Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (MoEPRD) held four regional seminars in September 2020 for the INTERREG Central Baltic Sea Region 2014-2020 programme project “Coast4us”.  The seminars were organised in Gulbene, Saldus and Akniste Municipalities as well as in Jurmala city, welcoming Local Action Group members, NGO representatives and municipality officials. The aim of the seminars was to encourage people to participate in their local community development planning, offering advice for the creation of community development plans and testing the guidelines for community development planning created by MoEPRD.

The first part of the seminars consisted of presenting the outline of the guidelines for community development planning and a workshop where participants formed groups to create their community development plans, share their ideas, issues and discuss the future of their community. The workshop was followed by two thematic lectures, offering valuable insights into community development planning. The lectures inspired and encouraged participants to begin working on community development plans, taught ways to involve other people and communicate within the community as well as allowed to gain a better understanding on the available resources and ways to organise work during the creation of the plan.

To further benefit the exchange of knowledge during the seminar, a section of short presentations covering past experiences with community development planning and a Q&A session took place.

To conclude the seminar, discussions regarding the lectures, practicality of the guidelines and the future plans of participants were held along with reflection on the previously created community development plans.

Following the four regional seminars, a national conference later this year is in the making with the aim of presenting the final version of the guidelines for community development planning. The national conference is planned to welcome all participants of the regional seminars and other stakeholders to further benefit community development planning in Latvia.