The Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group (SWG) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), following the overall goals of the European Union funded project “Fostering regional cooperation and balanced territorial development of Western Balkan countries in the process towards EU integration – Support to the Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group (SWG) in South-East Europe”, as well as FAO TCP Facility: “Implementation of short value chain development in cross-border areas in the Western Balkan region”, has organized a 3-day capacity building workshop “Fostering integrated economic development through sustainable use of natural resources and greening of value chains”. The workshop for the stakeholders from the cross-border region of “Prespa” and “Sharra” was held in the period 24-26 April, 2017 at the Hotel “Bistra” in Mavrovo.
The capacity development workshop contributed to an increased awareness and knowledge about sustainable use of natural resources, greening of the value chain, joint promotion and marketing of quality products and services with a view to creating business partnerships, as well as creating and maintaining image of products and services in the region of “Prespa” and “Sharra”.
The main topics presented and discussed during the Workshop were the following:
– SWG activities for facilitation of the sustainable economic development of WB rural cross-border areas- current status and possible future actions;
– Concept of cooperation in value chains and trends in the EU; Potentials of products and services from WB cross-border areas;
– Principles of sustainable management of natural resources within the framework of developing rural areas;
– Plenary discussion of the environmental concerns to be considered in planning of economic development actions in the cross-border regions;
– Developing business partnerships and networks in cluster organisations and development of cluster organization in cross-border context;
– Greening of value chains and fostering of integrated cooperation between actors;
– Business development through the improvement of small operator’s capacity to manage business in rural areas;
– Food and tourism business strategies in a rural development context;
– Business Model Canvas, a practical tool for business planning;
– Development of business strategy using the Business Model Canvas approach around attractive products, attractions and services from the regions.