Mountain actors convene in Hungary to forge pathways for sustainable value chains


One hundred mountain representatives from 16 countries and 22 mountain ranges converged in Hungary for the Unlocking the Power of Mountain Value Chains workshop organized by the European Union (EU)-funded project Mountain Valorisation though Interconnectedness and Green Growth (MOVING). The main goals of the workshop were to foster robust connections and facilitate knowledge exchanges among participants from diverse mountain ranges.

Mar Delgado, MOVING Project Coordinator, set the tone by highlighting the untapped potential within mountainous territories. "Let's make our policymakers understand that mountains are not areas with constraints, but territories brimming with opportunities – from their rich diversity and high-quality resources to their pivotal role in providing water and energy. The biggest opportunity is that mountains house a community of motivated actors fighting for the future of mountains," said Delgado.

Attendees actively engaged in discussions focused on addressing common challenges and developing shared solutions on five pivotal topics: governance and cooperation, innovation and infrastructure, nature and ecosystem services, social and demographic change, and value and quality products. Outputs from the thematic discussions will contribute to a cross-case comparison report on mountain value chains, coordinated by Emilia Schmitt, Scientific Coordinator of the project.

Michel Moretti, partner of the MOVING project, said, "Value chains can be an instrument to reconnect mountain areas with cities and other territories." He added that participants aim to look beyond the quality of products and landscapes, underling the need to look at the quality of communities as the driving force for fostering mountain resilience.

Dominique Barjolle, in charge of coordinating the foresight exercises across the 23 MOVING mountain regions, added, "What seems very strange to deal with might seem very clear in some years." The results of the regional foresight exercises will be discussed with an EU-wide Foresight workshop on 11 January in Brussels, Belgium.

Blandine Camus, representing Euromontana at MOVING Advisory Board, commented, "Those challenges discussed here are shared by all mountain regions. I am delighted to see that the MOVING project is not about an idealized vision of mountain value chains, but it considers both positive and negative synergies emerging from value chains' interactions and resources competition." Euromontana is a member of the Mountain Partnership.

On 8 November, on-site excursions organised by the local hosting partner, Gusztav Nemes, provided firsthand exposure to notable Hungarian socio-ecological initiatives, including the Kóspallag socio-ecological endeavors, Terény socio-ecological initiatives in North-Hungary, and rural development projects led by the Felső-Homokhátság Local Action Group.

The MOVING project is an EU-funded H2020 project focused on building capacities and co-developing policy frameworks to establish new or upscaled value chains, contributing to the resilience and sustainability of mountainous areas in Europe.

News and photo by MOVING

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