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Wednesday, September 20, 2017
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Rocks and Caves

 Description of the Action - Elaboration of Management Guidelines for Rocks and Caves
 Expected Results
 Why do We Need Management Guidelines for Rocks and Caves?
 News and Progress
 Photogalleries
 Presentations

Description of the Action - Elaboration of Management Guidelines for Rocks and Caves
 
The aim of this action is to decrease the negative effects of  the lack of appropriate management of rocks and caves. Experts from NGOs, NCA, land owners and other stakeholders will collaborate in a special working group to elaborate guidelines for management of rocks and caves in Natura 2000 sites in Latvia. The working group will meet in workshops and seminars to discuss various management methods. The first draft of the guidelines will be finished by the end of 2014/beginning of 2015, but the book containing the final version of the guidelines will be published in 2016.
 
After the first recommendations from the working group (in 2013) the recommended management methods will be tested in some Natura 2000 sites for specially protected habitats - the appropriate management methods will be tested for caves not open to the public (8310) and Siliceous rocky slopes with chasmophytic vegetation (8220). These habitats need special attention and advanced management to conserve the habitat and characteristic species, as well as the geological formation. The managed/restored areas will be used as demonstration sites for land-owners, managers and other stakeholders in order to provide practical information on how to organize such activities elsewhere.
 
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Expected Results
 
1. Management guidelines presenting various management approaches and explanations as well as including testing results as examples will be available electronically in Latvian, English and Russian on the Project website and on the NCA website.
2. Two sites of EU priority habitats (8220 and 8310) will be used for testing management methods.
3. A book and a brochure on Guidelines for habitat management of Natura 2000 sites will be produced. 
 
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  Why do We Need Management Guidelines for Rocks and Caves?
So far management methods of these habitats varied depending on the development of tourism and conservation trends. Now rocky habitats and caves are recognized as important sites for endangered species and it is necessary to correct past mistakes and implement appropriate management for these very sensitive habitats. These habitats are very rare and important not only locally, but also on the EU level.

The guidelines will help to choose the best management method for rocky habitats and caves taking into account available resources and priority needs for species and habitats. The testing of management methods in some EU priority habitats will serve as a good practical example for all landowners. Testing will help to evaluate effectiveness of management methods. The aim of the tests is to find a solution which is not only effective, but also low cost. The elaboration of Guidelines for management of rocky habitats and caves and testing the management methods in Natura 2000 sites will help to strengthen biodiversity in Natura 2000 sites, improve the quality of habitats and involve the local community and landowners on practical nature conservation. Uniting all of the existing management practices into one comprehensive up-to-date publication will enable implementation of appropriate and harmonized management of rocky habitats as it will be available to state institutions, municipalities, experts, land owners and other stakeholders.