Dalsland, Sweden

Dalsland, Sweden

Dalsland, Sweden

Dalsland, Sweden, is an area with several Natura 2000 habitat types and cultural heritage elements.

Farming systems are based on use of permanent pastures and meadows for beef and dairy production.

Key issues faced in the area are: abandonment, plantation of forests, farmer retirement, economic viability, and relatively small production units. The area was a focus of important social innovations in grassroots networks, tourism, and entrepreneurship connected to mixed farming practices.

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Participatory approach

Dalsland, Sweden

Participants discussing the prerequisites of the present landscape of Dalsland

From the very start of the HNV-Link project, Länsstyrelsen and SLU decided that the process of the project in Dalsland was going to have a broad and deep involvement of all stakeholders that are of importance for the HNV values of the landscape, from start to finish and beyond the project.

In Dalsland approximately 50 stakeholders have participated during 2017 to create a baseline assessment, HNV-vision, action plan as well innovation report. More than 20 different types of actors have been involved in this important work; landowners, farmers, officials, politicians, unions, associations etc. The work has involved trying to understand the history of the landscape at present, what we want our landscape and society to be like in Dalsland in the future, and how to accomplish this common vision. Through this process, we have together achieved a better understanding of why we have the existing landscape and how the HNV values present have developed. We now have a deeper understanding of the great potential for restoring many of the valuable habitats that have become overgrown or abandoned. Restoration would be a positive development for farming and forestry, as well as for tourism and for increasing the rural population where HNV values become a resource for rural development.

Dalsland, Sweden

Excursion to a restored HNV pasture during the Innovation Seminar

The HNV-vision illustrates that there is not a single measure or single stakeholder that can create a sustainable land management. Many different types of measures, in different areas and with as large stakeholder involvement as possible, are needed simultaneously. This will require unity and a common direction as well as co-creativeness, participation and certain prerequisites.

During the Innovation Seminar the team focused on what types of innovations are needed to reach the shared vision. The team’s basis for this workshop was that innovations are needed in many areas but the capacity for stakeholder cooperation is crucial to success. If the team is able to develop new social innovations of cooperation, then a lot of practical and organisational innovations will develop simultaneously.

In all the workshops, participants discussed that ideas for innovations are needed. In the meeting held on the 13th of June 2017, all focus was on the innovations crucial for reaching the vision. The HNV-project will end in 2019, but the focus of the meeting was how to be able to reach our vision for 2030. The meeting benefited from an invited innovation consultant, who inspired the participants and lifted ideas that came up during the workshop. For this meeting the team used a directed invitation in order to reach a broad group of participants large enough for creative discussions. For this meeting, 15 people representing 7 different types of stakeholder categories participated.

Since this innovation seminar, the team has used a range of different dissemination tactics to spread the word of HNV-farming and its importance for the future of Dalsland.


Table 1 List of some important activities during the participatory process (up to April 2018)

Activities Number of participants Date
Initial HNV seminar, stakeholder meeting, Färgelanda 12 19th Jan 2017
HNV seminar, stakeholder meeting, Tösse 12 24th March 2017
HNV seminar, stakeholder meeting, Färgelanda 11 28th March 2017
HNV seminar, stakeholder meeting, Dals Ed 13 4th April 2017
HNV seminar, stakeholder meeting, Mellerud 12 12th April 2017
HNV-vision seminar, Upperud 24 4th May 2017
HNV Innovation seminar, Upperud 15 13th June 2017

Video

Insights of the baseline assessment in Sweden: Creating a sense of identity


Farmers discussing the HNV-Link project work in Dalsland area



Disclaimer: This document reflects the author's view and the Research Executive Agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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