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NAT-PROGRAMME reports on project progress and implemented improvements at experience consolidation meeting in Brussels
At the end of March in Brussels LIFE project Platform Meeting attended by NAT-PROGRAMME project manager Juris Jātnieks and coordinatorĒrika Kļaviņa was held. Alongside with the organizers: the EC DG Environment Life Division management: Angelo Salt, Przemyslav Oginski; Latvian Life project monitoring experts Rosemarie Hingsammer (EC) and Roland Ratfelder (NEEM) the Latvian environmental institutional authorities and project staff members of other national countries also took part. 

One of the central presentations on NAT-PROGAMME project experience performed by J.Jātnieks was followed by the discussion between the other EU Member State participants conducted by Angelo Salt (DG ENV LIFE).
At the meeting it was acknowledged that the plans of Nature protection measures are linked with ongoing work with a 10-year perspective that is a part of strategic planning activities for the period up to 2025. EC representatives noted that Latvia is a good European scale example and the Nature Conservation planning documents are related with the Member state National Action Programme 2014 - 2020. The project implementing team is assured that Latvian Nature Conservancy Agency (NCA) with the project "NAT-PROGRAMME" follows the proper direction by setting PAF (Prioritized Action Frameworks for Natura 2000) details and priorities for biodiversity conservation in the country and separately for each Natura 2000 site. The meeting also created new ideas for structural development of the National Conservation and Management Programme.

One of the four sessions of the seminar was devoted to the enhancement of the public awareness for nature conservation and management issues.
Public awareness and ecological education should be taken into account when identifying EU Specially Protected habitat conditions and emergency operations to save them. These planned actions are not always comprehended by general public. Hence more attention should be paid to create public environmental awareness by explaining the interaction between species, ecological processes within ecosystems. Otherwise such natural diversity revitalizing and natural disturbances imitative activities as: prescribed fires (in grasslands, pine forest grounds, reeds) and the restoration of the hydrological regime in wetlands, may lack public support and awareness.

The EC LIFE + program funded NAT-PROGRAMME project is implemented by the Latvian Nature Conservancy Agency and its goal is to work out the National Conservation and Management Programme and specially protected habitat management guidelines for NATURA 2000 areas. NAT-PROGRAMME project implementation timing is December 2012 - February 2017.

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