LINC 2019 conference


Tuesday, 10 September

Opening ceremony

14.00-19.00 Registration and check-in at hotels Strand Spa & Conference Hotel, Rannahotell, Tervise Paradiis

17.00 Opening ceremony in front of Mudaravila (Ranna puiestee 1, Pärnu)

Procession along the beach promenade to the Strand Spa & Conference Hotel (1 km)

19.00 Opening ceremony continues “10 yearsof LINC Conferences” at the Strand Spa & Conference Hotel, Jurmala Hall. Perfomers: bagpipe ensemble Linnutaja, folk song and dance group from Kihnu Island, Wind Orchestra Saxon (conductor Kaido Kivi), dancer Jesper Muhu

Networking and Social Evening at Strand Spa & Conference Hotel, Bar LINC2019 (5th floor), Karaoke

Wednesday, 11 September

Study tours and seminars

07.40-09.00 Buses depart for study tours 1-9

Study trip nr 6 Active entrepreneurs in Soomaa, presentation

The first destination of this study tour is in Niidu village, where you can meet South-American alpacas in Estonia’s largest alpaca farm. The farm also features pygmy goats, Ouessant sheep, and Angora rabbits. The trip continues on a study trail in Riisa bog in Soomaa National Park, the trail has a scenic route through a bog and forests on the Navesti River. A total of 1,220 m of the trail is accessible by wheelchairs or with baby buggies. The trail has larger platforms with seats for taking a rest, tasting cranberries or bilberries, enjoying the silence of the bogs or climbing up into a viewing tower. Thereafter we’ll visit Jõesuu village house (community centre). Here we are hosted by energetic local ladies who are talented at making ceramics or hand-made cards or cooking delicious food. Active people can also be found at our next stop at Tori Cider Farm, whose produce has earned a number of quality labels and international acclaim. Traditional methods are used in cider-making where fermentation in bottles and a long maturing period render a particularly rich, earthy taste. The farm shop is open for a cup of coffee, a glass of cider or purchasing farm products. The farm is very inspirational – come and see for yourself!

Study trip nr 7 Resounding silence in Soomaa, presentation

The study tour starts in the varied wetland landscapes of Kuresoo bog. There is a board walk dotted with platforms for resting, and in the nights before Midsummer Eve both the silence and concerts of classical music may be enjoyed here. These landscapes inspired the Estonian composer Mart Saar whose former home is now his museum. We continue the trip at Energia Farm on the Navesti River where peace and quiet can be found in the world of herbs, walking trails, a tea house with a viewing tower and an eco-spa. A water mill used to work on the river but today the site features Vanaõue Holiday Centre, our next stop. Besides traditional holiday and seminar services the centre is famed for providing local tastes, they raise a flock of sheep and use game in their cooking. Fine tastes, positive thoughts and enticing apple scents greet you at Piesta Kuusikaru Farm. They produce apple juice, spicy apple drinks, natural apple vinegar, dried apple slices, apple syrups with mint and applestroop in Dutch style. Come and enjoy the music of silence!

17.30-18.30 Arrival at hotels

19.00 Buses from Pärnu to Klaara Manni Holiday and Seminar Centre

19.30 Cooperation Corner Seminar at Klaara Manni Holiday and Seminar Centre.

COOPERATION CORNER Seminar 19.30-20.30

Organised by Estonian Rural Network and European Network for Rural Development

  • Introduction and ice-breaker
  • Presentation of Project ideas
  • Thematical presentations:

ENRD CP support to LEADER TNC – Peter Toth, ENRD Contact Point

LEADER TNC information on 3rd countries, LEADER cooperation opportunities – Karolina Jasinska, DG AGRI

Estonian LEADER TNC and rural tourism – Taavi Kurvits, Estonian Ministry of Rural Affairs

launch of *speed dating* session (two 3-minute rounds)


20.30 Dinner and European buffet at Klaara Manni Holiday and Seminar Centre, feedback seminar

Perfomer: little choir Selja Lauluseltsing

23.00 -24.00 Buses to hotels

Thursday, 12 September

LINC Tori Hell LEADER triathlon

09.00 Buses from Strand Spa & Conference Hotel, Rannahotell, Rannastaadioni Hostel, Tervise Paradiis

09.30 Tori Hell LEADER triathlon in Tori. Sports competitions, cooperation corner, local handicraft market, lunch

Victory or participating in victory are not the most important aspects of the LINC sports day. What is important is joy from exercise and a change to experience something new. Exceeding your previous achievements will only be appreciated. We invite you to a 3-km course along which you can test your skills in various team tasks, firefighting Olympics, Soomaa race and fun water sports events and finally harnessing a horse. We cross the Pärnu River and find ourselves in Tori Hell, where we will not stay too long because Tori Horse Stud and church also await us. In the meadow beside Tori local goverment building is a small food and handicraft fair. See you at the sports day – mens sana in corpore sano – a healthy mind in a healthy body. 

On LINC sports days a temporary, 150 m modular bridge is built across the Pärnu River through a cooperation between civil and military personnel. 

Construction of the bridge is by the Combat Engineer Battalion of the 1st Infantry Brigade (commanding officer, major Hegert Horn). Timber for the bridge is donated by Combimill Sakala OÜ. A minimum of 40 volunteers are involved on carrying out sports day activities.

15.30 Buses to hotels

16.00-18.00 ELARD CLLD seminar in Strand Spa & Conference Hotel (Palanga Auditorium). 

19.00 Buses to Pärnu Concert Hall

19.30 Closing ceremony, concert and dinner at Pärnu Concert Hall

Perfomers: Ele Millistfer Group, Dance Group Lancy

22.00-23.00 Buses to hotels

Networking and Social Evening at Strand Spa & Conference Hotel, Bar LINC2019 (5th floor)

Perfomer: Group Lõõtsavägilased, folk and traditional music

LINC 2019 Organisers

LAG Pärnu Lahe Partnerluskogu (Pärnu Bay Partnership)

Pärnu Bay Partnership has 89 members, including six rural municipalities (Pärnu town, Tori, Häädemeeste, Kihnu, Saarde and Lääneranna), 47 enterprises and 36 non-profit organisations.

Pärnu Bay Partnership applies three measures to achieve the goals established in its strategy for the period  2014-2020:

  • Competitive entrepreneurship through cooperation, innovation and using local resources
  • Active, community-led development
  • Developing environmentally-friendly tourism, marketing of the Romantic Coastline area

The region of activity of the LAG Pärnu Bay Partnership also includes Kihnu island (its cultural heritage is inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity). A third of the Pärnu Bay Partnership territory is covered in large nature conservation areas, including NATURA 2000 areas.

The area attracts visitors with 2 golf courses, a racetrack and a theme park. A journey along the Romantic Coastline route combines roads and paths, cultural, historical and natural values, all located within the boundaries of Pärnu County and each with their own unique characteristics.

Important figures (as of 01.01.2017)

  • Number of inhabitants: 22,163
  • Area: 2,782 km2
  • Inhabitants per km2: 7.97
  • Number of enterprises (incl. sole proprietors): 2,548
  • Number of non-profit organisations: 502


LAG Rohelise Jõemaa Koostöökogu (Green Riverland Partnership)

LAG Green Riverland Partnership (GRP) has 97 members including 6 rural municipalities from 3 different counties: Pärnu County (Pärnu, Tori, Põhja-Pärnumaa, Saarde), Viljandi County (Põhja-Sakala), Rapla County (Kehtna), 52 enterprises and 39 non-profit organisations.

LAG GRP applies three measures to achieve the goals established in its strategy for period of 2015-2023:

  • Sustainable entrepreneurship in Green Riverland area
  • Sustainable community and better living environment
  • Development of the Green Riverland area

Green Riverland Partnership was founded on 16.03.2006 in Vastemõisa village, Suure-Jaani.

The main aims of GRP are to:

  • promote and support local initiative and the development of rural living environment;
  • create and implement local integrated strategy for the region relying on the partnership of public, private and non-governmental sectors.

The Green Riverland Partnership is situated in the south-west of Estonia. GRP’s name derives from the location of the region which includes large wetlands, woodlands and rivers, and is described as follows:

  • Green – forests, swamps, flora and fauna and Soomaa National Park
  • Riverland – the Pärnu River basin and lakes, waterway and the “fifth season” in Soomaa
  • Partnership – cooperation of the leaders of rural municipalities, entrepreneurs and associations

The main economic branches are agriculture, forestry and tourism. The greatest wealth of the region comes from both its rich natural environment, and similarly rich and diverse cultural history. Soomaa National Park is like a cross-section of both natural and human history with lots of activities for visitors.

Important figures:

  • Number of inhabitants: 28,081 (01.01.2017)
  • Inhabitants per km²: 7.8
  • Area: 2998 km²
  • Labour force: 15,165 (01.01.2017)
  • Number of micro-businesses: 1607


LAG Kodukant Läänemaa

LAG Kodukant Läänemaa has 79 members, including 4 rural municipalities (Haapsalu, Lääne-Nigula, Vormsi and Lääneranna1), 34 enterprises and 41 non-profit organisations.

LAG Kodukant Läänemaa applies three measures to achieve the goals established in its strategy for the period of 2014-2020+:

  • Increasing entrepreneurial activity
  • Improving the living environment
  • Developing national and international cooperation

Kodukant Läänemaa (“Our home – Läänemaa”) was established in 1997 to unite the rural areas of the Lääne County (Läänemaa in Estonian) and to foster the development of Estonian villages. In 2005 this non-governmental organisation was reorganised into the local LEADER action group. The first call for applications was launched in March 2009 to provide support for rural development projects.

The main goals of the NGO are to: help preserve and revive traditional village life; boost its harmonious development; support village economy, folk culture and nature conservation; unite village associations.

Kodukant Läänemaa LAG area is situated in western Estonia, where 23% of the territory of Lääne County, mostly wetlands and meadows, is under environmental protection. Nature has played an important role in Estonian spiritual beliefs, being perceived as a friend and a guardian. We believe that one of man’s basic rights is to have access to the outdoors, however, this right is also closely related to the obligation to respect and protect the natural environment.

Läänemaa is a peaceful area which offers its visitors great natural and cultural diversity. Unspoiled nature, many historic monuments, nearly 200 years of traditions of spa and wellness services in the town of Haapsalu, and unique cultural events are the main attractions of the county. Our treasures are the Matsalu National Park, cultural heritage and our people. Many visitors are keen bird watchers or attend nature tours.

Important figures

  • Number of inhabitants: 21,149 (01.01.2016)
  • Inhabitants per km2: 10.3
  • Area: 2,383 km²
  • Labour force: 11,500 (31.01.2017)
  • Number of enterprises (incl. sole proprietors): 3032
  • Number of non-profit organisations: 757
  • Most important industries: light industry, timber industry; service sector (recreation and the spa services).


LAG Mulgimaa Arenduskoda (Mulgimaa Development Centre)

LAG Mulgimaa Development Centre has 93 members, including three rural municipalities (Mulgi, Viljandi and Tõrva), 31 enterprises and 59 non-profit organisations.

Mulgimaa Development Centre applies three measures to achieve the goals established in its strategy for the period of 2014-2023:

  • Sustainable and competitive entrepreneurship
  • A quality living environment enabling self-realisation
  • The area is competitive and unique

The region of activity of the LAG Mulgimaa Development Centre comprises the historical area of Mulgimaa located in South Estonia, and is known for its special dialect, food and architecture. Today, Mulgimaa is situated within the counties of Viljandi and Valga.

The landscape is very diverse with hills and valleys, rivers and lakes, including one of the largest lakes in the Baltic States, Lake Võrtsjärv. As there are no major mines or industries, the natural environment is largely untouched.

Important figures (as of 01.01.2017)

  • Number of inhabitants: 26,344
  • Area: 2546.29 km2
  • Inhabitants per km2: 10.3
  • Number of enterprises (incl. sole proprietors): 1925
  • Number of non-profit organisations: 540
  • The main economic branches are manufacturing and agricultural production. In total, about 1900 small- and medium-sized enterprises operate in the region.


Estonian Rural Network

The Estonian Rural Network (Eesti Maaeluvõrgustik, Estonia NRN) is a departement of the Agricultural Research Centre, and its mission is to add value to the implementation of the Estonian Rural Development Programme (RDP).

The membership is unformal but involves bodies representing programme beneficiaries, organizations and authorities engaged in rural development including RDP implementation including:

The main tasks of Estonian NSU

  • Promoting transnational cooperation, incl. exchanging information with European Network for Rural Development (ENRD);
  • Providing LEADER support activities;
  • Collecting and disseminating project examples that have received support from RDP support programme
  • Promoting the formation of new thematic innovations and new networks.

Networking for LEADER

LINC 2012 and 2019

  • Cooperation is an important element of the activities an international conference “LINC 2012 – LEADER and Voluntary Work” was organised together with South-Estonian local action groups in Tartu in 2012. Today, the Estonian Rural Network is a partner for LINC 2019.
  • Estonian NRN can help interested parties find an Estonian project partner for transnational LEADER cooperation projects.

Local food network

  • There are more than 10 food networks in Estonia, “producer-to-consumer” short supply chain activities are popular around Estonia. Estonian NRN could help you to exchange ideas with Estonian food producers, or arranging fairs or events related to local food.

Estonian Open Farm Days

Estonian Open Farm Days will be held for the fift time in 2019, this time on 21st July. It is an excellent opportunity to see what is going on in Estonian agriculture and rural life. 147 farms opened their doors in 2015, 234 farms in 2016, 280 farms in 2017, and in 2018 we had almost 300 farms.

The official website is: For more information or help to compile your visitor journey, contact Estonian NRN.

Innovation network

In Estonia there are 6 innovation clusters and 22 EIP (European Innovation Partnership) operational groups supported by the Estonian Rural Development Plan 2014-2020. In 2018 Estonian EIP-AGRI operational groups start their first transnational cooperation projects. Contact RND to find an Estonian partner for an EIP-AGRI cooperation project.

  • to organise, collect, analyse and disseminate information about the subject field;
  • organise events necessary for the action and promotion of rural and innovation networks;
  • to act as a supporting structure for LEADER local action groups;
  • to enhance innovation in agriculture, food production, forestry and within the rural area generally;
  • to work in cooperation with international networks.



The 10thanniversary conference of Europe’s largest rural life network will be held in Pärnu County in 2019The LINC (Leader Inspired Network Community) conference of 2018 took place in Finland where Pärnu County was officially announced as the organiser of the next conference. Organisers expect about 350 rural life developers from nearly 20 countries at the anniversary conference on 10-13 September 2019.

LINC is an annual meeting of action groups which implement the EU LEADER programme, and was launched in 2010 by Austria in cooperation with Estonia, Finland and Germany. The 2012 conference took place in Tartu, Estonia, the 2018 conference in Rauma, Finland had over 300 delegates from 17 European countries.

The aim of LINC conferences has always been to share experiences of steps taken to improve rural life, and common features include learning about LEADER success stories, finding contacts for implementing new projects, entering into new cooperation agreements and creating a sense of identity through European culinary achievements and sports activities.

LAG Pärnu Bay Partnership has the following partners in organising the conference: LAG Green Riverland Partnership, LAG Mulgimaa Development Centre, LAG Kodukant Läänemaa, Estonian LEADER Union, and the Estonian Rural Network Department (RND) of the Agricultural Research Centre. The conference is also supported by the City of Pärnu.

Nine study trips will be organised over three days in three counties to visit rural entrepreneurs. The trips include an introduction to Estonian natural heritage and boglands, and success stories supported by the LEADER programme. All delegates are expected to feed back on what they learned so that local entrepreneurs could improve and develop their products and services.

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