Prowad Link partners take inventory of existing partnership programmes in the North Sea Region

The partners of the Interreg project “Prowad Link – Protect & Prosper” have completed significant groundwork in developing a transnational North Sea Region partnership scheme based on the concept “Nature-Business-Benefit-Cycle (NBBC)”: An inventory of all existing partnership programmes in the project’s pilot regions of the Wadden Sea (DK, D, NL), Geiranger Fjord (NO), Wash & North Norfolk Coast (UK). The report “Taking Stock: An Inventory of existing Partnership Programmes at North Sea region World Heritage Sites and Protected Areas” was compiled by the Province of Fryslan and the University of Groningen (RUG).

“Nature areas can benefit from partners in the region and, in turn, a unique nature area can generate economic benefit for local SMEs”, says co-writer Monique Pruyt, Provincie Fryslan. “Partner programmes can help to strengthen this mutual advantage. This inventory gives a glance at the current situation on which can be built in the near future.”

“The report provides an overview and analysis of the status quo in partnership programmes of our regions”, says co-writer Hellen L. Dawo (RUG). “Just like with every new service first we have to establish an understanding of what is lacking in the current situation, so that we can provide an added value – in this case a partnership scheme that is beneficial to our small and medium-sized businesses as well as to the protection of our nature sites.” The aim of the PROWAD LINK scheme is to connect the regional networks in a transnational context by building long-term partnerships with cross-sectorial supporters and link these to the World Heritage brand. The transnational scheme will build on, extend and sustain existing collaborations and networks.

The Interreg VB North Sea Region Programme project PROWAD LINK aims to unlock the potential of natural areas as a driver for jobs and sustainable development. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are approached to develop nature as a brand to create benefits for both, SMEs and the environment. 14 project partners in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom, led by the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, working with interested SMEs will use the “nature-business-benefit-cycle” concept to develop new, sustainable products and offers in the pilot regions of the Wadden Sea (DK, D, NL), Geiranger Fjord (NO), Wash & North Norfolk Coast (UK). The 3-year project is co-funded by and carried out in the framework of the Interreg North Sea Region Programme under the Programme Priority 1 “Thinking Growth”. The programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of the European Union.