Compensation and involvement of landowners in the conservation of biodiversity
The success of biodiversity conservation largely depends on the motivation of landowners to take care of the conservation and enhancement of the benefits of Latvia’s nature on their land. In order to identify and understand their needs and options, we will organize opinion pulls of forest and grassland owners. Additionally, we will study examples of good practice from other countries for the successful involvement of private landowners in the process of preserving natural values. We will provide field tests of voluntary mechanisms for the preservation of natural values in forests and grasslands. Following that, we will prepare proposals for the improvement of the Latvian compensation system – based on the knowledge acquired, experience and analysis of the needs of landowners.
We aim to create the support mechanisms that effectively involve landowners and increase their motivation to contribute to biodiversity conservation on their land, and furthermore to achieve the overall goal of nature conservation and to reduce its socio-economic conflict.
Linking biodiversity and business
Preserving natural grasslands and their associated species diversity and ecosystem services requires grassland restoration, proper management, and regeneration where they have been destroyed. The future of natural grasslands depends on balanced farming practices in which humans and nature can coexist. Often support payments for grassland maintenance cannot compete with more attractive agricultural subsidies and higher profits from intensive production or other land uses. Therefore, the areas of natural grasslands in Latvia continue to shrink and their quality is deteriorating. Additional mechanisms need to be created to support natural grasslands and their managers. The project will establish a Grassland Product Label and motivate producers to develop innovative grassland products. Innovations will be further supported by educating the public about the role of natural grasslands and the need for public support – one of the ways to do this is to buy products that come from natural grasslands and are produced with respect for nature.