFE Project partnership has been strengthened by it and made more aware and ready to work out a solution to very sensitive spatial  problems in a difficult situation characterized by poor financial resources.


LIFE 11 ENV/IT/000243 European project

Developed and coordinated by Emilia-Romagna Region Soil and Coast Protection and Land Reclamation Service
Viale della Fiera, 8  40127 Bologna – ITALY  Phone:+390515276811

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