The region of Steirisches Vulkanland is situated in the South-East of the province of Styria, Austria, at the border to Slovenia and next to the Hungarian border. It covers around 1.000 km² with about 100.000 inhabitants.
The landscape, lying in the foothills of the Alps, is dominated by smooth hills which have partly been shaped by volcanoes and many small rivers. Especially the valleys and the southern slopes are used by the small structured agriculture.
Steirisches Vulkanland – precisely: Verein zur Förderung des Steirischen Vulkanlands – is an association, representing 79 communities in 5 districts, leading the process of regional development in the region of Steirisches Vulkanland. The goal of the development is the improvement of the economic and social situation of the region, which suffers from low education, low incomes and a lack of job-opportunities. The region started the process of regional development in 1995 to become a culinary region, a region of crafts and a region of vitality. Up to now, the process could change a lot in the region, most notably the creation of a new identity, self-confidence, increased entre- preneurship and a common brand.
The regional development focuses on the valorisation of existing knowledge, skills and capabilities and intends to capitalise the regionally specific natural, human, cultural and social resources.
The main activities include regional research, awareness raising, education, support of network and product development and the development of the common brand “Steirisches Vulkanland”.