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Significant success on grassland habitat guidelines
On the first months of 2016 there was tense work, which leads yet another step closer to the implementation of habitat management guidelines. It was led the last round of resume workshops and received opinions about guidelines drafts from environmental organizations and government institutions, which  in the future likely will be confronted with recommendations of the  management measures, contained in  the guidelines.
Particularly noteworthy is reached correlation between the Ministry of Agriculture Rural Development Programme 2014 - 2020 and project "NAT-PROGRAMME” developed guidelines. The requirements of Rural Development Programme measure  "Maintaining biodiversity in grasslands"  will be  supported  with training and education materials developed by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development , Nature Conservancy Agency implemented “NAT – PROGRAMME” project.
As of  2016., there have been upgraded conditions for Rural Development Programme measure "Maintaining biodiversity in grasslands". Now it’s necessary for land managers to gain basic qualification about biodiversity protection issues when maintaining grasslands - mowing or extensively  grazing with grazing animals  - to achieve conditions to qualify for Rural Support Service (RSS) administered EU supportive payments and the beneficiary must obtain basic skills no later than second commitment period.
Guidelines developed by  “NAT-PROGRAMME “ project  offers such knowledge – that’s why  it is planned that 16 h-long training course on grassland habitat management methods will be based on "NAT-PROGRAMME” prepared paper on  management recommendations.
From nature point of view - significant changes is that, that grass cuttings should be removed from the field - crush and  leave is not allowed! Cutting the green mass and leaving on field or shredding grass, mulch layer is formed, which interfere with the growth of less aggressive plants – leaving negative and significant impact on grassland biodiversity.
As important aspect for land managers which ensures grassland sustainability must be admitted that starting from year 2016. long-term obligations are set – area applied for the first year must be managed for 5 years in a row.
In Latvia there are 10 protected habitats of biologically valuable grassland for management of whom farmers are  eligible for aid payments 2014- 2020th of the Rural Development Programme measure "Agri-environment" sub "Maintaining Biodiversity”

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