At present there is no wide-spread practice (or it has been
lost with years) of using sustainable farming methods (grazing, hey-mowing)
in Lithuania. Involving local farmers or
communities is minimal or not present, although their role is disregarded
undeservedly as vegetation that had been removed outgrows rather quickly due to lack of
sustainable measures directed toward keeping grasslands open. That threatens
to lose achievements and ruin results of initially introduced measures in
most valuable habitats.
Project “Restoration and Preservation of Biodiversity Important Open
Habitats in Natura 2000 Sites” is being developed with an aim to restore and
improve ecosystem complexes through addressing above indicated problems in
four protected areas – Curonian Spit National Park, Anykščiai Regional Park,
Dzūkija National Park and Čepkeliai Strict Nature Reserve (Ramsar site).
These territories are in different natural conditions (dry meadows of
Šventoji river valley, plain grasslands on Curonian lagoon shore, Stėgaliai
wetland, flooded meadows of Katra river valley) and were selected as diverse
but biodiversity valuable complexes of open habitats with a potential to
apply variety of approaches that could be replicated in other protected
areas Lithuania wide.
It is estimated that total area size of restored or improved ecosystems will
reach about 400 ha. Implementation of nature management actions of primary
importance oriented towards restoration of open habitats, such as removal of
shrubs, tree cutting, hey-mowing, grazing in target areas will create
necessary settings important for preservation of nature values and give
impetus for further actions. Moreover, it is equally important that
sustainability of processes will be ensured through tailored mechanisms of
community involvement and created niches for their tangible contribution.
With this purpose favourable conditions for grazing will be created, cattle
(sheep) will be purchased for community use, seminars and tools for
bee-keeping as well as curative herbs will be offered.
In order to evaluate effectiveness of applied nature management measures and
realization of results, project personnel from administrations of target
protected areas will perform monitoring activities, implement activities
required for maintaining open habitats and ensure sustainability of actions
after the end of project.
Project goals and measures will be widely communicated to responsible state
forestry institutions, municipalities and local administrations, land owners
and users by using local media sources and websites. Local population,
communities, farmers will be invited to join project actions.
Project is being implemented by the Directory of the Dzūkija National Park and Čepkeliai Strict Nature Reserve.
Project partners are:
- The Directory of the Anykščiai Regional Park, http://www.anyksciuparkas.lt
- The Directory of the Curonian Spit National Park, http://nerija.am.lt
- Norconsult AS, http://www.norconsult.no
- Nature Heritage Fund, http://www.gpf.lt
- Center for Sustainable Development, http://www.dvcentras.lt
Value of the Project – 1.095.564,00 Eur.