“New residents bring new ideas for sustainable tourism and renewable energy”

"New residents bring new ideas for sustainable tourism  and renewable energy" ITALY 24-25.06.2017 – PRESS RELEASE

The Municipality of Forni di Sopra will host on 24th and 25th June 2017, the transnational event “Renewable Energy and Inclusion Practices” organised within the EU project “GEMS – inteGration and Solidarity European Models for Sustainability”, co-funded by the EACEA Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union. The project coordinated by the Alpine Pearls Association, links in a network of “Active GEMS”, five Alpine towns from four countries of the Region: Werfenweng – A, Bad Reichenhall – D, Municipality of Bled – SI, Municipality of Forni di Sopra -I, Municipality of Moena – I.

The first day of the transnational event will be dedicated to a public conference on renewable energy and their relevance for local sustainable development strategies. To this end, the conference foresees presentations on the EU macro-policies and instruments for the promotion of renewable energy, as well as concrete cases and practices at local level. The later will be provided by experts of Forni di Sopra Municipality, which is one of the most active “Pearl” in the Alpine region in this field.

In fact the Municipality of Forni di Sopra aims to achieve energy self-sufficiency by means of: hydro-electric power plants, extension of the district heating with biomass plant, solar collectors and photovoltaic for huts and sport centres. Furthermore, the green energy strategy of Forni di Sopra allowed for the reduction of the air pollution in the area by 3120 tons of CO2. Such achievement was recocgnised and rewarded at an international level, as follows: 2012- WWF AWARD “Buone Nove” Best practices of urban sustainability; 2013 – Legambiente First National Award "Best Practices Bioenergy"; 2013 – Alterenergy – First Award “Energy Sustainability for Adriatic Small Communities”; 2014 – “Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia” and CEP-REC Environment Award SAVE (Sustainable Actions Versus Energy).

During the conference, experts from the Institute of International Sociology of Gorizia (the Scientific Partner of the project) will present to the participants the current EU policies, the policy-making about the renewable energy and inclusion practices. Moreover participants will be introduced to the European’s Citizens Initiative, as a direct instrument for influencing the European policy-making process.

The second day of the transnational event will be dedicated to a Study Visit at the local best practices (i.e. including tourism operators that benefit from the local renewable energy production), as well as to a participatory meeting with the GEMS Task Forces and representatives of local associations – “GEMS Workshop: Renewable energy and inclusion practices – a boost for local development”. During the workshop, participants will be guided in debate sessions around the potentiality of renewable energy for concrete actions and projects that facilitate a sustainable local development and inclusion practices (such as for example employment opportunities for new residents).

The project activities are open to a wide range of interested citizens from all involved towns. All citizens may visit the project web-site (www.gemsproject.eu) or write directly to the Consortium (info@gemsproject.eu) for receiving further information.