The Kingdom of Norway, Iceland and the Principality of Liechtenstein seeking to contribute to decreasing economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area, and strengthen the bilateral relations between donor countries and recipient societies, have created the European Economic Area and Norwegian Financial Mechanisms.
The European Economic Area Financial Mechanism support is designed for fifteen countries (the 12 new European Union member states as well as Greece, Spain and Portugal). The first period of the EEA and Norwegian Financial Mechanisms covered the years of 2004 – 2009. During the second 2009-2014-year funding period funds were allocated to the 13 programmes, one of which was designed to conserve biological diversity.
The LT03 programme “Biodiversity and ecosystem functions” aims to:
- Strengthen the capacity to manage and monitor the areas of the European ecological network “Natura 2000”;
- Avoid fragmentation of the ecosystems;
- Prepare strategies and measures to adapt to a changing climate;
- Integrate information on biodiversity and ecosystem services into the sectors of politics;
- Involve local communities in the conservation of biodiversity in order to promote a new approach and economically sustainable habits.
The implementation of the programme is administered by the Lithuanian Ministry of Environment together with the Central Project Management Agency. The programme partner – the Norwegian Environment Agency. For more information visit www.eeagrants.lt and www.norwaygrants.lt
On 17th February, 2014 the Lithuanian Ministry of Environment, PI Central Project Management Agency and the directorate of Žemaitija National Park signed an implementation contract of the project „Creating a biomass composting mechanism for preserving biodiversity in NATURA 2000 areas”; project code No. EEE-LT03-AM-01-K-01-008. The project promoter is the directorate of Žemaitija National Park, the project partner – Telšiai State Forest Enterprise (VĮ “Telšių miškų urėdija”).
The essence of the project „Creating a biomass composting mechanism for preserving biodiversity in NATURA 2000 areas”. In the areas of Natura 2000 – Žemaitija National Park, the area of 21189 ha, and Reiskiai Wilderness Swamp (“Reiskių tyrų pelkė”), the area of 4046 ha, valuable grasslands, pastures and wetlands situated in the state forest land are quickly covered with grass (the total area of 192 ha), and biodiversity there, including 2 strictly protected and 42 rare species, is also disappearing. Both of the said NATURA 2000 areas are assigned to the directorate of Žemaitija National Park. The directorate evaluates the overall condition here, as well as the condition of natural habitats and rare species, carries out monitoring and organizes environment clean-up work. In order to preserve valuable open grassland-wetland habitats, it is necessary to cut down bushes, mow grass and remove the biomass. Until now, Telšiai State Forest Enterprise had no interest in open habitat management because they had no necessary machinery for mowing, biomass collection, and the collected biomass could not be utilized. The biomass collected from the prospective 192 ha of grasslands and wetlands will be used for Telšiai State Forest Enterprise nursery compost production. Plateliai community will contribute to the project by participating in a seminar on biodiversity and biodegradable waste.
The project activities must be completed by 30th April, 2016. Continuity of the project activities will be ensured by the directorate of Žemaitija National Park and Telšiai State Forest Enterprise.