Cork County Council has been awarded funding for a new INTERREG EUROPE Project. The Council is working closely with local partners University College Cork and international partners from Netherlands, France, Spain, Romania and Italy on the project entitled DELTA Lady – Floating Cultures in River Deltas.
The project focuses on river deltas in Europe and their potential to develop innovative activities aiming at utilization of local natural and cultural heritage. The aim is to improve the regional policy instruments that foster the capabilities of using ecosystem services in river deltas to strengthen regional economy.
The project will invest €206,000 in the Cork region. Cork County Council recognises that the application of ecosystem services is at an early stage of development in Ireland and it is yet to be mainstreamed into policy decision making processes. The challenge is to provide a practical example of how ecosystem services can be used to combine the need to preserve ecosystems with the needs to ensure growth and jobs.
After three semesters of working together, partners of the Delta Lady found high opportunities in the cross-regional learning and cooperation in fostering the capabilities of using local natural and cultural qualities of delta regions. Partners have engaged well with each other and each partner is developing a better understanding of the capacity and expertise of other partners.
The policy learning process started since the 1st Interregional Learning Event in France. Partners shared some experiences on a few joint themes such as nitrification of water, design based on local resources, payments for ecosystem services, and tools for development of regional capabilities. An overarching strategy is to put ecosystem services on the agenda of the EU Regional Development with illustrative operational instruments for deltas. The 2nd Interregional Learning Event in Spain was dedicated to learning the best practices and focusing on innovative ecosystem services in deltas. Stakeholder involvement is envisaged by organising the RSG meetings where partners give opportunities to local actors to describe their problems and their expectations which is the added value of the project. The 3rd Interregional Learning Event in Italy was dedicated to the exchange of experiences on the use of Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes in the participating delta regions.