Green Initiatives in Rural Areas



The European House Gävleborg is part of five other countries in Europe (the Netherlands, France, Greece, Germany and Poland) in the project Gira, which started in September 2020. Project owner is Germany. Financial is Erasmus+.


Swedish group

The European House collaborates here at home with All Sweden shall live, X-Ing Gävleborg, with representatives from Trönöbygden's Economic Association, Österfärnebo socken’s development group and Gläntan kursgård  in Mallångsta, Alfta, as well as X-ing's own wind power project forms the project group GIRA Sweden.


Cooperation on rural development in Europe under the concept of "Green initiatives in rural area".

The goal of the project is to:

  • Develop innovative methods for environment/climate efforts in sparsely populated/rural
  • through the project spreading experiences about different types of efforts in Europe
  • Deploy a digital green manual with concrete examples from all involved countries
  • Increase social community and improve living conditions in sparsely populated/rural


Inspiration and new insights

The idea is that transnational seminars will provide inspiration to participants to develop new efforts in their own activities in the environmental field, such as small -scale energy alternatives and to create active involvement in villages/smaller communities in rural areas.

The meetings are organized in all six countries with four participants from each partner.


From Gävleborg, the four participating organizations will send their own participants to the transnational meetings.

The European House Gävleborg also has its project manager.

Activities in a study circle

The project group GIRA-Sweden conists of Europahuset Gävleborg, with the local partners in Trönöbygden, Österfärnebo, Kursgården Gläntan and as well as Hela Sverige X-ings Wind Power project.

While waiting for the Pandemi to diminish this first months of 2021 the Swedish group have had a study circle.

Also another local partner joined the group, Föreningarnas hus I Marmaverken. We began to dig into the 17 goals in the UN Development program Agenda 2030.

We continued with The European green light (Green Deal), which is the roadmap for a sustainable economy in the EU this program period.

Important here is the Climate Action with everything from major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to investments in pioneering research and innovation and nature conservation in the EU.

The Swedish group also has studied how Agenda 2030 and the Green Deal comes down to us in Sweden and how it is planned to be realized nationally, regionally and locally in strategies and action plans.

Interesting study visit to Österfärnebo on Energy communities

Kenneth Mårtensson, chairman of the association Solel in Sala Heby, is the one who has extensive knowledge of solar energy and procurement procedures. Together with Jonathan Korsar at Färnebo folk high school and residents in the area, he has been responsible for the joint work since 2018 in the areas of Österfärnebo, Gysinge, Hedesunda and Horndal.

Kenneth is passionate about achieving joint solutions for the villages

Since 2018, more than 30 properties have installed solar power in Österfärnebo, Gysinge, Hedesunda and Horndal. The already installed solar power plants today produce much of their own electricity. At night or when it is cloudy, additional electricity must be purchased from the grid. The surplus is sold to the same electricity company from which they buy electricity at night, on cloudy days.

Half a year ago, another 30 property owners in the area decided to try the model of taking in quotes for solar power together. Installations and the production of solar electricity in the village are coordinated in this way. The latest will be the fourth joint procurement since 2018.

writing competition


GIRA Sweden created a writing competition.

This competition took place in the fall of 2022 and aimed at the graduating classes in high school.

GIRA had here established a collaboration with the County Administrative Board Gävleborg and all the county's newspapers, i.e. Hudiksvalls Tidning, Ljusdals-Posten, Söderhamns-Kuriren and Ljusnan i Hälsingland. In Gästrikland, these are Gävle Dagblad and Arbetarbladet.

The competition was called "Young green visions" and the theme and call is "Write for the climate".

We addressed all the county's secondary schools and invited the students to write a text, poem, song lyrics or similar.

The task was to compose a text of a maximum of 7,000 characters, including spaces, with their vision of how the future can be sustainable, both environmentally/climate-wise but also socially and economically.

The text should describe their own thoughts - ideas about what has been achieved up to around the year 2050 and what it meant for the citizens of all of Europe or perhaps just Sweden.

The texts could be written in any form and must be assessed based on literary, environmental and community-oriented content.

It could be anything from a poem to a shorter short story or a musical text and deal with innovations as well as political decisions or people's way of life.

The idea of the competion was to highlight and take advantage of ideas from today's youth to create a good future for tomorrow's youth.

The three best proposals were then selected by a jury and were published in the newspapers in December.

At a ceremony on Nobel Day on December 10 at Musikhuset, Gävle, the three winners of the writing competition were presented with a diploma and a sum of money.

The other 9 writing contributions were also recognized with diplomas and a smaller amount.

The winners were later interviewed and their winning texts were published in media.


GIRA Sweden arranged a seminar about European interaction


GIRA Sweden hosted a digital seminar in 2021 and invited all GIRA partners

The Swedish group held a conference

In August 2021 the project held a conference with the Swedish partners at Kursgården Gläntan.

We discussed the ongoing work made by respective partner, ideas for coming activities within the frame of GIRA. We also worked with referrals to our Leader organisations.

The group that attended the first transnational meeting in Rhodes reported and we also discussed cooperation with the Regional association Region Gävleborg.

Attending were Daniel Boström, Lena Åkerlind, Margareta Örn-Liljedahl, Benny Gustafsson, Jörgen Eliasson, Sophia Malm, Lena Husén, Jenny Breslin och Åke Söderman.


Study visit to Marmaverken and Trönö

In June 2023 the group within GIRA Sweden had a final meeting with a study visit to two places.


Local nature conservation projects in Marmaverken

The local development group Föreningarnas hus i Marmaverken sought funds a few years ago for the local nature conservation project "LONA Marma", which has now been implemented with the aim of strengthening local natural and cultural values in Herrgårdsparken, a centrally located park.

The municipality is always the project owner in local nature conservation projects, so-called LONA projects.

The project manager here is the municipal ecologist Andreas Håberg at the municipality of Söderhamn and Margareta is the local contact with non-profit working hours as part of the co-financing

Actions in the park have included careful clearing to ensure regrowth and prevent trees, shrubs and herbs from being suffocated by overgrowth. "At some places, openings have been created and bench tables and benches have been placed. To give the opportunity to enjoy and take in the different impressions of the park.” as it will appear on signs that are put up. The inauguration takes place in August 2023.


Trönöbygden's comprehensive operations

The closure of the part-time fire brigade in Trönö in 2001 was the origin of the start of the local development work - Trönöbygden ek förening.

The non-profit fire brigade currently has a cooperation agreement with the Hälsingland Municipal Association and can assist with a number of firefighters, two cars with equipment, etc. Very recently, via "crowdfunding", they have also invested in solar cells on the roof.

Trönöbygden ek förening today has an extensive and well-functioning business that has many different components, such as owning the property where the ICA store is housed and which also houses an apartment on top.

The shop's roof was fitted with solar cells a few years ago, also through crowdfunding, and the electricity that is generated and sold goes directly to reducing the ICA retailer's electricity costs.

The association also runs a village cottage with a library, a staffed office a few times a week, rental of rooms and, together with ICA, constitutes a municipal service point.

A newspaper is also published, Trönöbygden. Another activity is also the annual collection of apples which are then pressed into must under the Trönögumman brand.


Kursgården Gläntan on Solar cell installation

The installation is mentioned as part of the presentation around green development on Kursgården Gläntan, but it became a much larger plant than planned.

It may be mentioned that it was finally possible to install the solar panels on June 19-20 2023 after several years of planning and discussion about economics and other conditions.

The charging post was installed in November 2022.




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