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Experience exchange seminars LIFE+ and LIFE programme projects
In 7 to 10 June (2016), a four LIFE project meeting took place in Latvia, attended also by representatives of NAT-PROGRAMME. On the first day (7 June), the representatives of all projects introduced their projects to the others. The meeting took place in Sigulda, in the premises of Nature Conservation Agency.
Kaspars Pabērzs, the manager of LIFE project “Sustainable and responsible management and re-use of degraded peatlands in Latvia” (REstore) gave a presentation on the project goals and basic methods to be used. This project has started recently, so right now no results could be presented, so most of actions so far had been related to planning and recently also field inventories in abandoned peat extraction areas had been started.
Māra Pakalne, the manager of LIFE project “Conservation and management of Priority wetland habitats in Latvia” (WETLANDS) gave an insight into the mire restoration activities planned within the project, the research done, the peculiarities of the project sites.
LIFE project “National Conservation and Management Programme for Natura 2000 sites in Latvia (NAT-PROGRAMME)” was represented by Agnese Priede, the guideline manager and mire expert, who gave a presentation on the project activities and the experience gained in experimental management sites, public involvement, development of guidelines and programme for Natura 2000 sites.
The last presentation was given by Mateusz Borny, a representative of LIFE project “In harmony with nature” (LIFE+ for Janowskie Forest, Poland), who gave an overview on the project contents, the project area and conservation problems, and the restoration actions planned within a project. This is a new project, which has started approximately one year ago, thus all actions are still in planning phase.
In the afternoon, the attendants were guided in the surroundings of Sigulda (Gauja National Park) by NAT-PROGRAMME forest expert Sandra Ikauniece. We visited different forest habitat sites (forests on slopes and ravines, alluvial forests, sandstone rocks and caves, a restoration site of woodland meadow (done within LIFE FOR-REST), a newly built road on slope causing increased erosion (the impacts and potential alternatives were discussed).
On the 2nd and 3rd day, the NAT-PROGRAMME employees did not attend the meeting (the Polish LIFE project and LIFE Wetland people attended Sudas-Zviedru Mire and Ziemeļu purvi – LIFE WETLANDS restoration areas. On the 4th day, Agnese Priede, a representative of NAT-PROGRAMME guided an excursion in Kemeri National Park, the sites restored within NAT-PROGRAMME (experimental sites – alkaline fens near Kanieris Lake) and the former peat extraction area restored 10 years ago. The outcome, restoration methods and perpectives for restoring similar sites and still unrestored nearby areas was discussed.

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