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©Archiv NFI
©Archiv NFI

017 | Landscape of the Year – A Naturefriends International campaign

Cross-border cooperation
Experiencing nature
Environmental education

Every couple of years since 1989, Naturefriends International (NFI) has proclaimed ecologically valuable cross-border regions as Landscapes of the Year. The initiative takes current regional challenges as a starting point from which it aims to develop prospects for a sustainable development together with the local community. At the same time, it supports the establishment of a cross-border civil society, promotes exchange on the common cultural history, protection of the environment and environmental issues and strengthens transboundary cooperation.

Specific measures are implemented together with regional Naturefriends and other stakeholder groups, such as a training of Nature guides in the Danube Delta, the description of cultural trails in the old Flanders, the publication of travel and hiking guides for the Eifel-Ardennes region, or the construction of a dry-stone wall near a Naturefriends house in the Jura Mountains, to name just a few.

Ecologically and socially sustainable model journeys (“Tour d’Horizon”) allow all interested Naturefriends to get to know the region and exchange experiences with the local population, while at the same time benefitting sustainable tourism development in the region.

Joint strategies and action plans as well as lasting cooperation guarantee that the goals of the Landscape of the Year continue to have an effect, even after the end of the project.

The first Landscape of the Year at Lake Constance was followed by 12 Landscapes of the Year in Europe and one in Africa. In 2012, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) awarded the Landscape of the Year campaign the “Ulysses Award for Innovation in Non-Governmental Organisations”. 


A contribution to the following UN Sustainable Developement Goals: