The interest for starting the Balkan Rural Development Network (BRDN) was recognized need by the rural development networks in the Balkans to establish a platform, through which they could regularly exchange information, experience and knowledge, as well as network and cooperate together in order to increase their effectiveness in work with their constituents on national level.
Since its establishment on March 4th, 2011 in Skopje, the network has been guided by the Declaration on Networking and the Statute of the Balkan Rural Development Network.
The environment in which the member-organisations function, the surroundings and challenges in which rural areas develop, as well as the overall social contemporary burning issues, such as poverty and economic prosperity, climate change, sustainable resource management, social inclusion and integration of vulnerable communities, are all common issues and factors that affect and determine the development pathway of BRDN. Therefore, it seems to be natural that the individual-driven interest of the member-organisations, to strengthen their own position on national level, by networking and cooperating with each other, has evolved into a common mission for advocacy and networking, aiming to improve the livelihood and promote the diversity and potential of the rural communities from the Balkan region, which is expresses in the BRDN Strategic Plan for the period 2018-2022.
Today and in the future, BRDN is to sustain as an asset for knowledge transfer, and promotion of innovation and best practice examples that would:
- improve the rural development potential of the member countries,
- support the preservation and enhancement of the ecosystems, and
- contribute to efficient utilisation of the natural resources and social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development of the Balkan rural areas,
by joint implementation of projects, advocacy, participation in policy and decision-making processes and empowerment of the rural communities.
Considering these common development drivers and challenges, the BRDN member-organisations have defined the BRDN Strategic Plan 2018-2022, which gives the organisational focus and shows to the constituents and stakeholders what they may expect from BRDN. It also strengthens the organisation’s position in regards to participation in policy and decision-making, as an advocacy and lobbying tool for the rural communities, as well as media for promotion, visibility and communication of the common rural development issues, and exchange of experience and knowhow.
I expect that BRDN will prove to be a social asset for the Balkan rural communities, that will be able to utilise the opportunities and strengths of today, in order to annul the challenges of tomorrow and contribute to innovative and sustainable solutions to the current and future social and rural development issues.
BRDN plans and acts today, for better tomorrow of the Balkan rural communities!