Project duration: 10 years (2018-2027)
The total project value – EUR 17.2 million. 60 percent of the funds consist of support from the EU LIFE programme (EUR 10.2 million), the remaining amount is allocated from the budget of the Republic of Lithuania.
How are we going to achieve our goals?
One of the most important conditions for the conservation of the Natura 2000 network is the efficient management of protected areas. To achieve this goal, we are improving the system’s legal, administrative and planning processes, including the nature management planning process. Considering the good practices and institutional experiences of other countries, we are setting up an advanced monitoring system, setting clear and quantifiable protection objectives and evaluation criteria. We will encourage the development of the Natura 2000 network by establishing new protected areas, setting protection objectives and management measures for all areas.
Throughout the project, we plan to promote environmentally friendly farming in valuable natural habitats. The project will create conditions for the long-term, sustainable and economically viable application of grazing measures and increase the added value of farmers’ production as the market does not reimburse the costs associated with farming in natural habitats. For this purpose, appropriate infrastructure will be installed, marketing tools will be implemented, training for farmers will be organized, etc. We are promoting the revitalization of traditional livestock grazing and aiming for this naturally and culturally valuable tradition to find a place in today’s support schemes for farmers.
We plan to restore the complex of Grybaulia fishing ponds, which has been known historically as an important habitat for the protection of birds. This will be an example of public-private cooperation and mutual success, where local businesses will feel the added value of Natura 2000 sites while maintaining a favourable biodiversity status in the protected area. It is planned to carry out sustainable fish breeding in ponds, apply extensive animal grazing and make the object the hotspot of nature tourism.
We aim to ensure an appropriate level of management capacity for the Natura 2000 network within the responsible authority, including systematic monitoring of the conservation status of species and habitats. Therefore a Methodical-analytical center has been established at the State Service for Protected Areas, bringing together the most experienced nature conservation experts who not only collect and analyse data on species and habitats of Community interest, set conservation objectives for Natura 2000 sites, but also transfer their knowledge to specialists of protected areas. Methodical-analytical center also improves the existing nature management process through training and digital tools. Project team members participate and raise their capacities in various trainings and conferences in Lithuania and abroad.