LAG Living Kainuu LEADER NGO

The LAG Living Kainuu LEADER works in eastern Kainuu along the Russian border. Most of the area is very sparsely populated wilderness with a wide range of wild animals, reindeers and beautiful scenery. The LAG consists of 5 municipalities: Hyrynsalmi, Kuhmo, Ristijärvi, Sotkamo and Suomussalmi. The total area of the Lag is 16.685,57 sq-kms, and the total population ( 1/2016) is 31.392. The biggest municipality is Suomussalmi areawise, and the most populated is Sotkamo.

Lag Living Kainuu LEADER NGO (in Finnish Elävä Kainuu LEADER ry) realises its CLLD (= Community Lead Local Development) /Leader-program called "Leave no-man behind!" (in Finnish "Kaveria ei jätetä". The origin of the phrase is in war times, which even in not-so-faraway history has made people in LAGs area struggle, but mostly, luckily, survive both at home and in the frontline.

The strategy is a commonly, with local actors and inhabitants, written program of local needs and possibilities fitted into targets for financing and co-operation with all the bodies needed.

The association of LAG Living Kainuu has closed a deal with the Ministry of Forestry and Agriculture of Finland about running the program and getting a yearly funding for it. The funding, totalling to 3,65 million euros, consists of eu-funding (42 %), national funding (38 %), and the rest is from our municipalities (20 %).One of the main principles in Leader-activity is the communality, the social aspect. The target is well aided this program period, as all the private funding in projects run by non-profit organisations can be fulfilled by voluntary work.

The projects have to meet one of the major priorities mentioned below to be entitled to applying for Leader-support:

1. Green Power, including
a) new kinds of forestry entrepreneurship (looking after forests and scenery, new ways to produce and exploit bioenergy, innovative processing of raw materials from forests and marshlands).
b) Ingenious nature travel services (Nature- and Frontier travel product development e.g. in connection with visioned Great Wild Taiga Trail, developing/enhancing co-operation and knowledge base of micro-enterprises, pioneers in marshland travel),
c) Delivering new services and products (development of Green Care -know-how, gaining new markets for local food and cosmetics, supporting the new generation of log building)

2. Reveries, including
a) Living in vivid villages (updating association knowledge and meeting places in villages into 2020'ies, taking care of village sceneries, ever tightening co-operation between villages: learning/growing to gether to meet the future challenges)
b) Creative communities in rural areas (testing multifunctional and cross-sectoral service spots in sparsely populated areas, developing specialised travel services based on original local culture, the new rise of traditional local food)
c) new technics and valuable heritage (the birth of first energy-self-sufficient village in Kainuu, investing in common tools and machinery in villages, rooting the young people in rural life)

3. Hand-in-Hand, including
a) multicultural Kainuu (learning from our rich and manysided cultural heritage, shering ones know-how, finding new market areas across the borders)
b) Innovative co-operation (bundling IT and remote services strongly together, more active development work between LEADER and villages, enhancing safe service communities)
c) Transnationality (continuing the present partnerships, new ideas/projects across the eastern border, creating together a survival strategy of the European rural, distant, and sparsely populated areas)

We are interested in co-operation with other LAGs in Finland and in any other country on these priorities. Also projects utilizing other monetary sources than EARD are acceptable to us. We have e.g. a PIC-code ready.


Mrs. Paula Seppänen, LAG Manager
(also tn-projects and tn-activitation in Kainuu Area)
tel. +358 40 156 2210
Address: Kauppakatu 20, 89600 Suomussalmi, Finland