The Regionaal Landschap Kempen en Maasland is situated in the North-Eastern region of Limburg, Belgium.It is a unique area located in the Flanders region that connects several natural sub regions known as regional landscapes. The park project starts in 1990 launched by a nonprofit foundation (NGO). This park tries to stimulate and to support the creation of economic value in connection with the local organizations such as, farmers, landowners and caretakers.
REGIONAAL LANDSCHAP KEMPEN EN MAASLAND, a natural park creator of economic activities and job opportunities
7. Community involvement
- Connect nature and tourism by adding value to the natural areas.
- Encourage tourism and local activity in areas of natural conservation and development.
- Form partnerships with different organizations (tourism, conservation)
Right from the beginning in 1990,RKLM designed a “Reconnection Model” :
- Reconnect people with nature,
- Nature with nature
- Business with nature
- Policy with practice.
Because of the difficulties to gather all the different stakeholders essential to the birth of the project, it took 10 years for it to be fully achieved.
In 2006, a national park was created on over 600 ha of protected natural area. The effects are significant on biodiversity and the development of a natural heritage.
This project is the creator of social cohesion with its 750,000 visitors per year and it also generates sustainable economic activities : 191 million euros generated around the Park and 5 100 jobs created.
Best Practice spotted in 2014 by the World Forum for a Responsible Economy.
CONTRIBUTION TO COMPANY PERFORMANCE
- Average number of visitors per year: 750000
- Profitability of the park currently at 191 million euro per year
- In 2008 the project received two important awards: the Goldman environmental prize and the Ashoka fellowship.
- Promote and preserve Belgium’s natural heritage and biodiversity
- Creation of 5100 related jobs, mainly in local businesses and hotels, in an area with high unemployment rates.
- Positive effect in the local economy
- Promote social cohesion and sustainable tourism in the area