The okomodel region is gaining momentum

A spirit of optimism prevailed in the packed parish hall in order to advance the now state-recognized eco-model region of francophone switzerland and to fill it with life. The "future of gobweinstein" association had invited to this kick-off event. Its chairman, klaus-dieter preis, was fascinated that so many interested parties from the two integrated rural development communities (ile) "wirtschaftsband a9 – franconian switzerland" were present and "france switzerland active were followed.

As spokesman for the two iles, pegnitz mayor uwe raab made it clear that he was afraid and anxious after hearing the presentations by german climate researchers harald lesch and hans joachim schnellhuber. Because man is systematically destroying the global foundations of life. Municipalities in germany had already declared a climate emergency. For this reason, the two iles decided to apply for francophone switzerland as an eco-model region.

Following the success of this application, the aim now is to get more farms in french-speaking switzerland to convert to organic farming methods. According to raab, this is to be achieved through better networking of producers, processors, consumers and the region’s coarse cakes. To this end, he announced the formation of a steering group to work in close cooperation with the political leaders of the member municipalities. The project management for this must now be installed. For the time being, the two iles have an annual budget of 100,000 euros, 75 percent of which is required by the free state.

To be built up to 1. November by an external project manager, a network with stakeholders from various organizations, institutions, authorities, groups, associations, municipalities, administration and politics. As first projects of the okomodellregion frankische schweiz, raab announced an ecological grain store, the foundation of producer-consumer communities, organic products for community meals, a scattered fruit alliance, the planting of the sylphia cup plant instead of maize and a cooperation with the french theater summer on the topic of "why bio?" At. It is also a question of promoting healthy food with locally produced organic products among the burgers of the 29 french-swiss municipalities.

"This is a joke"

For dieter hoch, a retired teacher from pottenstein and one of the initiators of the okomodellregion, the 100,000 euros are laughably little. "This is a joke for 29 municipalities, because we needed start-up financing of 50,000 euros for each farm that wants to convert to organic", so high. "There has to be an outcry to munich, otherwise the eco-model regions are nothing more than an ecological fig leaf."

Raab emphasized that he was well aware that things were not moving fast enough for some people and that many would like to see higher subsidies. Gobweinstein’s mayor, hanngorg zimmermann, emphasized that they would not be here today if they had not received this request from the freestate. "With 29 communities, we can get a lot more out of the 100,000 euros", he emphasized.

Preis also sees it that way. For this, the municipalities had to put something on top of it and then the free state as well. "It would be a catastrophe if the okomodel region became just a paper tiger", he stressed. Preis plans to invite participants to a follow-up event in the fall to see what has happened by then.

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