An educational event "Ecosystem services and their evaluation - Latvia's experience" was held in the municipality of Rezekne for representatives of Latgale region municipalities - territorial development planners and other interested parties on February 23, 2018.
The event was organized by the Latgale Regional Administration of the Nature Conservation Agency in co-operation with the project LIFE “Ecosystem Services" (LIFE13 ENV/LV/000839). The event was attended by 20 participants - representatives of 11 municipalities of Latgale region.
Introduction with idea of ecosystem services and more deeply explanation why ecosystem services should be valued have been given.
Experts of the project LIFE “Ecosystem Services" - specialists of the Nature Conservation Agency and the association "Baltijas krasti" share knowledge on the practical implementation of ecosystem services mapping, biophysical and socioeconomic assessment and the use of ecosystem services approach for sustainable territorial management and planning in Latvia and abroad. Within the Project the assessment of ecosystem services is used for updating of the Saulkrasti region development program by reviewing the development directions in the context of those natural values that are important for successful and sustainable territorial development and provide the greatest benefits for both residents and business as well as do not reduce the unique natural capital of the coast of Latvia as the same time.
The specialists of the Latgale Regional Administration of the Nature Conservation Agency lay stress on integration of nature management plans in local planning and involvement and cooperation of local institutions in the management of the specially protected nature territories.
During the discussion valuable lessons were gained:
Result of event participant’s on spot inquiry showed that in estimation of Latgale region territorial planners, ecosystem services assessment they see as helpful instrument, especially in discussions on use of nature capital with politicians and different stakeholders of municipalities.
Elaboration of the Nature Management Plans for the nature park "Piejūra" and the Ķemeri National Park will be launched by the end of the Project. The results of the evaluation of ecosystem services gained within the Project for Saulkrasti municipality and Jaunķemeri will be included. At the end of 2018, recommendations and a practical planning tool will be handed over to planners for testing. Recommendations will serve as a road map for application of the assessment of ecosystem services in different levels of spatial planning.
PRESENTATIONS (in Latvian language)