The FLAG is situated in the southwestern region of Lithuania and is characterised by vast forests, waterways and scenic landscapes. The area has a strong cultural heritage linked with fish farming, where common products are carp, white amur and sturgeon. Due to the nature of the FLAG area’s natural landscape, it is well positioned for developing tourism.
Challenges for the region include a rapidly declining population. The decreasing population, which is mainly due to the out-migration of young adults, has a direct impact on the availability of a qualified labour for fisheries and the development of new sectors such as tourism. New initiatives such as training and employment opportunities are required to make the area an attractive proposition to younger generations.
The FLAG has several protected areas including the Nemunas Loops and Meteliai regional parks and the Žuvintas biosphere reserve which is a Natura site and included in the UNESCO biosphere reserve list.
The FLAG strategy aims to support the promotion of economic activity in the fisheries sector by developing aquaculture businesses and creating jobs (in areas such as the processing of fish and aquaculture products and productive investments in aquaculture).
The strategy also aims to develop the social welfare of the FLAG region by developing an adequate infrastructure which meets the needs of the fisheries sector and society by increasing the education levels of employees and promoting human capital in general.
There will be calls for projects which will be advertised by the FLAG locally.
As the FLAG only became operational in the 2014-2020 programming period, it currently does not have any specific expertise. The FLAG, however, is interested in transnational cooperation projects related to the promotion of local services and products.
The FLAG consists of a total of 13 members. The three local municipalities (Alytus, Kazlų Rūda and Prienai), six fisheries businesses and four NGOs.