Activity 1: Training on Community-Based Tourism and Agriculture

This activity provides an introduction to key concepts of sustainable community-based tourism and agriculture.  If these principles are embraced, not only will Tropojans (and other rural communities) be able to realize a greater profit and a healthier business, but will also protect the region for future generations.  These ideas are crucial for attracting educated and foreign tourists, as well as for marketing local agriculture and handicraft products to an international market.  

The content of the English Powerpoints and Videos was prepared by our Hungarian friend Györgyi Újszászi of the Vedegylet Egyesulet (Protect the Future) NGO in Budapest, Hungary.  We cannot thank her enough for her patience, passion, enthusiasm and good humor!

The Programme:

SustainabilityNot all development is good!  Some economic projects hurt the environment, or treat workers unfairly.  Some economic projects are created only to benefit a few people, and do not help society as a whole.  These are “unsustainable” businesses, in the sense that at some time they will destroy the very thing they depend on.  But there is an alternative!

  1. Sustainability: 
    What does this mean?  What is a sustainable business?
  1. SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals):
    What are the targets set by the EU to achieve a sustainable world?

Key Concepts:  “Sustainable” development is based on some main ideas which are now accepted internationally.  It is important that we understand these ideas when we want to sell our products to a larger audience.

  1. Biodiversity: 
    You will often hear people say that it is important to protect biodiversity, but What is it?  Why is it important?  How can you protect it?
  1. Organic: 
    We like to say that what we make is “Bio” or organic, but did you know that there are actually very strict definitions for this outside Albania, and practices you must follow?
  1. Waste Management:
    People today create huge amounts of garbage, which is creating problems all over the world.  How can we be more careful about this and be more responsible?

Sustainable Tourism: Many tourists want to support businesses which they know are taking care of the environment and the community.  Sustainable tourism businesses are not only better for the area, but also have a special marketing appeal.

  1. Ecotourism:
    What does it mean for a tourism business to be ‘sustainable’?  How can you comply with international standards, and sell your business to special tourists?

Sustainable Agriculture (‘Fair Trade’):  This is a new model for economic development which is very popular outside of Albania, and seeks to connect consumers in wealthy countries directly with producers of organic products and handicrafts from rural communities, so that both groups benefit.

  1. Fair Trade Basics:
    What is ‘Fair Trade’?
  1. Fair Trade Standards: 
    What do you have to do to be accepted as a ‘Fair Trade’ producer?
  1. The World Fair Trade Organization:
    What are some of the international organizations which exist to promote fair trade products?
  1. Fair Trade Actors:
    What are the different steps, made by different people, to bring a product from where it is grown to where it is bought in a shop?  Are all the steps “fair” for trade?

Good Examples:  Here you can see some examples of interesting sustainable businesses which have been created in Hungary.

  1. Bag Shop:
    This is a shop and service in Budapest which allows city people to buy organic produce directly from local farmers around the city.  A lot of thought has been given to how to make it easy for the consumers to use the service.  In addition, the shop hosts trainings about sustainable business practices.
  1. Gomorszolos:
    A small village (15-20 people) has organized the whole village to be a model of sustainable farming.  They not only work together to produce organic produce, but also offer accommodation services for people interested in learning more about how to farm organically.

We hope these videos give you lots of ideas and that you will have questions and want to discuss.   Questions asked by other people can be seen on this page, so you can look here to see if your ideas are already being talked about.    Or send your questions and ideas to: liridonmustafaj@outlook.com.

We hope that many people will be interested in talking about how we could start a ‘fair trade’ association of producers in Tropoja, earn the right to use the ‘fair trade’ logo on locally products, and how we can contact European fair trade distributors to sell Tropojan products directly.  We could also talk about how to get tourism businesses listed with international tourism organizations.

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