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2013-02-05
Seminar "Wetlands Take Care of Water"
 
 The seminar took place at the Natural History Museum of Latvia and gathered 45 attendees, including nature experts, representatives of NGOs and state institutions. This seminar provided an excellent opportunity to introduce the Project to the wetlands and freshwater habitats community and invite freshwater habitats experts to participate in the action C2 – elaboration of guidelines for management of freshwater habitats and testing the management methods in Natura 2000 sites. A segment about the seminar was included in the nature news broadcast “Vides fakti”, including an interview with the Project freshwater habitats expert Andris Urtāns.
 
The seminar consisted of several presentations.Project freshwater habitats expert Andris Urtāns provided an overview of an innovative campaign that he had organised to promote the involvement of the society in the management of freshwater habitats. The name of this initiative is “Liec upē akmeni” (Place a Stone in the Stream), which is a very simple, yet effective method of arranging stones in a shallow river to improve river functionality and self-purification capacities. It is also a very effective way how to raise citizen awareness and motivation through practical, hands-on involvement.
 
Māra Pakalne, the Manager of the project “Augstie Purvi” presented an overview about the hydrological restoration actions that have been carried out in 2012. The presentation showcased the positive effects of building dams, such as stabilization of water level, as well as introduced the main results of the groundwater and wetlands monitoring report.
 
Linda Grinberga (Latvia University of Agriculture) presented the use of constructed wetlands, which are man-made wetlands built to remove pollutants present in wastewater. An overview of a number of pilot areas currently testing the use of constructed wetlands in Latvia was presented, examining the pros and cons of such approach to wastewater treatment.
 
Gatis Eriņš, a representative of the Institute for Environmental Solutions, presented innovative methods for researching water objects. G.Eriņš discussed how remote sensing technologies can be used to, for example, develop flood maps, determine the quality of water or identify sources of pollution.
 
Nature Conservation Agency rangers Gintārs Rubenis and Aivars Tomaševics introduced the seminar participants with several river management actions that have been carried out in 2012 to improve the status of rivers in Latvia. Their presentations included practical tips, as well as warnings about managing rivers. 
 





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