REALS policy recommendations

2015-10-19 11.06.40

NEW! PDF format:  Reals-policy-recommendations-2016


This text is in particular aimed towards policymakers in REALS partner-countries Sweden, Russia and Belarus as well as North Eastern Europe/Baltic Sea Region. But ofcourse, the ambition is that they can be used by everyone interested, in any context.

(Links to the main sections are found furthest down on this page)

Partnership statement and policy recommendations developed by
REALS – Resilient and Ecological Approaches for Living



The REALS project and partnership have had – since the beginning in 2013- an integrated and holistic understanding of sustainability as its common-core denominator. REALS members are to a high extent involved in bottom-up, community-led engagement for sustainability and resilience. We are permaculturalists, ecovillagers, transitioners and others which see the possibilities, creativity and joy in building solutions for the future – with small means. The project has been an important arena for common exploration, co-learning and intercultural dialogue.

Permaculture Sweden is the project owner of REALS. Permaculture (PC) is also a theme which has contributed to the format of the project as a whole. REALS is based on the PC view that solutions have different characteristics and forms in diverse places and contexts. The project-activites have therefore been designed out from the specific place where they are located and from the needs of the particular partner.

We share the view that fruitful collaboration and beneficial change comes through embracing the complexity embedded both in challenges and in available solutions for a healthy and resilient future.
2015-10-17 12.32.57Many world leaders of today would agree that the level of complexity which we are facing on the pathways towards sustainability are higher than what we earlier have admitted. Insights that our common challenges holds a diversity of interrelated facets -social, ecological, economical, cultural (to name a few), increase rapidly. These insights start to shape todays development- with environmental work on the local, regional and global arenas as an important example.

This awareness is mirrored in the new Global goals (SDG´s / 2030Agenda) which openly declares that root-causes for unsustainability needs to be tackled through holistically and systemically based strategies. The first two sections of this document focuses on the possibility of 1) context adaptive policy and 2) REALS position on the SDG´s. The 3rd section focuses on how re-generative land stewardship in the BSR can be supported though policystructures and more.

In community-led initaitves for sustainability, it is often easier to see how life -in tangible ways- works in wholes and in circular flows. Community based initiatives, such as ecovillages, holistically managed farms, community- and urban based transition initiatives, are places where ecological, social, cultural and economical aspects are integrated and experienced through everyday life. These places are often examples where life is not separated in silos, but working in integrated wholes. It is places for learning, exploration and change. The document primarily highlight aspects which could:


  • Empower and enable local community-based initiatives for sustainability
  • Create access to expertice, good examples, practical experience and engagement embedded in grassroot initiatives and which are ready to being scaled up.


Text definition and geographical focus

These recommendations shall be seen as a fusion of a “project statement” and that which more commonly is descibed as “policy recommendations” (ie recommendations towards policymakers regarding changes/adjustements in policyframeworks/regulations. The text holds more questions than answers, but questions which points towards areas where we see the need of more exploration and learning – both for us internally as a partnership, and for the BSR as a region, including the whole catchment area connected to the Baltic Sea. And we hope that the document also will contribute with inspiration and guidance for actors beyond these geographical areas.


These recommendations are divided into 3 sections:


  • Section 1: Governance and policy suitable for resilient and complex adaptive systems

Link to Section 1: background discussion and recommendations

  • Section 2:  How will the Global Goals (2030 Agenda) be implemented and used in the EUSBSR, in the Baltic Sea region and beyond?

Link to Section 2: background discussion and recommendations

  • Section 3: Creating pathways for land stewardship, re-generative entrepreneurship and “care” – urban and rural

Link to Section 3: background discussion and recommendations

Thank you for visiting reals policy papers!
The recommendations are prepared by Iryna Usava, Maria Falaleeva and Emilia Rekestad on behalf of the project partnership