On 5th April 2018 National visitor center for protected areas hosted the introductory project visibility event. The aim of event was to present the idea of LIFE integrated project to the whole institutional system of protected areas. Including representatives of Ministries of Environment and Agriculture, scientific institutions, environmental NGO’s and others. Participants were introduced to Naturalit goals, its planned activities and expected results. Each partner presented its tasks and duties in the project. Special attention was paid to questions raising inside institutional system of protected areas.

LIFE integrated project for the Natura 2000 network

Nearly 100 participants were welcomed by Martynas Norbutas. Vice-Minister of Environment during the event pointed out the importance of LIFE integrated project to Lithuania. He also emphasized the importance of investments in protected areas and Natura 2000 network. According to Martynas Norbutas, it brings added value to the whole society and every citizen in person.

Presenting the role of the LIFE program and its integrated projects for environmental protection, Algirdas Klimavičius, Deputy Director of the Department of Nature Protection and Forestry of the Ministry of Environment noticed that NATURALIT should become a catalyst for the mobilization of financing for the Natura 2000 network into other EU financial instruments.  to make the Natura 2000 network more efficient and integrated. According to A. Klimavičius the project will provide the opportunity to move from passive environmental protection to active nature management and ecosystem restoration activities.

Changes in the institutional framework and the importance of partnership

During the event a new unit set in organizational structure of SSPA – Natura 2000 Methodical analytical center – was presented by detailing its idea and main responsibilities. Participants were also introduced to planned activities in the field of innovative methods for nature conservation.

Project manager Birutė Valatkienė highlighted the importance of partnership. Special attention was paid to the support and motivation for change from the whole institutional system. The event gave an opportunity to share partners’ thoughts on the major challenges ahead and key conditions for project success. It also gave a great channel for promoting upcoming project events and their contribution to the promotion of local community traditions and entrepreneurship.