Save Latvian Dunes Campaign
Since regaining of Latvia’s independence both nature and culture uniqueness of the coast has been continuously endangered due to the insufficient state control and implementation of legislation on protection of natural habitats and preventing violations against the nature. On the other hand a serious problem is also the low level of environmental awareness of the general public and the lack of suitable and modern (nature friendly) tourism infrastructure sites along the coast of Latvia in the length of 500 kilometers. Therefore the issue of efficient implementation of nature protection system using the modern ecologic infrastructure as a tool in the coastal areas of Latvia is crucial for sustainable development of the whole Baltic Sea region. To act immediately we have an Action plan or complex of activities with 3 Objectives:
Objective 1 – Infrastructure to protect the nature of the dunes
Building or renewing green and sustainable (accessible) nature sites’ – infrastructure objects, with the aim to protect dunes’ biodiversity.
Objective 2 – Involvement and public awareness
Organizing public activities to improve the state of endangered biotopes’ sites and biodiversity in general.
Objective 3 – Information and experience exchange
Changing experiences and information with all involved partners to ensure long term effect of achieved results and update the situation and solutions.
This project will ensure that the major part of the endangered coastal nature sites of the unique biodiversity of 500 km long shore line of Latvia will be protected and improved. The main stakeholders in this project are the local coastal municipalities and Latvian Ministry of Environment and Regional Development, internationally – Coalition Clean Baltic.
Infrastructure project “NaaC”
Within the co-financing of CCB for the Save Latvian Dunes campaign and NaaC certificate, LaGM has arranged several activities using such methods as information exchange, education and participation-involvement.
In Information part, LaGM has arranged three seminars on Nature Accessibility principles – “NaaC” and criteria for NGOs, municipalities and foreign representatives with more than 100 participants in total. We have produced brochures on “NaaC” in Latvian, English and Russian. More than 3000 copies were distributed in different events of Nature Accessibility.
In frame of educational activities, Coastal Youth forum in Jurmala was arranged. In October 19, 112 school youngsters were gathered to learn about the coastal erosion and dune protection both listening the invited experts’ knowledge and actively participating in discussion panels. The winner of the poster’s competition of the coastal schools also was announced there. The poster was printed and distributed to all schools which participated in the project.
To learn experience of other Baltic countries, group of 4 LaGM experts visited Kaliningrad region in Russia. Coastal accessibility issues were explored in the coastal cities like Jantarniy, Zelenogradsk and Svetlogorsk. LaGM representatives also met local accessibility expert Svetlana Nigmatullina from NGO “Aura”. It was decided to continue consultations on “NaaC” introduction in Kaliningrad region.
Within the participation-involvement part of the project two large scale events have been organized. In May 26, more than 100 participants from local schools took part in Dune’s Clean Up Day which was covering Roja, Mersrags and Engure coastal municipalities in the distance of 100 kilometers. The regular Latvian army and young cadets actively participated in Clean ups using their army vehicles. In September 8, Pine tree planting was arranged to celebrate Latvia’s 100 years. In distance of 20 kilometers about 80 participants planted 7000 pine tree plants. To protect dunes from the illegal car driving and moto biking, on the eventually endangered sites participants set up information signs, informing about the new planted areas and dune protection. This event was reflected also in Latvian National television program and local newspapers. All the campaigns’ events have been announced in social media and LaGM website.
Two other financers of the campaign – Baltic Sea Conservation Fund (BaltCF) and Latvian Environmental Protection Foundation (LVAF) have substantially supported number of other “NaaC” and coastal education activities. Within the coastal nature accessibility direction of the campaign, BaltCF project financed universal green toilets, wooden trails and view sites in dune areas thus improving the infrastructure in Ventspils, Salacgriva, Mersrags and Engure coastal municipalities.
Guidelines for Sustainabele Event Management
Large and medium-scale events are often the most time-efficient and effective way for collaborating with, educating and informing large groups of people. At the same time, such events leave a significant environmental footprint – consuming energy and clean water, generating waste, polluting air and water, and creating greenhouse gas emissions.
Therefore, it is important that event organizers incorporate sustainability considerations into the very first planning stages of their event. Sustainability considerations lead to environmental improvements and financial advantages; creating a more positive image for the event’s planners and social benefits for the local community. They can trigger secondary positive effects such as innovation in the marketplace, stimulating new product growth; and by raising awareness they can create long-term benefits for the broader community.
The proposed Guidelines will provide a tool that helps event planners maximize the positive impact of their event and minimize the potential negative outcomes. The Guidelines will add value in both the governmental, non-governmental, public and private sector.
The main aim of the project is to help reduce impact of large and medium-scale events on the environment (events with over 100 attendants, possibly spread over several days and multiple (international) locations). The project partners will research best practices and develop Guidelines for Sustainable Event Management (hereafter: Guidelines) that will help event organizers to reduce the environmental impact of their events. The project partners will disseminate and implement these Guidelines in public, private and non-profit sectors.
November 2014 – October 2015
- homo ecos:, Latvia (www.homoecos.lv)
- Latvian Green Movement, Latvia (www.zalie.lv)
- INFORSE-Europe, Denmark (http://www.inforse.org/europe/)
- “Sustainable Development Initiatives – DVI”, Lithuania (http://www.dvi.lt/index.php/pageid/490)
Main activities include:
– research and review relevant best practices in sustainable event management in the Baltic and Nordic countries; integrating the relevant aspects of ISO 20121;
– study visit to Denmark to exchange experiences and learn about Danish best practices in sustainable (large and medium-scale) event management and communication about sustainable events with various stakeholders.
-develop and publish the Guidelines with included experience and expertise of the partners;
-develop and publish an (online) checklist for event organizers;
-organize a seminar for the target groups to inform stakeholders (NGOs and public sector);
-media and communication activities in order to disseminate results of the project and to inform a broader spectrum of society.
Planned direct results:
-electronic and printed Guidelines in Latvian, electronic version in English and summary in Lithuanian;
-(online) checklist in English and Latvian for event organizers;
– educating 80 to 100 representatives of the non-governmental and public sector through Guidelines training seminars, communication and dissemination of results;
-at least 10 stakeholders reached and involved in developing the Guidelines and dissemination of results;
The project will increase both the public and organization’s awareness about the impact of large and medium-scale events such as festivals, conferences, concerts and meetings on the environment. Organizations organizing large events will be equipped with tools and knowledge to take appropriate measures to reduce the environmental impact of events.