April 25, 2017. Aim of the event was to introduce local stakeholders with the actualities applying for the direct payments in 2017 (Rural Support Service) as well as with the LIFE Viva Grass project‘s latest achievements.
Project expert A.Ruskule presented the Integrated planning tool and possibilities to use it for landscape planning.
Project expert E.Bojārs held a presentation about grassland restoration activities in the project pilot territory in Cēsis municipality – main challenges, problems, preformed and planned activities.
Main discussion points:
- Distribution of the invasive Sosnowsky hogweed is a huge problem in the municipality being among the most invaded municipalities in Latvia. The Viva Grass Project tries to eliminate the species also in grassland restoration sites; however, it’s obvious that few year actions are not enough, and the work shall be continued by the site managers. Cēsis municipality is eliminating the hogweed in the land under its ownership and tries to motivate private landowners to act by reducing land taxes if actions are taken or imposing higher taxes in the case of no action.
- Project activities in grassland restoration were highly appreciated by the participants from both biological and landscape viewpoints.
- Restoration and maintenance of scenic landscape viewpoints was considered as priority in Cēsis municipality. It was mentioned that there was a landscape care movement led by poet Imants Ziedonis few decades ago, where also local Vaive people took part.
- It was noted that land owners have lost land management skills, and the participants expressed hope that the tool will help in choosing management options appropriate for the given environmental conditions.
- Communication means to spread information about project related activities were discussed among participants. The older generation does mot use internet based tools (e-mails, websites, and twitter) much.