Baltic Environmental Forum Lithuania
The result-based pilot scheme "Conservation of natural flowering meadows" has been developed and is being implemented by NGO Baltic environmental forum within the LIFE project "Optimizing the management of Natura 2000 network in Lithuania” (LIFE IP PAF-NATURALIT), No. LIFE16 IPE/LT/016 (https://naturalit.lt/en/home/). The scheme has been developed with an aim to preserve the remaining natural flowering meadows in Lithuania, as the overall area of natural meadows is decreasing very rapidly due to the intensification of farming methods, changing socio-economic situation, the decline of animal husbandry sector and the spread of big monoculture cereal farms.
The scheme also aims to involve farmers directly into the monitoring of their fields, also expanding their knowledge on the values and species diversity in their fields as well as management to preserve them.
Location of the schemewhole country
300 hectares were selected from almost 1500 of proposed meadows. The selected meadows are dispersed around the whole country, however most of the plots concentrate in Žemaitija national park ir the west part of Lithuania and in Aukštaitija national park and its surroundings in the east part of Lithuania.
Duration of the schemeSince: 2021
Until: 2023 (with a potential two year extension until 2025)
Objective(s) of the scheme / project
Though the main objective is to preserve the remaining natural flowering meadows and biodiversity within them, the side effects of this scheme also ad up well to erosion control, as the land has permanent cover, as well as water quality, as the meadows are not fertilized and managed in an extensive way.
Which habitats or species are in the focus of the scheme / project?
- Habitats (incl. habitats of Fauna-Flora-Habitat-Directive (FFH-D.))
- Only species of FFH-D.
Though the scheme does not focus on particular habitats or species, it does naturally include and cover them, as the selected meadows for the scheme are already in good quality and some of them are identified as FFH-D habitats and have protected species.
Which indicators are used?
- Only FFH Species
The scheme uses plant species as indicators. The current list has 156 indicator species. However the list should be shortened in the future.
A unique list of species has been created, however some of the species also cover the FFH species.
Design of scheme / project
- Pure Result Based Payments
- Stepwise increasing Result Based Payments
- Continuously increasing payments by delivered results
The farmer is free to choose how and when to manage his plots. The payment is based on the results achieved.
The scheme has three tiers:
1) Base tier;
2) 1st tier;
3) 2nd tier.
Thresholds of points have been set for each tier after the first year results have been calculated. Each farmer's plot falls into one of the tiers, based on the calculated results. The payment for each tier differs, the 2nd tier payment being the biggest. The payments in each tier are also divided into two groups. One payment is payed for the farmer if he manages the plot by mowing it and the other payment, if the farmer uses animals to graze the plot. The latter payment is higher.
If next year the farmer would achieve better results in his plots, he would move up in the tiers, also if worse results occur, downgrading in tiers will also happen.
By which fund(s) is the scheme / project implemented?
How are the incentives (payment levels) calculated?
- Based on the costs of management actions
The payments are based on the costs of management actions, that is why the scheme has two groups of payments:
1) Mowing the plot;
2) Grazing the plot with animals.
The farmer's time for monitoring of the plots is also calculated and included into the payment.
Is there a top up in case of reaching the goals?
The farmer can move up from the base tier to the 2nd tier if he achieves better results each year.
How many hectares are in the scheme (year 2020)?
- 100 – 500
How many farmers take part in the scheme?
- Less than 50
How are participating farmers supervised/advised?
- Advisors visits (obligatory)
- Advice by telephone
- Information documents (pamphlets, reports, etc.)
- Information meetings/workshops (obligatory)
The plots were firstly inventorized by botanists, who also trained the farmers how to recognize the indicator plant species and do the monitoring. The results from botanists and farmers are later compared.
The farmers also received a guide for the indicator species.
Regular meetings are organized with the farmers to answer their questions and collect their feedback.
Are there any evaluation results (2020)?
- In preparation
Baltic Environmental Forum Lithuania
Kalvarijų str. 8-17
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