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November 19, 2015

Green Week 2016: Rural inhabitants shape the future

Committed people with innovative ideas make others ‘keen on the country’

Berlin, 19 November 2015 – Living in the country continues to exert a strong attraction: places to relax and opportunities for outdoor activities are on one’s doorstep, and people know and help each other. At the same time the effects of demographic change are being felt all around Germany, especially in rural regions. However, that is no reason to be pessimistic. On the contrary, exhibitors at the International Green Week Berlin 2016 in Hall 4.2 will be showing that there is ample reason for optimism. From 15 to 24 January, under the heading of ’Keen on the country – working together for rural areas’, a combined display will be demonstrating what is needed in order to enjoy life and work in rural regions nowadays. This is where the inhabitants of rural regions will be presenting their lively and attractive homeland and showing what these areas have to offer. With information available for trade visitors and anyone interested in rural areas as well as a host of activities on the stands, visitors are bound to be “keen on the country”. The Agrar-Social Society`s large Land Show stage with presenters Heike Götz and Petra Schwarz will be providing visitors with fascinating entertainment and information.

Exhibitors and topics under the ’Keen on the country’ heading in 2016

The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) will be presenting the multi-functional house as a particularly innovative approach for supplying the needs of small rural communities. Visitors to the fair are invited to tour the house and find out for themselves how supplying rural communities can be achieved with new solutions capable of meeting the needs of the future.

The Schleswig-Holstein Academy for Rural Areas (ALR) and the Forum for Rural Areas – Brandenburg Network (FlR-NB) will be providing advice on this subject on a combined display. The wide variety of solutions being shown include 21st century village shops as well as innovative healthcare and modern services. In particular, the focus of the ALR and FlR-NB is on education. They will also be presenting transportation projects.

The German Networking Centre for Rural Areas (DVS) is focusing on LEADER regions and their projects on the BMEL combined stand. For example the LEADER region Amberg-Sulzbach is combining culture, sport and spirituality with the unique Simultaneous Churches Cycle Path which traverses Bavaria. Wattenmeer-Achter, a new LEADER region comprising the seven East Frisian islands in the North Sea together with the coastal town of Norden, has developed a vision entitled ’Wattenmeer-Achter 2030+: Living – Work – Experience’ with the aim of persuading young people to remain in the region.

On a journey through ten German states, each day the Council of German Rural Counties (DLT) presents one of ten counties, featuring the best that they have to offer, with traditional handicrafts and modern entrepreneurship as well as some culinary and musical attractions. To sum up: a colourful programme from the rural regions.

The German Catholic Rural Youth Organisation (KLJB) is promoting living and working in the country. It is subtitled ‘Living and working where others take their holidays’ and is an opportunity for visitors to try out rural professions, to use an interactive game to plan their own village, and to learn some fascinating facts about youth work in rural areas, and the work of the KLJB.

The organisation Evangelical Youth in Rural Areas (ejl) is devoting its display to the subject of migration to rural areas and rural depopulation. It is investigating why people are leaving the countryside, why some regions are recording population growth, and what are the benefits or challenges resulting from the influx of refugees.

Taking as their slogan ‘Two fire-fighters` associations, one objective’ the Berlin and Lower Saxony regional fire fighters` associations will be represented by a combined stand for the first time at the Green Week. Anyone who is interested can learn about the work of the volunteer fire brigades and also about professional and works fire fighters in Berlin and Lower Saxony. The display will include vehicles and equipment as well as protective clothing. There will also be a ‘Fire Brigades Fashion Show’.

The Ems Axis is an expanding region full of surprises, as is revealed by its display. In addition to the well-known Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenberg it is also a market leader in wind energy as well as manufacturing vehicle trailers and the VW Passat. It is one of the most dynamic regions in Germany and its many successful companies are looking for qualified staff. The expanding Ems Axis region is presenting the advantages of an economically powerful rural area and is using a quiz as a way of demonstrating its advantages to visitors.

The stand of the National Network for Community Involvement (BBE) features a variety of contributors whose efforts are helping to actively transform rural areas: there are many examples of a thriving civil society in rural areas, including assistance for refugees, cultural projects and the active involvement of young people.

Freienseen is a lively village engaged in a number of voluntary projects which have contributed to its continuing development. These include a primary school, a children`s daycare centre in the woods and a model project featuring a village smithy, the DorfSchmiede Freienseen. Visitors to the stand will no doubt enjoy these presentations, which will be accompanied by activities in which they can get involved too, together with some culinary specialities from the region.

Coconat combines the concept of urban co-working spaces with a country hotel, set up to meet the requirements of modern knowledge workers. The emphasis is on productivity, community and experiencing nature. Coconat is an innovative concept for rural areas, making use of the changing conditions of modern lifestyles and work.

The European Working Group for Rural Development and Village Renewal and the Erlebnisdörfer e.V. villages group are committed to finding the best ways of preserving and developing viable and attractive villages. On their shared stand they are presenting examples from their international network and offering opportunities for comparing experiences.

Discover – Experience – Enjoy! is the slogan of the Regional Working Group for Holidays and Leisure from the state of Saxony-Anhalt. In addition to many holiday offers in the countryside for families with children and for health-conscious vacationers there will also be opportunities for people in search of art and culture in rural areas, or who want to cycle, ride, walk or engage in winter sports. Visitors are invited to participate in many of the activities on the stand.

The German Animal Welfare Federation is represented at the fair together with the Animal Welfare Organisation for Berlin and the surrounding region. The federation will be focusing on farm animals and the animal welfare label ‘For better animal welfare’. This label is found on those animal products where significant and guaranteed improvements have been made to the way in which they are kept, slaughtered and transported.

The Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Research and Technology will have information on the necessity for and ways to organise private care and supplies in the event of a supply crisis and what to do in an emergency. They will have helpful advice on what types of food can be stored in order to survive for some time without electricity and refrigeration. Visitors can test their knowledge by filling out a questionnaire.

For more ’Keen on the country’ information:

Agrarsoziale Gesellschaft, Michael Busch, tel.: 0551/49709-35