An eventful year for the Miory community and nature

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02.06.2020
An eventful year for the Miory community and nature

In May 2019, Miory District received almost a million euros as support from the European Union. What has the district managed to accomplish with these funds, and what else is planned?

The Miory District Executive Committee received the grant for co-implementing the project “Together for Community and Nature: Strengthening of Development Process in Miory District by Partnership of Authorities and Civil Society" in partnership with APB-Birdlife Belarus and Latvian Rural Forum.

The first project year was almost entirely focused on training: the project office and ABP-Birdlife Belarus held a series of seminars and training workshops on local resource development, arrangement of local festival arrangement, on gender equality and equal opportunities, on project application drafting; as well as training of sessions for volunteers, tour guides, artisans, farmers, eco-farm managers and other concerned persons.

Local residents actively participated in volunteer nature-preserving summer camps that were held in Jeĺnia National Landscape Reserve of the district. They collected 57 bags of litter, inter alia, from the bottom of the swamp lakes and repaired 6 causeways at the canals to keep the swamp from draining.

In 2019, the project also provided financial support to several festivals: Perabrodskaja Zorka in the village of Pierabroddzie, Miory Cranes and Cranberries eco-festival, as well as to a number of sports events. As regards Miory Cranes and Cranberries eco-festival, it has been gathering visitors both from the district/region and from the entire country since 2012. The festival is well known among foreign amateurs of agro-ecotourism. There are plans to keep the financial support of the festival during the following two project years. This year, it will be held on 19 September.

In order to create a wholesome image of Miory land in the eyes of both domestic and foreign tourists, specialists of Malako, a nationally recognized creative agency, developed a brand book for Miory land.

Miory residents learnt the basics of project application drafting, and participated in a local initiatives contest for the first time. The contest committee selected 10 winners; EUR 200,000 will be allotted from the project budget for their initiatives. The contest is intended to give an impetus to the social activity and entrepreneurship development in Miory land, providing an opportunity for people with exciting ideas to put them into action and give a lead for others.

The project social component provided for the procurement of an ambulance vehicle for Miory District Hospital and a tourist van for Jeĺnia State Environmental Institution. Already this year, they will begin work on landscaping The Peninsula Town Park, the town’s main recreational site; replacing floors in the town sports facility gym; extending Aziaraŭki-Jeĺnia eco-path and setting up amenities at the camping site.

All project components will be integrated into the common Sustainable Development Strategy of Miory District, the drafting of which has begun. In order to engage local residents into the drafting process, the project office has held a series of training workshops and seminars pointing out the Miory District’s strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and risks. Moreover, the district is designing the first-in-Belarus Youth Sustainable Development Strategy involving schoolchildren and youth in the drafting process.

The Community Board for the Development and Implementation of the Miory District Sustainable Development Strategy was established at the District Council of Deputies (the first in Belarus!); its main objective is to engage local residents in discussing and addressing their local problems. The Board comprises representatives from local authorities, enterprises, district institutions and community. They plan to hold the Board meetings 4-5 times a year.

A community, as such, is in the best position to suggest how to improve the community life, and what it may take. An opinion poll has been held in order to find out how the district residents regard the project theme, what strengths and weaknesses they see in the development of Miory District and the project, in particular, and to obtain valuable feedback from them. The findings have been published on the project’s website. The next step of the opinion poll will be carried out within two years in order to assess the project’s impact on the local residents’ lives.

https://euprojects.by/news/an-active-year-for-the-community-and-nature-of-miory/