The Utena FLAG is situated to the east of Lithuania and is close to the Latvian border. The area has a naturally rich environment and comprises many lakes, forests, ponds, rivers, and streams and is a popular destination for national and international tourists. There are 182 lakes throughout the region making it a popular destination for water sports, cultural excursions and eco-tourism.
Considering its excellent natural resources and a longstanding tradition of fishing, the area’s fisheries sector has a relatively small number of fishing enterprises and a low level of employment. As a result, there is a high outmigration of young people, which is a challenge to the FLAG. As is maintaining the area’s cultural connection with fishing. The added value generated by the industry was historically important for the local population as lake fish made up a significant part of the region’s food. However, the environmental value of the area offers the potential for diversifying economic activities into sectors such as tourism which could increase employment and furthermore reduce outmigration.
The FLAG’s territory includes two protected regional parks, Gražutės and Sartai.
The Utena FLAG strategy is focused on the development of the area’s fisheries industry and its integration with other sectors. It aims to create value throughout the fisheries supply chain, develop new fisheries and aquaculture enterprises and regeneration opportunities within the industry. A key objective is the creation of jobs through the before mentioned activities which will, in turn, reduce outmigration from the area.
EAFRD: €1 729 410
The Utena FLAG plans to support project ideas related to:
The FLAG will make regular calls for projects from 2018 onwards. Calls will be published on the FLAG website: http://www.utenosvvg.lt/kvietimai/
The FLAG has experience in the promotion of cultural heritage which it is willing to share with other CLLD groups. The FLAG is interested in transnational cooperation projects related to the promotion of local services and products, the encouragement of entrepreneurship in fisheries and social issues such as dealing with youth employment and improving the inclusion of women.
The FLAG shares it’s territory with the LEADER LAG and is administered by the same entity. The LAG-FLAG manages the implementation of a single local development strategy co-financed by the EMFF, the EAFRD and a national contribution, with separate priorities for each ESI fund. The board of the FLAG is also the board of the LAG.
The FLAG comprises 42 members. By sector this is represented by 22 members from civil society (54%), 15 members from the private sector (36%), two of which are fishermen and four members from local authorities (10%)