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Elaboration of site management plans for two Latvian project areas commenced

In 2017, elaboration of site management plans for two Latvian project areas (Augstroze Nature Reserve and Baltezers Mire Nature Reserve) has began. The commencement of the plans was announced so that everyone interested could participate in the opening meetings which were held at local municipalities and were attended by people living in the surroundings of both mire areas, representatives of several responsible institutions, and other interested persons.

According to the procedure determined by the Regulation by the Cabinet of Ministers No. 686 (09/10/2007) which defines the contents of the site management plans for protected nature areas in Latvia, the site management plans must include a detailed evaluation of different aspects of the particular area. During summer 2017, both areas are being surveyed by experts (species, habitats, geology, hidrology, impacts, etc.) and detailed management proposals will be prepared. According to the inventory results, an action plan for each area will be prepared and well discussed before approval. For elaboration of the plan, in each case a steering group is established which ensures involvement of different stakeholders. Everyone interested in the elaboration of the site management plans can follow the process, participate in the steering group meetings and provide suggestions for better conservation and management. The information on the steering group meetings is published by the Nature Conservation Agency, including the draft versions of the plans (in Latvian only). The coordinator for elaboration of plan for Augstroze Nature Reserve is Sandra Ikauniece, but Gundega Freimane will be responsible for coordinating the plan for Baltezers Mire Nature Reserve.

In both areas, proportionally large areas are occupied by mires – bogs, transition mires and bog woodlands, in which elimination of drainage effects to diminish the greenhouse gas emissions are proposed within this project. The site management plans are important tools that ensure deeper understanding of the drainage effects in each particular area and ways to reduce the unfavourable impacts.