LAG Montagnappennino’s journey: Balancing Challenges and Innovations

LAG Montagnappennino’s journey: Balancing Challenges and Innovations

LAG Montagnappennino's journey: Balancing Challenges and Innovations

As a partner on the RUSTIK project, ELARD is thrilled to share the latest findings from one of the project living labs: LAG Montagnappennino. 

What is a living Lab?

Living Labs are dynamic platforms for real-time testing and learning from social and technical innovations. Originally focused on urban areas, they now serve as collaborative spaces for problem-solving across regions. In 14 European Pilot Regions spanning 10 countries, Living Labs play a central role in the RUSTIK project’s multi-actor approach to studying rural diversity and societal change.

The Pilot Region

The Pilot Region represents the entire territory of LAG Montagnappennino, which runs the LEADER programme in the area. The region is located in the northern part of Tuscany and corresponds to the territory of Garfagnana, Media Valle del Serchio, Alta Versilia and Appennino Pistoiese, part of the provinces of Lucca and Pistoia in the north-western part of Tuscany, for a total territory of 2110 km2 (1872 mountainous) and including 27 municipalities.

A brief overview of the report

Living Lab Progress

In their ongoing Living Lab journey, the CREA and LAG Montagnappennino teams, alongside local stakeholders, are actively addressing challenges and delving into transitions within the pilot region. Thematic meetings have honed in on two vital areas: demographic shifts and community involvement in forest management, all aimed at fostering sustainability. They’ve identified key actors, challenges, and opportunities through robust community engagement. In 2023, the momentum continued with two insightful online focus groups and engaging summer activities.

Key Insights

Cycle 1 provided invaluable insights into the region’s transitions, underscoring the pivotal role of local communities in safeguarding biodiversity and adopting sustainable forest practices. Participants emphasized the need to consider ecological, economic, historical, and cultural factors in forest management decisions.

Living Lab Focus 

Cycle 1 pinpointed socio-economic and climate change transitions as focal points for the Living Lab efforts. Forests emerged as key players, offering multifaceted opportunities for sustainable use and community-driven projects, aligning with socio-economic objectives.

Next Steps

They’ll begin by pinpointing key groups for the experiment, based on desk mapping by the Pilot Region Partner. Then, we’ll plan interviews and workshops with individuals from these groups. In Cycle 2, the Living Lab will kick off an information gathering experiment, combining quantitative and qualitative methods. This involves utilizing existing reports on community regeneration projects and conducting interviews with local stakeholders.

Delving into details

If you’re interested in delving into the details, read more!