Dalila Chalani CIFAL Divonne TLI
Villa Rolland - 205 avenue des Thermes
01220 Divonne les Bains
+33 (0)4 50 20 12 99
+33 (0)4 50 20 12 99


Cross-border and regional training programme for local actors on sustainable development

Countries: France, Switzerland
Border(s): France-Switzerland,
Greater Geneva,
European programme(s):
Interreg IIIA - France-Switzerland
- Education, training and languages
- The environment, resources and waste

Lead partner: CIFAL Divonne TLI

The Association CIFAL Divonne TLI, which is the French branch of the decentralised UNITAR (United Nations Institute for Training and Research) cooperation programme, on the one hand, and the University of Geneva, on the other, are both implementing, as "training providers", 21 training sessions (see details under the "Activities" heading). This training programme is unanimously supported by the Franco-Vaud-Genevan authorities. It is structured around 21 sessions organised on 21 keys aspects of sustainable development. These meetings and sessions enable a dialogue to be gradually set up between local elected representatives, public services, the private sector, academic institutions and civil society with a view to defining the joint cross-border pillars of sustainable development. The CIFAL Divonne is also proposing to offer its cross-border cooperation experience in respect of sustainable development to other cross-border regions.


Public Services:

  • Région Rhône-Alpes (the Rhone-Alpes Region)
  • Direction du Travail, de l´Emploi et de la Formation Professionnelle (the Department of Work, Employment and Professional Training)
  • Préfecture de région Rhône-Alpes (the Prefecture of the Rhone-Alpes region)
  • Département de l´Ain (the Department of Ain)
  • Département de Haute-Savoie (the Department of Haute-Savoie)
  • Communauté de communes du pays de Gex (the Pays de Gex Municipal Community)
  • Communautés de communes du Genevois (the Genevan Municipal Community)

Other partners:

  • University of Savoie
  • University of Geneva

Project goals

  • To gain the active and tangible involvement of municipalities and intercommunal structures in decisions taken at international level in respect of sustainable development
  • To define a joint and harmonious strategy, in spite of the many consultation and decision-making authorities, and in spite of the numerous legal disparities on both sides of the border. A geographical framework has been drawn up, which thus enables a more effective outline of the various partners´s expectations in respect of strengthened, joint and simultaneous cooperation.
  • The need to prepare people´s mindset: a prerequisite for implementing sustainable development in general, and "agendas 21 locaux" (21 local schedules) in particular.
  • The need to provide information and training, which will enable links to be established and to prepare the various authorities affected in order to strengthen the collaboration between all of the existing sectors involved in sustainable development.

Target group(s)

Elected representatives, local officials, representatives of associations, academic institutions, the private sector.

Project activities

Les themes of the 21 sessions were (2004, 2005 and 2006):

  1. Sustainable development and cross-border challenges in the Franco-Vaud-Genevan area: an introductory session to the programme
  2. Waste in respect of collection, processing, recycling, reducing to source and clean disposal.
  3. Energy is at the heart of development and is also the main cause of pollution. In the context of a scarcity of resources, there is a need to make savings and to develop clean and alternative alternatives to support the development sought by regions in the south.
  4. Transport, which is becoming a major problem as it is not advisable to take away the freedom of movement and mobility, but rather to find solutions for sustainable mobility.
  5. Governance, which carries within it new processes of consultation and participation for sustainable development.
  6. Assessment tools, as sustainable development requires us to develop methods and instruments, and to define indicators to be effective, tools that we must define with as much transparency as possible and with a great deal of rigour.
  7. Education and training, which must be considered an investment to guarantee the transition to a state of awareness about sustainable development.
  8. Industrial production and long term management of the activity areas: industrial ecology, certification of industrial parks, standards.
  9. Health, environment and sustainable development: what are the links, as the links with the environment no longer need to be demonstrated (hygiene, access to treatment, social determining factors)
  10. Economy and Employment, where it is generally acknowledged that they must evolve by integrating more qualitative and accountable objectives.
  11. Town and region, the cross-border conurbation: towns with their urbanisation and rurbanisation phenomena, for which other types of reasoning need to be implemented. Where are we in terms of the cross-border conurbation?
  12. Water, through a study on the resource and how it is collected, and its domestic, industrial, agricultural, transport and energy uses.
  13. Culture and Heritage, for maintaining and developing historical and cultural heritage, the foundation for integrating and expressing diversity effectively
  14. Biodiversity, comprising the common heritage of humanity and environments enabling genetic resources to be preserved.
  15. Air, with its consequent atmospheric pollution and climate change caused by transport, industry, housing and agriculture.
  16. Agriculture, which, having come through difficulties (food safety, hormones, GMOs, etc.), is seeking a fresh balance in which the economy can no longer be the main consideration
  17. Consumption, to make smarter purchases, to produce less waste and pollution, while supporting producers, and while satisfying one´s own needs.
  18. International Cooperation; paradoxically, Geneva International, which accommodates a large number of international bodies, does not encompass any original decentralised VSOs.
  19. Housing, whereby access to housing and council housing are becoming particularly alarming concerns in the sectors.
  20. Solidarity, whereby it will never be reiterated enough that the main objective of agenda 21 was to rule out exclusion.
  21. Risks and town and country planning

Project duration

2002 - 2006

Total cost

621 800 €

EU funding

310 900 €