The Latin America-European Union Initiative began in 2010 with the International Conference "The territorial approach in agricultural and rural policies: an international perspective" organized by the Rural Territorial Development with Cultural Identity Program (RTD-CI) of RIMISP - Latin American Center for Rural Development and the INEA - Istituto Nazionale di Economia Agraria of Italy, with the support of the Rete Rurale Nazionale and the Osservatorio Nazionale delle Politiche Strutturali of Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, held in Rome, Italy, in November 2010.
Franco Mantino, Head of Rural Development Departament at INEA, since the beginning has been the researcher who has promoted and coordinated this initiative by the Italian and European side.
The long-term goal of this initiative is the creation of an Informal Network of researchers and experts in rural development issues with particular emphasis on the territorial dimension and the close connections between agricultural and non-agricultural activities and between rural and urban reality. Within the framework of this network, exchange and collaboration activities between the two regions are planned and implemented, analyzing the mutual problems and in search for shared and participated solutions for a sustainable and inclusive rural development in Latin America and Europe.
The Rome 2010 Conference has been followed by the Intercontinental Forum on Sustainable Territorial Development, organized on the Coast of Santa Catarina State in Southern Brazil, with the support of local and national partners of the RTD-CI Program of RIMISP in which actors and institutions linked with the Biocultural Diversity and Territories Platform have participated from all over Latin America, working with a delegation of rural development experts from Italy and Europe, coordinated by INEA.
In February 2013 RTD-IC Program with INEA, SLOW FOOD and the Faculty of Economics of the University of Florence have coordinated the Mission in Italy of officials and technicians of the Associação Brasileira das Entidades Estaduais de Assistência Técnica e Extensão Rural (ASBRAER), an institution that unite all the federal agencies of rural research and extension in Brazil, among which is also EPAGRI of the state of Santa Catarina, historical partner of the RTD-CI Program on its project in Brazil, that organized the Forum in 2011.