Latvian Fund of Nature
“FRIEDRICH HAASE” Ltd.
EU LIFE Programme, State Regional Development Agency of Republic of Latvia
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Blaumana Str 32-8, Riga, LV-1011
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The project aims at establishing and demonstrating the intrinsic link between fully functioning natural ecosystems and economic benefits for local communities.
Two major complexes of wetlands will be restored by different means (1460 hectares in total) in three Natura 2000 sites, for the benefit of habitats and species and that will enhance the economic potential of local communities in the rural areas in Latvia and Lithuania.
Project aims at restoring ecosystem functions on large scale in three Natura 2000 sites: LV Natura 2000 sites “Lubana mitrajs” and “Sitas un Pededzes paliene” and LT “Baltoji Voke Wetland Complex”.
Conservation status will be improved on 580 ha (4% of national coverage) of habitat 6450 in LV.
Additional EU habitat areas of 500 ha will be created in LT: 9% of habitat 7230, 34% of habitat 7140, 15% of habitat 7160 and 6% of habitat 6270.
The specific objectives are:
1. To restore hydrological regime (790 ha: 160 ha in LV and 630 ha in LT) that would lead to favourable conditions for conservation and management of habitats and species of EU importance;
2. To restore habitats of EU importance on 1080 ha (580 ha of 6450 restored in LV to favourable conservation status and 500 ha of habitats created in LT (Transition mires and quaking bogs, Fennoscandian mineral-rich springs and springfens, Alkaine fens and Fennoscandian lowland species – rich dry to mesic grasslands);
3. To remove the risk of repeated overgrowing by introducing a long-term grazing management system on all restored areas (1324 ha);
4. To restore large-scale nature areas on 1460 ha that host breeding, staging and feeding habitats for wide range of wetland species, for example: Gallinago media (to reach 38-55), Porzana porzana (to reach 10-18), Cyanecula svecica (to reach 5-10), Bombina bombina (to reach 400-500) and Triturus cristatus (to reach 50-100).
5. To demonstrate the value of fully functional natural ecosystems to the improved economic revenues in farming (ecosystem services) on three different Natura 2000 sites;
6. To pilot and gain knowledge on the effects of different grazing regimes on the target species and habitats, and share this knowledge on Boreal and EU level;
7. To promote extensive grazing as an effective and self-sustaining conservation model in the Natura 2000 areas;
8. To develop project areas as nature tourism destination areas, and to promote a multi-functional use of the Natura 2000 areas; and
9. To raise awareness on Natura 2000 in the regions and its value in contributing to the regional development of less developed areas
1. Natural hydrological regime restored in two wetlands on 790 ha - hydrological management works in Grivu sala area will result in stabilized groundwater regime in 160 ha of floodplain, and in Baltoji Voke wetland the water management infrastructure will ensure an optimal water table in the project area on 630 ha;
2. 580 ha of 6450 Northern boreal alluvial meadows restored and managed by grazing in two LV Natura 2000 sites: Lubana mitrajs and Sitas un Pededzes paliene thus contributing to good conservation status of 4% of this habitat in Latvia;
3. 500 ha of habitats of EU importance (Transition mires and quaking bogs, Fennoscandian mineral-rich springs and springfens, Alkaine fens and Fennoscandian lowland species – rich dry to mesic graslands) created and managed by grazing in LT Natura 2000 site Baltoji Voke wetland in Lithuania;
4. 1460 ha of marshland area made suitable for species that depend on wetlands: Great Snipe Gallinago media (to reach 33-45 in LV sites and 5-10 in LT), Spotted Crake Porzana porzana (to reach 3-8 in LV sites and 7-10 in LT), Bluethroat Cyanecula svecica (to reach 5-10 in LT), European Fire Bellied Toad Bombina bombina (to reach stable population of 400-500 individuals in Baltoji Vokė) and Great Crested Newt Triturus cristatus (to reach stable population of 50-100 individuals in Baltoji Voke);
5. Introducing of grazing system in project grasslands will result in 1324 ha of grasslands managed in sustainable and economically viable way;
6. Quantified socio-economic benefits of Natura 2000 sites to the local economy will be supported, assessed and promoted via project communication and in project farms;
7. The project will open new streams of revenue for 5 farms, including access to RDP agri- environment payments and income from cattle farming.