NATURA 2000 IN THE NEW EU MEMBER STATES – ONE YEAR ...

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NATURA 2000 IN THE NEW EU MEMBER STATES – ONE YEAR ...

NATURA 2000 IN THE NEW EU MEMBER STATES ONE YEAR AFTER ACCESSION

Status report for new and candidate Member States

QUESTIONNAIRE - Latvia

Please answer the questions and add as much detail in comments as possible, especially in cases

where you have indicated partial or inadequate implementation.

A. Legislation

1) Have the Habitats Directive and Birds Directive been transposed into the national legislation of your country?

YES

NO

Partially

No Information

Habitats Directive Birds Directive

Comments: In 1995 Latvia signed the European Agreement with the existing EU member states. With

this agreement Latvia commits itself to approximate its legislation with the EU Directives.

1. The requirements of the Birds Directive are transposed in the Latvian legislation in:

- Law on Specially Protected Nature Territories (adopted on 02.03.1993, with amendments as of 26.10.2004.)

The law determines the key principles of the specially protected nature territories system, procedure for establishing

such territories and ensuring their existence, process of territorial management, monitoring and registration. The law

has been amended with the procedure for creation of the Natura 2000 network of protected nature sites of European

interest. It also provides for the development of compensation mechanism for the land owners in the protected areas;

- Law on Protection of Species and Habitats (adopted on 16.03.2000)

The objective of the law is to ensure biodiversity, conserving the flora, fauna and habitats that are characteristic for

Latvia. The law includes lists of specially protected species and habitats, including those that are endangered,

vanishing or rare as well as species inhabiting specific habitats. In order to prevent loss in numbers and range of

local species or rare habitats, the law provides for the establishment of micro-reserves outside the protected nature

areas. The law also determines the rights and responsibilities of the landowners and provides for compensations for

the damage caused by specially protected and migrating animal species on the land property;

- Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 396 “On List of Specially Protected Species and Species with Exploitation

Limits” (14.11.2000);

- Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 45 “On Establishment, Protection and Management of Micro-reserves”

(30.01.2001);

- Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 117 “On Compensation for Damage from Spoilage or Destruction of

Individuals or Specially Protected Species or Habitats” (13.03.2001).

There are 70 bird species from the list of Annex I that are found in Latvia species for special conservation

measures.

2. The requirements of the Habitats Directive are transposed in the following Latvian legal acts:

- Law on Specially Protected Nature Territories (adopted on 02.03.1993, with amendments as of 20.12.2002). Its

Article 43 contains provisions of Articles 3 and 6 of the Habitats Directive;

- Law on Protection of Species and Habitats (adopted on 16.03.2000);

- Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 396 “On a List of Specially Protected Species and Species with

Exploitation Limits” (14.11.2000);

- Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 421 “On a List of Specially Protected Habitats” (05.12.2000);

- Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 45 “On the Establishment, Protection and Management of Micro-

reserves” (30.01.2001);


- Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 117 “On Compensation for Damage from Spoilage or Destruction of

Individuals or Specially Protected Species or Habitats” (13.03.2001);

- Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 199 “Criteria for Selecting Sites Eligible for Identification as Sites of

Community Importance (Natura 2000) in Latvia” (28.05.2002).

The requirements of the Directive are also incorporated in the legislation on hunting, fishery and forestry.

3. The requirements of the Habitats Directive covering issues of impact assessment are transposed into the law "On

Environmental Impact Assessment"

2) Regarding concrete provisions in the legal acts transposing the Habitats and Birds Directives:

i Is it clear in the legislation of your country how to designate SACs and SPAs (by law, decree, otherwise)?

YES

NO

Partially

No information

Comments:

SPAs SACs

In order to ensure appropriate protection of potential Natura 2000 sites, provisions for the creation and protection

of such sites have been worked into the following national laws.

The Law On Specially Protected Nature Territories, 1993; 1997; 2002:

Section 43. Protected Nature Territories of European Significance

(1) Protected nature territories of European significance form a unified network of protected nature areas of

European significance (Natura 2000). The network has been established in order to ensure the protection of

specially protected biotopes, specially protected species and specially protected habitats of species or, where

necessary, their regeneration in the boundaries of the natural distribution area of such species.

(2) The Cabinet shall determine criteria (hereinafter - criteria) for the establishment of protected nature territories

of European significance (Natura 2000) in Latvia. The responsible minister shall approve the list of protected

territories of European significance (Natura 2000) in which all the protected territories conforming to the criteria

have been included. The Latvian Environment Agency shall prepare the necessary information for the society and

for the European Commission regarding the protected territories of European significance (Natura 2000) in Latvia.

(3) The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development shall develop proposals for the

establishment of new protected territories conforming to the criteria, for a change of category of a protected

territory or for changing the borders in cases where the protected nature territories of European significance

(Natura 2000) are not provided with a sufficient protection regime.

(4) For any intended activity that may substantially affect a protected nature territory of European significance

(Natura 2000), an environmental impact assessment shall be carried out taking into account the goals of

protection of the territory and also evaluating the total impact of the intended activities. The intended activities shall

be permitted only if such activities do not negatively affect the ecological functions of the relevant protected nature

territory of European significance (Natura 2000) and do not contradict the goals of establishing such territory.

(5) If the intended activities negatively affect the relevant protected nature territory of European significance

(Natura 2000), they shall be permitted only in cases where such activities are the only solution to satisfy significant

social or economic interests of the society, and such activities include provision of compensation measures for the

network of protected nature territories of European significance (Natura 2000).

[Amendments 28 February 2002]

According to this law, the Cabinet of Ministers has adopted regulations:

"Criteria for the Establishment of PNT of European Significance (Natura 2000)" No.199; (28.06.2002)

Sites for the Natura 2000 network are selected according to the Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 199

“Criteria for Selecting Sites Eligible for Identification as Sites of Community Importance (Natura 2000) in Latvia”.

These Regulations are developed according to Annex III of the Habitats Directive.

According to the Article 2 of this Regulation “for European Specially Protected Nature Territory (Natura 2000),

considering scientific information, can be designated only such territory which complies with the following criteria:

- In the territory occurs one or more types of specially protected habitats, which are protected by national

legislation and one or more specially protected species or their habitats;


- According to the criteria (e.g. representation of specially protected habitat type in correspondent territory; quantity

and density of population of specially protected species in correspondent territory regarding quantity and density of

the population of species in overall Latvia etc.) mentioned in Articles 3 and 4 of these regulations the territory is or

could be important for further protection and conservation of specially protected habitats or species and their

habitats;

- The territory according to the national legislation is designated as specially protected nature territory or micro

reserve”.

The Latvian Natura 2000 list of protected nature territories of European importance is approved by the Minister of

Environment; only sites corresponding to the above-mentioned criteria are included in the list.

ii Is there general legal protection for SACs and SPAs according to the legislation of your country?

YES

NO

Partially

No information

SPAs SACs

Comments: All proposed SPAs and SACs are designated as protected territories at national level (see

more information on this in section 2i). The conservation of national specially protected nature territories (SPNT),

their management, zoning, permitted and prohibited activities on these territories are determined by: Cabinet of

Ministers (CM) (Government) regulation No. 415 “On General Protection and Use of the Specially Protected

Nature territories”, 2003; if the more detailed approach for particular territory is needed, individual regulations on

Protection and Use of the particular Specially Protected Nature territory can be elaborated.

iii Is there a clear process for evaluating significant effects of plans/projects on sites (art. 6.3 & 6.4)?

YES, following the EIA

YES, independent from the EIA

NO

Yes, but inadequate

No information

Comments: Law on the Environmental Impact Assessment (IVN), 1998.

The objective of the law is to prevent or to diminish adverse impacts on the environment caused by foreseen

activities of physical persons or legal entities. EIA procedures shall be performed for all projects that might have

significant negative impact on the Natura 2000 sites and their natural values. In theory, this procedure permits

selection of the best solutions for development projects and provides for compensation measures for intended

nature damages. Unfortunately, in practice the requirement for EIA is applied only in cases when planned actions

are within Natura 2000 sites; the wider interpretation of "impact on Natura 2000 site" is not used. Also the

interpretation of significance of the impact differs, depending on interests involved. In theory, the law provides

process for evaluating the significant effect on sites, but in practice it is not specific enough not to allow for

misinterpretations.

The work is started on preparation of amendments to this law, amendments foresee minimum EIA which can be

applied on Natura 2000 sites, it requests only impact assessment on specially protected species and habitats.

iv Are there provisions for ensuring the ecological coherence of the network (art. 10)?

YES

NO

Yes, but inadequate

No information

Comments: There are some indirect provisions in the Law on the Protected Belts, 1997, 2002. The law

determines protected belts operational, sanitary and for various nature resources, including river banks, lakes

and the sea shores. It determines a certain size of these protected belts, the procedure of their protection,


permitted and prohibited activities, maintenance and use, as well as the rights and responsibilities of the land

owners.

There are also some provisions in the forestry legislation that require protection of forest areas that are smaller

than one hectare surrounded by agricultural land, bogs, and lake islands, and that require limitations to minimise

fragmentation of forest areas. The system for establishing micro-reserves (previously Specially Protected Forest

Areas) provides a tool for protection of breeding locations and high biodiversity value forests.

v Is the species protection regime (art. 12 to art.16) adequately transposed?

YES

NO

Partially

No information

Comments: The requirements of the Habitats Directive are transposed in the following Latvian legal acts:

- Law On Protection of Species and Habitats (adopted on 16.03.2000)

Objective of the law to ensure biodiversity, conserving the flora, fauna and habitats characteristic of Latvia. The

law determines lists of the specially protected species and animals and habitats, where the endangered, vanishing

or rare species and habitats as well as the species inhabiting specific habitats. In order to prevent reduction of the

numbers and spreading of the local species or vanishing of rare habitats, the law provides for establishing of

micro-reserves outside the protected nature areas. The law also determines the rights and responsibilities of the

land owners and provides for compensations for the damage caused by specially protected and migrating animal

species on the land property;

- Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 396 “On List of Specially Protected Species and Species with

Exploitation Limits” (14.11.2000);

- Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 421 “On List of Specially Protected Habitats” (05.12.2000);

- Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 45 “On Establishment, Protection and Management of Micro reserves”

(30.01.2001);

- Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 117 “On Recompense of Damage for Spoilage or Destruction of

Individuals or Specially Protected Species or Habitats” (13.03.2001);

3) Are the Habitats and Birds Directives integrated into legislation governing sectoral policies?

Sectors Yes No Inadequately No info Comments

Agriculture The Rural Development Plan foresees

compensatory payments for potential

Natura 2000 territories, the measure is

included under RDP measure 9.2

“Less favoured Areas and Areas with

Environmental Restrictions” as a submeasure.

The potential Natura 2000

territories identified in Latvia will obtain

their official Natura 2000 status after

approval of the list of Natura 2000

territories by the European

Commission. The evaluation of this list

is anticipated to continue until the year

2006. The support under this measure

will be granted to beneficiaries that are

managing areas listed as Natura 2000

sites and submitted to the European

Commission. The measure “Less

favoured Areas and Areas with

Environmental Restrictions” is

implemented from 2004. The submeasure

“Areas with Environmental

Restrictions” (Natura 2000) are

implemented from 2005.

Spatial planning Nature Conservation Plans for the


Transportation

Specially Protected Nature Territories

(Natura 2000 sites) are binding for

spatial planning documents.

Water management River Basin Boards are established.

Nature conservation authorities work

in cooperation with River Basin

Boards which are responsible for

implementation of the Water

Framework Directive. As part of River

Basin Management Plans, a chapter

on specially protected nature

territories is requested as obligatory.

Forests The elaboration of the Forest Sector

National Programme was started in

2003, the Ministry of Environmen is

involved in this process.

Other:

Comments: Nature protection legislation is binding for all sectors.

4) Any other or issues or general comments regarding legislation? In general, the legislation in Latvia provides rather

good basis for protection of Natura 2000 sites and maintenance of biological diversity. The main problem is

enforcement of the legislation, caused by lack of capacity of staff responsible for control, medium-level decision

making and interpretation of the legislative acts that are not specific enough not to allow for interpretation against

nature conservation interests.

B. Site designation -- National list of sites

1) Concrete data:

i Number of SCIs proposed by the national government: 238

ii Number of SPAs proposed by the national government: 6

iii Number of sites which correspond to both criteria (SCIs and SPAs): 92

iv % of national surface of SCIs proposed + SPAs (avoiding double counting by overlap): 12%

v % of coincidence with existing PAs of SCIs proposed + SPAs (avoiding double counting by overlap): 100%

(only national PAs can be included in Natura 2000 list according to legislation)

vi Is digital data (shp, dxf, others) of the proposed SCIs and SPAs available? (if there is, please send it with the

questionnaire): See Annex

2) Please rate the quality of scientific information used to prepare the list of proposed Sites of Community

Importance:

Good (inadequate)

Fair (some changes needed)

Poor (clearly inadequate)

No information

Comments: In 2001 the Danish-Latvian project “Preparation for Latvia’s Compliance with the EMERALD

and Natura 2000 networks of Protected Areas” (Emerald project) was commenced. During the project the

inventory was carried out in the potential Natura 2000 sites and a list of potential Natura 2000 sites was prepared.

The inventory was carried out by the Latvian Fund for Nature and the Latvian Ornithological Society in 2001- 03.

For proposing the sites for designation of bird areas (SPAs) the Latvian Ornithological Society was sub-contracted.

The experts were responsible for the collection of data on Birds Directive species within existing SPNT and for

identification of potential sites to establish new SPNT. For proposing the sites for designation of proposed Sites of

Community Importance (pSCI) the Latvian Fund for Nature was sub-contracted. The experts involved were

responsible for collecting data on habitats and species except birds.


3) Please evaluate the list of proposed sites:

Good (sufficient)

Fair (some changes needed)

Poor (clearly insufficient)

No information

Please justify your evaluation referring, for example, to % of area proposed by scientific or NGO list not included in

the official list, species and habitats missing, regional imbalances, etc.: Only several (3-5) of the NGO proposed

sites were not designated as national SPNT and not included in Natura 2000 list. 5-6 % of area proposed by NGOs

were not designated as Natura 2000 sites, with the difference mainly due to border changes of proposed areas.

The designation of several sites as national SPNT was postponed because of lack of time to prepare necessary

documentation for submission to the Government, in some cases the borders were changed after discussions with

municipalities, land owners or foresters.

All 64 inland Important Bird Areas* in Latvia are at least partially covered by national Specially Protected Nature

Territories (SPNTs) and potential Natura 2000 territories. The total IBA surface area covered by 5 different

categories of SPNTs is 503,833 ha (94.3%). Fifty IBAs (78% of all inland sites) have high protection level with

more than 90% of their area protected. All IBAs but one LV052 Lubāns and fishponds have significant

protection level of at least 75% of their territory. By the absolute area, nine IBAs are fully protected, eight IBAs

have 1-10 hectares unprotected, 24 sites have 11-100 ha and the 23 remaining IBAs (Table 4-11) have more than

100 ha of their surface unprotected. The total unprotected area amounts to 30,223 ha.

126 new protected areas (both national PAs and at the same time Natura 2000 sites, and including 15 microreserves)

were established in Latvia in 2001-04, with a total area of 217,015 ha (ca. 3% of Latvian territory).

* - Data for marine areas in the Baltic Sea waters are not available.

4) Any other or issues or general comments regarding Site designation? Latvia submitted its list of proposed Natura

2000 sites to the European Commission on 26.04.2004 -- the first of the accession counntries to do so.

C. Financing

1) Is there a cost estimate for implementing Natura 2000 in your country?

YES

Author or institution Date of estimate Overall amount Comments

Latvian Fund for Nature 2004 Average of €21,500,000 per

year

NO

No information

Comments:

When will there be?

2) Is there a national plan for financing Natura 2000?

YES

Included activities are

management of grasslands,

compensation and

management for forested

land, administration of

SPNT, development and

maintanace of tourism

infrastructure within SPNT.

Exluded are costs for

marine sites, as no purely

marine sites have been

established. A few of the

existing sites include marine

areas, and in these cases

related management costs

are included.


NO

Comments:

When will there be? No information

3) Are there provisions in the national budget for financing implementation of the Habitats and Birds Directives?

Yes

No

No information

Comments: There are no direct provisions in the national budget for financing implementation of the

Habitats and Birds Directives from a separate, dedicated fund, but, as all Natura 2000 sites are national SPNTs,

all finances from the state budget allocated for the national system of SPNT and management of these territories

as well as financing administrations for several territories indirectly support implementaton of the Directives.

4) Natura 2000 and the EU funds for the period 2004-2006:

i Are there specific lines for financing the implementation of Natura 2000 in the National Development Plan of

your country?

YES

NO

Please describe briefly how: The Single Programming Document that has been designed

as a programming document for Latvia for the programming period 2004-06 foresees support for

investment in public tourism infrastructure (e.g. network of tourism offices, installation and

improvement of tourism signs, specialized facilities designated for cyclists and pedestrians, etc.).

Support is also intended for promotion of nature tourism activities including development of ecotourism

facilities in Natura 2000 areas.

The Single Strategy for Transport and Environment (Single Programming Document, chapter

3.4) says: "Based on the potentially available financing and the requirement to provide clear

distinction between the activities financed by each financial instrument, the priorities for

requesting ERDF co-financing for the time period 2004-06 in the environmental sector are

defined as follows: (priority no. 4) Compensation to land owners for the establishment of new

Natura 2000 territories. In addition, measure 4.1.2.: Improvement of Quality of Environment and

Infrastructure foresees "Preservation and restoration of natural, historical and cultural heritage for

effective economic use in particular tourism (including land purchase or compensation to land

owners once new Natura 2000 areas are identified)" and lists "number of instances of purchase

of land or compensation to land owners in relation to Natura 2000" as one of the output

indicators.

No specific mention of Natura 2000, but there are financing opportunities anyway (please comment

below)

No information

Comments: The Single Programming Document was elaborated as National Development Plan.

ii Are there specific lines for financing the implementation of Natura 2000 in the Sectoral Operational Plans of

your country?

YES

Please describe briefly how:

NO

No specific mention of Natura 2000, but there are financing opportunities anyway (please comment

below) The National Development Plan (NDP)/ Single Programming Document (SPD) makes an attempt

to integrate the environmental aspects into other sectors, which complies with the environmental

legislation. The requirements for nature conservation and the use of natural resources are integrated in

sectoral policies on the basis of the National Programme on Biological Diversity (NPBD) and the NDP

reflects this. Issues of bidiversity conservation in forests and Natura 2000 are reflected in priorities.


No information

Comments:

iii Are there specific lines for financing the implementation of Natura 2000 in the Rural Development Plan of your

country?

YES

Please describe briefly how: The RDP foresees compensation payments for potential Natura 2000 areas.

The relevant measure is included under RDP measure 9.2, “Less favoured Areas and Areas with

Environmental Restrictions” as a sub-measure. The support under this measure shall be granted to

beneficiaries that are managing areas listed as Natura 2000 sites and submitted to the European

Commission. The measure “Less favoured Areas and Areas with Environmental Restrictions” is implemented

as from year 2004. The sub-measure “Areas with Environmental Restrictions” (Natura 2000) is implemented

from 2005. The calculation of the amount of compensatory payment was based on loss of net income that was

estimated as 30%, but the situation for different conditions inside Areas with Environmental Restrictions

(Natura 2000 sites) has not been estimated. The compensation payment is calculated generally without taking

into account different environmental conditions of particular sites. The amount of payment differs, depending

on overlaps with different categories of LFA areas from €38/ha (if not overlapping with LFA) to €26/ha (if

overlapping with 3rd category LFA).

NO

No specific mention of Natura 2000, but there are financing opportunities anyway (please comment

below)

No information

Comments:

iv Have pre-accession funds been used for implementation of Natura 2000, or are they currently being used?

YES

Funding source Yes Comments/description

PHARE

ISPA

SAPARD

Other

NO

No information

Comments:

v Have any other funding sources been used for implementation of Natura 2000, or are they currently being

used?

Funding source Yes No No

info

Govt Aid Agencies

Latvian Environmental

Protection Fund

(LEPF)

Latvian Environmental

Agency

Comments/description

The Latvian Environmental Protection Fund (LEPF) that operates

under the supervision of the Ministry of Environment was established

to manage a special budget for environment protection and it is used

to finance environment and nature protection projects. The funds of

the LEPF are collected from the natural resource tax revenues.

Financing is received on a project basis as a grant. The LEPF

provides, among others, also resources for co-financing LIFE-Nature

projects.

State budget resources allocated for the implementation of the

National Monitoring Programme that cover all aspects of biodiversity

diversity of species, ecosystems and genetic diversity.


Private sources

Others

DANCEE fund

(Danish support for

environment in

Central and Eastern

Europe)

DEPA (Danish

Environmental

Protection Agency )

“Analysis of the Specially Protected Nature Territories in Latvia and

Establishing of EMERALD/ Natura 2000 Network” that proposed the

list of Natura 2000 sites for submission to EC.

Project "Inventories of Species and Habitats, Development of

Management Plans and Capacity Building in Relation to

Approximation of EU Birds and Habitats Directives". Worked out

Latvian Habitat Classification System, which was harmonised with

the classification system used by EU and identified Latvian Specially

Protected Habitats.

Comments: The main source of financial support is from the LIFE-Nature fund, several projects are implemented

or currently being implemented:

Implementation of Mire Habitat Management Plan for Latvia

Restoration of Latvian Floodplains for EU Priority Species and Habitats

Protection of Habitats and Species in Nature Park „Rāzna”

Protection and Management of Two Important Bird Areas of Latvia (LIFE00 NAT/LV/007124)

Measures to Ensure the Nature Conservation Management of Teici Area (LIFE00 NAT/LV/007127)

Implementation of Management Plan for Lake Engure Nature Park (LIFE00 NAT/LV/007134)

Protection and Management of Coastal Habitats in Latvia (LIFE02 NAT/LV/008498)

"Conservation of Wetlands in Ėemeri National Park" (LIFE02 NAT/LV/008496)

Management of the Lubana Wetland Complex

Protection and Management of the Northern Gauja Valley

Lake Pape-Conservation, Preservation and Evolution

5) Is it planned to include specific and sufficient financial lines for the implementation of Natura 2000 in the planning

instruments for the next programming period (2007-2013)?

Planning document Yes No No info Comments

National Dev. Plan

Sectoral Operational

Plans

Rural Dev. Plan Compensatory payments for potential Natura 2000

territories in agricultural lands as well for forest land.

No information yet on sufficiency and specifications.

Comments:

6) Any other or issues or general comments regarding financing for Natura 2000? As all Natura 2000 sites are

national SPNT, there is no earmarked financing for Natura 2000, but by financing national system of SPNT and

management of these territories as well financing administrations for several territories the Natura 2000 sites are

financed.

D. Management

1) Does the Government have staff dedicated specifically to Natura 2000?

YES

Main activity Approx. no. of civil servants

Sites list elaboration Nature Protection Department;

Nature Protection Board; Latvian

Environmental Agency

Art. 6.3 and 6.4 assessments Regional Environmental Boards;

State Environmental Impact

Assessment Bureau

Site/species management Nature Protection Board,


Administrations of SPNT

Scientific studies Administrations of SPNT

Communication Nature Protection Department;

Nature Protection Board; Latvian

Environmental Agency, The Natural

History Museum of Latvia

Others (please specify)

NO

No information

Comments: There are no staff dedicated specifically for Natura 2000, but (as all Natura 2000 sites are

national SPNT) indirectly most of the governmental staff employed in nature conservation work also for Natura

2000 sites.

2) Have principles, management guidelines and planned management measures based on Favourable Conservation

Status been established for habitat and species?

YES

NO

No information

Will be ready by:

Comments: There are no guidelines based on Favorable Conservation Status eleborated yet.

3) Are there going to be management plans specifically dedicated to Natura 2000 sites and species in your country?

YES

NO

No information

Will be ready by:

Sites Species

Comments: Management plans are prepared for nationally protected territories that are also Natura 2000

sites. There are no specific management plans for Natura 2000 sites as this information would be overlapping.

There are ca 100 management plans elaborated for SPNT in Latvia so far, this work is coordinated by Nature

Protection Board.

The Ministry of Environment according to the Law of Species and Habitat Protection (point 4, paragraph 5), issued

instruction No.166 regarding the procedure for preparing the protection plans of species and habitats. The

planning of species and habitat protection is coordinated and supervised by the Nature Protection Board. Several

species protection plans have been prepared to date, including plans for Ursus arctos, Lynx lynx, Tetrao tetrix,

Canis lupus, Margaritifera margaritifera, Tetrao urogallus, etc.

4) Are there specific methodologies for developing Natura 2000 management plans?

YES

NO

No information

Will be ready by:

Sites Species

Comments: There is no specific methodologies for development of management plans for Natura 2000

sites, but due to above mentioned fact that all Natura 2000 sites in Latvia are national SPNTs, the existing

methodology for elaboration of the management plans for SPNT must be applied when preparing management

plans. This procedure (recommendation No 120, issued by the Minister for Environment on 4 July, 2002) provides

that management plans for specially protected areas are developed for a certain period of time (usually 7-15

years) and they are approved by the Minister for Environment. The objective of the nature protection plan is to

coordinate the interests of nature protection, use of natural resources, regional development and other, at the

same time ensuring the maintaining of the natural values of the site. The nature protection plan provides the

nature protection and other management activities, as well as the division of the territory into zones according to


the protection and management requirements. The nature protection plans are binding for all levels of the planning

of territory and its management.

5) Is the procedure for assessing projects and plans (art. 6.3, 6.4) adequately implemented?

YES

NO

Inadequately

No information

Comments: Necessary provisions are implemented into legislation, but due to the limited capacity of implementing

authorities there are cases when incorrect decisions are made. For example, official authorities not always use all

available information, as result the permit for construction of forest road that cross IBA was issued.

6) Is there any methodology for monitoring?

YES

NO

No information

Will be ready by:

Comments:

In 2000, the Latvian Environmental Agency was founded to maintain the databases of the protected territories,

species and habitats. The National Monitoring Programme that covers all aspects of biodiversity diversity of

species, ecosystems and genetic diversity -- was developed by the Agency and accepted by the Ministry of

Environmental Protection and Regional Development in 2002. There are several shortcomings in this program: it is

mainly focused on monitoring of species and does not have a site approach; it is only partly implemented (due to

lack of financing). A new National Monitoring Programme will be elaborated by the end of 2005.

7) Any other or issues or general comments regarding management for Natura 2000? Management and monitoring of

Natura 2000 sites in Latvia is still focusing on national priorities and criteria with fragmented insight into

requirements of EU Directives. Yes, their requirements have been transposed into national legislation, but actual

implementation depends very much on interpretation that is very often done by people who lack understanding and

capacity to take adequate decisions.

E. Communication and public participation

1) Has there been a public participation process for

i Designation of SPAs?

YES

NO

Yes, but inadequate

No information

Comments:

For proposing sites for designation of bird areas (SPAs) the Latvian Ornithological Society was subcontracted.

The experts were responsible for the collection of data on Birds Directive species within

existing SPNT and for identification of potential sites to establish new SPNT.

At the beginning of 2003 (February-March), several seminars were organised by the Ministry of

Enviornment in all regions of Latvia with the aim to inform land owners, municipalities and other

stakeholders on suggested new protected territories and changes of borders of existing ones, to find out

their opinion. Very few participants attended these meetings, probably due to lack of awareness and

understanding of the importance of the topic. After these public meetings, the following negotiation

process on proposals was carried out by the Nature Protection Board (April-August 2003). They made

agreements with municipalities regarding proposed territories and their borders. The broader public was

not involved in this process.

In addition, the campaign “Propose a Territory!” was launched in March 2003 and lasted through the end

of May 2003. The main goal of this campaign was public awareness raising regarding the process of


establishment of the Natura 2000 network and also to invite people to suggest new potential Natura 2000

sites that they find valuable for nature protection. In total, more than 50 proposals were received.

Information on the proposed territories was analysed by experts from the EMERALD project.

ii Proposal SCI list?

YES

NO

Yes, but inadequate

No information

Comments:

The NGO Latvian Fund for Nature was sub-contracted by the Ministry of Environment to propose sites for

designation as proposed Sites of Community Importance (pSCI). The experts involved were responsible

for collecting data on habitats and species except birds. The procedure of public participation process

was the same as with designation of SPAs, please see above.

2) Is public participation planned for

i Elaboration of management plans?

YES

NO

No information

Comments: The approved procedure for elaboration of management plans for SPNT prescribes

involvement of local stakeholders, establishment of management plan supervisory group and obligatory

public hearing if there are more than 5 land owners in a particular SPNT (Natura 2000 site).

ii Evaluation of significant effects of projects and plans over sites?

YES

NO

No information

Comments: According to national legislation, the public hearing is obligatory if the EIA is carried out,

but for all activities which can significantly influence Natura 2000 sites, an EIA should be requested.

3) Does the government have a communication/awareness raising strategy on Natura 2000?

YES

YES, but inadequate

NO

No information

Comments:

Expected by: Not expected

4) Any other or issues or general comments regarding communicating Natura 2000? Awareness raising on Natura

2000 activities are part of each LIFE-Nature project. Also governmental authorities (e.g. Nature Protection Board

and Nature Protection Department of the Ministry of Environment) perform different activities, such as publication

and distribution of booklets for land owners to describe the implications and benefits of the Natura 2000 network.

But still there are a lot of resistance about designation of SPNTs (Natura 2000 sites), the main reason for it is

absence of legislation on land owner’s rights to receive compensation for the legal restrictions established in

SPNT. Generally, forest owners are less enthusiastic about site designation than farmers and owners of

agricultural land, mostly due to the lack of State or EU support for Natura 2000 territories in forests. Farmers are

more enthusiastic because they foresee adequate support payments from the European Agricultural Guidance and

Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) (envisaged by the Rural Development Plan). In general, communication regarding

Natura 2000 still needs to be improved, with special focus on local municipalities and land owners.


F. Known threats

1) Please note if there has been any complaint to the EU regarding implementation of Natura 2000 in your country:

Regarding Complaint Status (rejected, in Court, no info…) Brief description

Site designation

Transposition of

legislation

Activities

negatively

affecting sites

Others

No information

Comments: No, Latvia joined the EU little more than one year ago.

2) Please note any activities (or the lack of them) that could negatively impact existing or potential Natura 2000 sites

that you are aware of:

Location/site Activity Expected impact EU co-financing?

Northern bogs Road building Forest logging, possible change of hydrology, habitat

fragmentation, disturbance

No info

3) Any other or issues or general comments regarding threats to existing or future Natura 2000 sites? Presently the

private forestry sector is not developing according to the principles of sustainable development. The amount of

forest cutting has increased dramatically since the beginning of the last decade, and is leading to fragmentation of

forests and regular disturbance.

G. Main priorities for implementing Natura 2000

Which in your opinion are the main priorities for implementing Natura 2000 in your country (one per line)?

Public awareness raising, information for society and land owners, better quality and on regular basis.

Positive motivation for private land owners, through compensation measures and as financial support for nature management

of Natura 2000 sites and improvement of tourism infrastructure.

Improvement of procedure for elaboration of Nature Protection Plans (site management plans) to fulfil requirements of the

Directives.

Monitoring on regular basis.

Development of administrations for management of Natura 2000 sites.

People involved in answering the questionnaire

Country Latvia

Name (last, first) Organization/Institution Email

Racinska, Inga Latvian Fund for Nature inga@lanet.lv

Salmina, Liene Latvian Fund for Nature lsalmina@latnet.lv


Larmanis, Viesturas Latvian Fund for Nature larmanis@lanet.lv

Racinskis, Edmunds Latvian Ornithological Society edmunds@lob.lv

Erins, Gatis Ministry of Environment gatis.erins@vidm.gov.lv

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