Environmental Projects Management Agency under the Ministry of Environment of Republic of Lithuania together with partners launches the first LIFE integrated project in Lithuania. The main aim of the project is to contribute to common European environmental goal to halt the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services and to restore ecosystems in so far as is feasible. The LIFE integrated project is set to implement the Prioritised Action Framework (PAF) for the Natura 2000 network in Lithuania. It is a national strategy for specific measures for the conservation and restoration of biodiversity. PAF also is a set of potential sources of funding for the development of Natura 2000 network.

LIFE integrated project – a key tool to implement Prioritised Action Framework (PAF) for the Natura 2000

LIFE integrated project is different to the “traditional” LIFE program projects implemented in Lithuania so far. It gives opportunity to mobilise different EU and national financial resources to implement priority actions in the field of environment nationwide. And most importantly, to meet the commitment as a Member state.

Project application for this project were prepared by the group of competent partners back in 2017. It has successfully passed all the European Commission evaluation procedures. As a result, today it stands in between the 8 European Union countries that received the LIFE program’s support for the implementation of environmental strategies or action plans at a large territorial level. LIFE integrated project is the first of such kind in the Baltic States. Nevertheless, it is expected to get good practice promptly from experienced partners from Finland, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Italy, etc.

Optimizing the management of Natura 2000 network in Lithuania

The project aims to improve the current Natura 2000 network management system in Lithuania. As well as to ensure favourable conservation status of targeted habitats and species.

It focuses on following specific objectives:

(1) setting specific measurable, attainable, realistic, timely conservation objectives for Natura 2000 network at national and local levels. In line with defined favorable reference values of natural habitats and species of Community interests;

(2) improving efficiency of management, surveillance and analysis processes towards achieving and maintaining favourable conservation status of protected species and habitats;

(3) assurance of the integration and implementation of the nature conservation measures into other sectors, especially agriculture, forestry and tourism;

(4) capacity building of the institutions responsible for the implementation of Prioritised Action Framework (PAF).

LIFE integrated project “Optimizing the management of Natura 2000 network in Lithuania” (Naturalit) started on the 1st of January 2018. The duration of the project is 10 years. Total budget – 17.000.044 EUR (EU contribution – 10 200 026 EUR). Naturalit is coordinated by Environmental Projects Management Agency under the Ministry of Environment of Republic of Lithuania (EPMA). It also involves other various national state, scientific and non-governmental organisations: the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania, State Service for Protected Areas under the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania, Aukštaitija National Park and Labanoras Regional Park Administration, Dzūkija National Park and Čepkeliai Strict Nature Reserve Administration, Žemaitija National Park Administration, Baltic Environmental Forum Lithuania, Aleksandras Stulginskis University (Faculty of Forest Science and Ecology, Institute of Forest Biology and Silviculture), State Forest Enterprise.