Avalon is an international, non-profit foundation that supports sustainable rural development based on organic agriculture in Central and Eastern Europe (the CEE region). In co-operation with local organisations, governments, universities and associated specialists Avalon has activated a wide range of projects in this field.
Over the years Avalon's activities resulted in the establishment of a vast network of actors in the field of organic agriculture and sustainable rural development in Central and Eastern European (CEE) and Western European countries. Strengthening this network is a big challenge for Avalon in the coming years.
Avalon's activities focus on the introduction of sustainable rural development programmes and agri-environmental policy programmes. In the programmes knowledge, capacity building and market- and chain development play an important role. Activities include seminars, training of trainers, demonstration farms, capacity building and marketing. Our aim is to create synergy between all actors, local, national and international.
The Avalon Network
In February 2004 EU DG- Environment approved the Network funding proposal for 2004 that enables Avalon to start the formal implementation of the Network Project. We are still looking for additional funding that will enable us to realise all the Network goals and to reduce dependency on one single donor. Because of the delayed payment of the first instalment from Brussels, we have only the period June-December 2004 for the realization of the planned activities.
The Network implies co-operation, co-responsibility and input from all participating organisations though initially Avalon is the responsible leading partner to the funding agencies. The Network is meant to be a conglomerate of conscientious organisations (NGO's, government institutions, research institutes and businesses) and individuals that motivate and stimulate each other thus creating synergy.
A first Network bulletin (July) informed (future) partners on the state of affairs of the project and invited them to join Avalon in building and strengthening the Network. The structure, name, criteria for participation and more organisational issues will be on the agenda of the first Network meeting end of this year. Attached to the Avalon Website an Network-extranet will be set up to cover the needs of the Network to exchange information and knowledge between the network partners.
Network aim, priorities and activities
The overall aim of the project is to build and strengthen institutional capacity for organic/sustainable agriculture and agri-environment policy development in the countries of the CEE region with the wider aim of promoting sustainable rural development. Through the Network, we want to explore and work on the cutting edge of agriculture and nature.
In coordination with a number of participating organisations, we derived four priorities from the project proposal's goal, these priorities form the basis for the identification of tangible project activities:
- To build and strengthen the Network organisation as a solid basis for the sustainable rural development movement in the CEE region,
- Strengthening the capacity of network partners through technical and consultancy oriented programmes, building knowledge and skills through an enhanced exchange of information, co-operation between network partners, and creating a platform that links organic farming, rural development and nature conservation,
- The preparation and realisation of projects on the cutting edge of nature conservation and sustainable agriculture,
- To influence policy development with regard to organic farming, rural development and nature conservation.
In the work plan the following activities were defined:
- Attending international events on sustainable rural development, organic agriculture, agri-environment, bio-diversity and related themes,
- Network meeting with (potential) partners to share information, discuss topical issues and plan activities,
- Communication and exchange of information,
- Bilateral and multilateral meetings and exchange visits between network partners,
- Development and presentation to funding agencies of project proposals,
- Joint international lobbying activities of Avalon and selected network partners,
- (Co-) organising of international meetings and conferences.
Citied from: www.avalon.nl
P.O. Box 14 , 8730 AA
‘t Bosk 71, 8731 BK
Phone: 00 31 515 331955
Fax: 00 31 515 331980