Land-use & Planning – Sensitive and protected areas management
The 2007 Article 17 evaluation of about status of Latvia's species and habitats showed that only 31% of habitats and 50% of species (other than birds) of EU importance were in a 'favourable' conservation status in the country. Natura 2000 network sites provide a tool to help improve the conservation status of important species and habitats. Some 325 terrestrial Natura 2000 sites have been designated in Latvia. All of these sites require careful management based on a sound understanding of the conservation needs of habitats and species that are targeted by the Natura 2000 designations. Gaps exist in the implementation of management plans for Latvia’s Natura 2000 sites and the new programming period of EU rural development funding support offers opportunities to address these gaps.
- To develop and publish a National Conservation and Management Programme for Natura 2000 sites in Latvia in order to adopt and implement a programmatic approach to the long term conservation and management of the Natura 2000 network.
- To promote effective and unified habitat management by elaborating comprehensive, tested and up-to-date common Guidelines for all habitat types and species.
- To increase awareness of public authorities, nature conservation experts, NGOs, municipalities, local entrepreneurs, land owners and other stakeholders about appropriate nature conservation and management measures and financial resources available for the management of Natura 2000 sites.
- Preparatory actions will provide an assessment of the effectiveness of the existing management measures in Natura 2000 sites. Five visits to other Member States will be organized to study the experience of elaboration and implementation of management plans and programmes in other Member States, as well as collect information about the best practices of habitat management in Natura 2000 sites.
- The compiled information will be used for the elaboration of Guidelines for habitat management and the National Conservation and Management Programme for Natura 2000 Sites in Latvia.
- Habitat mapping and recommendations for support measures will be developed to inform the next Rural Development Programme.
- The Programme and Guidelines will be promoted through various promotional activities. Workshops, meetings and discussions with state institutions, municipalities, NGOs and other stakeholders will take place throughout the Project. Training courses will be held for responsible authorities, NGOs and nature experts about nature conservation planning and management issues. A project website will be developed to further engage the public and inform about the project activities. Information boards and signs will be set up in 14 project locations.
- The data compiled during the Project will be digitized and integrated in the National Nature Data system for all Natura 2000 sites „Ozols”.
- A National Conservation and Management Programme for Natura 2000 sites in Latvia will be developed and published in print (270 copies of the full version, 150 copies of a comprehensive summary) and available online in both Latvian and English. The Programme will be distributed among state institutions, municipalities NGOs and other stakeholders.
- Guidelines for the management of coastal areas, freshwater habitats, grasslands, bogs and forests, rocky habitats and caves will be developed and published in print (6000 copies), as well as available online. Separate brochures for each habitat group on the practical management measures will also be published in print (5500 copies for each habitat group) and available online in both Latvian and English.
- Improved public awareness about the appropriate nature conservation and management measures. Increased public understanding of the link between the costs of nature conservation and the benefits from healthy ecosystem services. Project seminars and workshops will directly inform up to 1000 people.
DOCUMENTS AND PUBLICATIONS