The EU and national policies for the land use, rural development and nature protection are the most influential present drivers of the landscape change in the Baltic States, determining also the grassland management practices and thus impacting status of grassland ecosystems and services they provide.
The LIFE VIVA GRASS project has performed analysis of the national policies and regulatory framework in the Baltic States in order to assess the established conditions for the grassland management and impacts on grassland ecosystems and related ecosystem services. The assessment has reveled that policy objectives in general are in favor for maintenance of grassland biodiversity, however depending on measures applied the impacts can be both – positive and negative. The main risks are related to transformation of grasslands into arable land for intensive agriculture production or cultivation of energy crops as well as afforestation of non-used agriculture land.
The analysis serve as a conceptual basis for development of integrated grassland management approach as well as formulating recommendations to the national authorities for improvement of rural development policies and strengthening of the legal systems for grassland management.