Centre for Sustainable Rural Development Kranj 

Slovenian - Center za trajnostni razvoj podezelja Kranj

Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (CSRD) is a non-profit developmental institute established in 2003 by number of regional expert institutions and NGOs with an aim to promote and support economically, socially and environmentally sustainable development of the rural areas in Gorenjska region (SW of Slovenia). Centre carries out its projects in cooperation with local communities, companies, NGOs and expert institutions or helps to these institutions by helping them in getting new know-how and finances. It is involved in projects either directly or it acts as regional coordinator for networking of actors and activities as a basis for preparing projects.

Each of employees in the Centre is responsible for one or more projects and one or more sectors of activities (renewable energy sources, local/regional food self-supply, etc.).

Centre either directly implements projects for sustainable development of the rural area in Gorenjska region or is responsible to support them by coordination, guidance, finding finances and management assistance. Equally important role of Centre is to forward new know-how and new (domestic and foreign) best practices to the region, and to implement in the broad public or for target groups promotion, awareness raising and educating for sustainable development.

Main topics of CSRD’s activities are social entrepreneurship in sectors connected with rural areas (production/consumption of organic food, herb production/collecting and processing, art- and hand-craft, forestry and renewable energy resources, agro tourism), sustainable tourism (especially at the nature protected areas), production and efficient use of renewable and local resource energy, promotion of local food self-supply with a special focus on organic farming, sustainable mobility and natural methods for environmental protection (reuse of organic waste, plant waste-treatment. etc.).

Program Rural Development Core (PRJ) – Supporting small entrepreneurship and employment in rural areas of Gorenjska region has been implemented since 2003. Within these Program a working group Forestry and renewable energy resources exists for implementation of 4-phase approach to promote and support use and production of renewable energy resources (with focus of wooden biomass) and to use it for development of small entrepreneurship, employments and environmental protection. 

Traveling around Gorenjska with an electric vehicle (2010-2011) – within the LEADER axe of program for rural development, this project set up a network of filling stations for electric vehicles in 5 major touristic centres of Gorenjska region to support and promote electric and other green mobility modes. Beside that a permanent program of education, promotion and awareness raising about electro/green mobility was created and pilot implemented, along with number of information/promotion tools (folders, web portal…).

With e-bikes I can do more – Active green excursion to the countryside (2011-2012) – main activities of this project within LEADER axe were establishment two mobility points for e-biking around rural areas (especially in nature protected and Nature 2000 areas) with total of 12 e-bikes. To further support use if these bikes for sustainable mobility routes of e-biking with special instructions were elaborated, and educational-promotional events were implemented for broad public and target groups. Main target group of the project were elders and those less physically capable, respectively.

CARBON.CARE - Towards a low-carbon regional energy pattern: the improvement of carbon sequestration practices in the agricultural and forestry sectors (2011 – 2013) – project was carried on within the umbrella project Lo.Ca.Re, which is being implemented as a project of Interreg IV C program. The aim of project activities was to create new approaches in agriculture, forestry and in the use of agriculture/forestry products to decrease CO2 emissions in partner regions and to support sustainable regional development. CSRD focused in the project on the improvement of private forest management, cooperative local heating by wooden biomass and wider use of local wood for energy efficient constructions.

On the way to the energy sustainable region (2008 – 2009) – within the program of Slovene Ministry for Space and Environment for promotion and education on sustainable use of energy, recurrently awarded expert handbook ‘’Auf dem Weg zum 100 % Region’’ was translated, adjusted and replenished by Slovene best practices, legislation,…. In this way, Slovene edition of the handbook brought in Slovenia concrete guidelines and know-how to establish and carry out regional energy partnerships which can, trough set of production, educational, management and promotional activities bring a region to the energy self-sufficiency and sustainability.

CSRD Kranj has a rich knowledge and experiences to include environmental and social aspects in the sector of exploitation and use of local resources. It also has various experiences by implementation of management, educational and promotional activities to support locally sustainable production and use of these potentials. These aspects and activities are very important for start-up of production and use of locally renewable energy resources, as well as to ensure that such economical activities promote comprehensive sustainable development on local and regional level.

Centre intends within the TERRE project to realize a comprehensive approach to the production and use of locally sustainable energy resources by taking into the account all characteristics of the territory (of Gorenjska); both economic& environmental and social. Elaboration of regional/local economic-technical energy plans, also one for Gorenjska region, will in this sense take into account all relevant factors and actors in the region, which will contribute in the faster, more efficient and sensible use of renewable energy for development. Important stimulation to such scenario will also be provided by the exchange/transfer of best practices among partner regions and numerous local/transnational activities for improvement of capacities, motivation and networking/cooperation of local actors of Gorenjska region.