Deliverables

Layman report “How much is the grass. Assessing the benefits grasslands provide for human well-being and visualizing them on an innovative GIS tool”

With this intriguing question “How much is the grass” we invite you to think about grasslands from an ecology and market economy perspective. We want you to see grasslands not only as beautiful meadows, but rather as a special service provider – let´s say, similar to your mobile network provider – which provides amazing and sometimes difficult-to-imagine services for us. More about those services and the most important findings and results of the project you can find in this brochure.

Rekomendations on nature tourism development for Šilutė district

This paper analyzes the possibilities of Šilutė district municipality for natural tourism development and provides recommendations for improvement of Šilutė district municipal strategic development plan for 2015-2024. Recommendations are being prepared to encourage Šilutė district to develop the region as nature (birding) tourism destination, thus making the most of the area’s potential (birds, water opportunities), and ensuring the quality and preservation of the natural environment that provides these important resources for tourism.

The document is available only in Lithuanian.

People’s perception of grassland ecosystems and their services

With this brochure we would like to highlight the importance of people’s understanding and perception of grassland ecosystems and their services. As the project involved a great amount of informing, consulting and engaging with stakeholders to promote multi-functionality of the grasslands, we would like to reflect on the approach and the results achieved about people’s awareness of the issue.

Nature conservation management plan for Kurese nature farm

Project team prepared nature conservation management plan for Kurese nature farm – one of project’s pilot areas.  Kures farm has natural and cultural heritage, which is also the basis for defining the future objectives of farm management. In addition, the management of the farm must take into account the nature’s and heritage’s conservation objectives and the constraints which, on the one hand, restrict activities and, on the other, provide additional opportunities. The plan is available only in Estonian.

LIFE Viva Grass Recommendations on Ecosystem-based Planning and Grassland Management

The recommendations presented here have been developed based on the policy and best practice analysis, the experience of testing the tool application in the 9 case study areas (including farm, municipality and regional level) as well as several rounds of discussions at various stakeholders’ events. The aim of the recommendations is to improve the integrity of the decision-making and governance process for maintaining grassland biodiversity through optimising coordination between nature conservation and rural development policies, as well as integrating an ecosystem-based approach in land use and spatial planning. The recommendations are targeted towards policy-makers from competent authorities, as well as practitioners in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

INTEGRATED PLANNING APPROACH AND “VIVA GRASS INTEGRATED PLANNING TOOL”

With this brochure we give a brief introduction to the integrated planning approach taking into account ecological as well as socio-economic aspects and, to the benefits of considering ecosystem services (contribution of nature to human welfare) in different policy sectors, land use management and development planning. 

We also introduce and invite you to use the “Viva Grass Integrated Planning Tool” (the Tool) – a decision support tool developed in the “LIFE Viva Grass” project to support application of the integrated planning approach in landscape and spatial planning and sustainable grassland management. Furthermore, the Tool also serves an informative and educational purpose, showing the potential of grasslands’ ecosystem services and enabling comparison of different grassland types and evaluation of management practices. 

Saaremaa municipality recommendations: implementing the Green Network at the local level

Grasslands play a key role within green networks. Specifically, less intensified grasslands such as permanent and semi-natural meadows are characterized by a high provision of regulation and maintenance Ecosystem Services (hereinafter “ES”) related with pollination, the maintenance of habitats for key species or global climate regulation through carbon sequestration in vegetation and soils. The provision of multiple ecosystem services ES, understood as multifunctinonality, highlights the role of semi-natural grasslands as relevant elements of the Green Network of Estonia.

The present report aims at: summarizing the extent and conservation status of grasslands in Saaremaa Municipality; assessing the extent, conservation status and supply of ES within and outside of the current Green Network of Saare County (hereinafter GN); proposing scenarios for the inclusion and protection of grasslands in the GN by implementing the County level GN in the Saaremaa Municipality general plan.

Saaremaa Municipality is contributing to the development of the integrated planning tool from the local government perspective and will test the tool by implementing it through its strategic planning processes, specifically by integrating the tool outputs in the drafting process of the GN in the General Plan. The main interest of Saaremaa Municipality is to preserve its nature values and to gain more knowledge on grasslands’ economic growth potential for the local society.

Recommendations on incorporating grassland ecosystem services into environmental management and spatial planning in Lääne County

Grasslands play a key role within green networks. Specifically, less intensified grasslands such as permanent and semi-natural meadows are characterised by a high provision of regulation and maintenance Ecosystem Services (hereinafter “ES”) related with pollination, the maintenance of habitats for key species or global climate regulation through carbon sequestration in vegetation and soils. The provision of multiple ecosystem services ES, understood as multifunctinonality, highlights the role of semi-natural grasslands as relevant elements of the Green Network of Estonia.

The present report aims at: summarising the extent and conservation status of grasslands in Lääne Count; assessing the extent, conservation status and supply of ES within and outside of the current Green Network of Lääne County (hereinafter GN); Proposing scenarios for the inclusion and protection of grasslands in the GN by implementing the County level GN in the municipalities’ general plans; Evaluation of grass-based energy sources.

BIRDING IN LITHUANIA, NEMUNAS DELTA REGION

It is the first Lithuanian Field Guide to birding for everyone interested in birds. The Nemunas Delta region, no doubt, from the ornithological point of view is the most important site in the country, here the majority of bird species found in Lithuania breed, and in the migration periods this region becomes one of the main rest stops for millions of migrating birds. The Field Guide covers 22 areas in Western Lithuania, including 15 falling under the boundaries of the Nemunas Delta Regional Park, 5 sites are in the coastal zone between Kintai and Klaipėda, 2 – in the upper reaches of the Nemunas Delta (Pagėgiai municipality). The areas have been selected based on long term observations in this region by the ornithologists, and the list of notable species was down up according to the latest data. We hope that the detailed information provided in this book about birds in the Nemunas Delta region will facilitate your immerse in the enhancing world of nature.

KEEPING COUNTRYSIDE ALIVE – GRASSLANDS FOR HUMAN WELL-BEING

In this publication we provide inspirational examples how grasslands can be used differently to deliver benefits for social and economic life of local communities in the Baltic States while at the same time, they do not harm the ecosystem. We hope that the reader will take a new look at grasslands. Publication is available only in Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian.

HOW DO GRASSLANDS BENEFIT HUMANS: INTRODUCTION TO GRASSLAND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES

With this small brochure, we would like to prove that the perception of grasslands only as an animal fodder provider, or just as a biodiversity pool, is rather narrow-minded. There are many other benefits, which we usually do not notice in our busy lives. Scientists have granted them the name “ecosystem services”. The aim of the brochure is to introduce the reader to the concept of ecosystem services, with particular emphasis on grasslands. We hope that the brochure will help you discover new aspects of grasslands, which you probably knew but maybe did not pay attention to! Now, go to the nearest meadow or pasture and look at it with fresh eyes and a different mind!

Potential for biomass and energy production from semi-natural grasslands in Lääne County

Although the area of semi-natural grasslands in Estonia has been progressively decreasing since the 1940s, there is still a considerable area and diversity of semi-natural grasslands. Only in Lääne County, 10 types of semi-natural grassland habitats are found.

REPORT “ASSESSMENT OF SEMI-NATURAL GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT DURING THE LAST 20 YEARS IN LÜMANDA MUNICIPALITY”

In the report “Assessment of semi-natural grassland management during the last 20 years in Lümanda municipality” we analysed the implemented measures on the grasslands management in Estonia and in
the former Lümanda municipality during the last 20 years. Analysis, based on interviews with stakeholders (farmers, land-owners, nature conservation, tourism, politicians, planners etc.) on values of
semi-natural grasslands and management practices, was compiled. Also trends in socio-economic parameters of municipality and reflection of semi-natural grasslands, and their management measures
in the strategic documents (spatial plans, management plans etc.) were analysed. Recommendations for a long-term management measures for semi-natural grasslands were compiled.

ANALYSIS OF POLICIES AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK INFLUENCING MAINTENANCE OF GRASSLAND ECOSYSTEMS IN THE BALTIC STATES

Analysis of the national policies and regulatory framework in the Baltic States aiming to assess the established conditions for the grassland management and how favourable they are for maintenance of grassland ecosystems, biodiversity and related ecosystem services. Shortcomings of the existing policy and legal framework of the Baltic States have been identified. The analysis serves 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.

REPORT ON INITIAL SOCIO-ECONOMIC SITUATION AND BASELINE SCENARIOS

The Report presents two main results at level of each demonstration case of the LIFE Viva Grass project: 1) the initial socioeconomic situation presented by the key indicators on trends and the status either on 2014 or 2015; 2) A baseline or also called a “business as usual ”scenario outlining the development without implementation of the project activities.

CONSOLIDATED DATA AVAILABILITY REPORT

The study gives an overview from 3 Baltic countries about available datasets, conditions for using it for planning and research purpose and should the users of the Integrated planning tool (the Tool) to plan additional resources (for purchase of data or processing the data) to be able to use with the Tool. The analysis also include assessment legal regulations of data availability i.e. conditions for access to the date; any legal restriction for data use and publish.

THE BROCHURE “VIABLE GRASSLAND MANAGEMENT – EXPERIENCE, CHALLENGES and OPPORTUNITIES”

The brochure “Viable grassland management – experience, challenges and opportunities” summarises the information on existing good practice and provides some recommendations for the Baltic States to overcome the challenges related to the maintenance of valuable semi-natural grasslands. The brochure has been compiled by the LIFE Viva Grass project team based on study visits to UK, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Slovenia and the Baltic States, interviews with previous projects dealing with grassland management as well as discussions in the international conference on “Enhancing Economic Viability of Grasslands by Green Farming in Europe” held in May 2015 in Latvia.

LOGICAL FRAME OF THE INTEGRATED PLANNING TOOL

This working document describes the logical framework of the integrated planning tool. It defines the structure and outputs generated by the Tool; its operational logic; ES assessment process; additional indicators based on socio‐economic criteria; requirements for the design and accessibility of the Tool; specification of processes and their management structure (actors, responsibilities, and other organizational issues); specification of software requirements and solution architecture design; the input criteria (factors) that will formulate specific data needs; intended results; technical and program solution. It is not the final document and does not show the final result of integrated planning tool.

EX-ANTE REPORT “THE INITIAL STATUS OF THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE AREAS WHERE PROJECT ACTIVITIES WILL BE IMPLEMENTED”

The Ex-ante Report present data and information reflecting the existing situation right before implementation of the project demo activities. The Ex-ante Report describes the project areas to illustrate the natural characteristics and existing land cover and land uses in the area. Furthermore, the Ex-ante report gives an overview on implemented sampling and analysis activities and the results obtained.

SYNTHESIS REPORT „EVALUATION OF THE EXPERIENCES IN MAINTENANCE OF GRASSLAND ECOSYSTEM”

This report presents an overview of different grassland management approaches as well as insight knowledge on successes and constraints within the projects applying grassland management measures in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as in other EU countries. It highlights the best practice examples and ex-post experience of projects to ensure continuity of grassland management measures and maintenance of grasslands through integrated planning and applications of ecosystem based models and tools.

The report highlights need for cooperation models of different stakeholders for joint implementation of grassland management actions. Experience of projects shows that prior to availability of appropriate financing mechanisms, interested, motivated and capable local landowners and farmers willing to implement grassland management measures is the key precondition for implementation of grassland management activities and ensuring their continuation after the project ends.