Lithuanian-Norwegian Projects

Processing of research and dispersed information on protected species and input into a unified Protected Species Information System (PSIS/SRIS)

Projects leader: dr. Valerijus Rašomavičius

Project duration:  2014–2016

More information about the Projec

Processing of research and dispersed information on protected species and input into a unified Protected Species Information System (PSIS/SRIS)

Project leader: Dr. V. Rašomavičius, project reference number EEE-LT03-AM-01-K-01-001, (2014–2016)

The Protected Species Information System (PSIS/SRIS) is aimed at compiling, systematizing and providing data on protected species, their habitats and localities to interested parties and ensuring publicity of the data and information on protected species. The data are used for practical environmental activities: development of protected species management plans, nature ma­nagement plans, documents on the establishment and planning of protected areas, documents on the assessment of the impact of planned economic activities on the environment, documents on forest management, preparation of land survey projects for rural development, etc. The information system data can also be used for working out analyses, strategies, prognoses concerning protected species distribution, abundance, status, etc.
The data for the Protected Species Information System is provided mandatory by the environmental system staff as well as various environmental promoters. However, over 50 years worth of data from a number of main sources are still unavailable, including from scientific collections and archives (field sheets, observation questionnaires, reports, cartographic material), as well as dispersed information to be gained from observers of natural diversity acting in other institutions (universities), public organizations (Entomological, Bat Conservation Societies) or living in the regions.. The project leader will ensure verification of the quality and approval of the provided dispersed data as well as input into the Protected Species Information System.
The aim of the project is to compile and analyse the dispersed scientific data as well as historical information on protected species of animals, plants and fungi, and to systematize and consolidate the data into a unified Protected Species Information System.

 

2016 year

Norway Grants: Partnership for Creation and Preservation of Values

The Nature Research Centre has successfully completed the project "Processing of research and dispersed information on protected species and input into a unified Protected Species Information System" (No EEE-LT03-AM-01-K-01-001) within the EEA financial mechanism programme „Biodiversity and ecosystem services“ 2009–2014. The Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania was the national operator of the programme, and the Central Project Management Agency was the implementing institution.

The purpose of the project from April 2014 was to compile, analyse and provide data on protected species for a unified Protected Species Information System (PSIS) administered by the Ministry of Environment and thus contribute to the preservation of biodiversity. The final result of project activities is over 53 thousand of new records of protected animal, plant and fungus species (of which 1385 were records of strictly protected species). The main sources of such an impressive amount of information were scientific collections (e.g. BILAS, WI, and HSUD herbariums), private collections, databases of research institutions (e.g. CICONIA, BIGIS, etc.), non-governmental organisations and private persons, observation reports, field sheets, individual reports, etc. About thirty researchers of the Nature Research Centre as well as experts from other institutions were involved in the project.  

The closing event of the project took place on 18 April 2016. Algirdas Klimavičius, Head of the Protected Areas Strategy Division of the Department of Protected Areas and Landscape of the Ministry of Environment, presented successful results of the project. The Protected Species Information System is of particular importance in taking national strategic decisions, implementing economic development projects as well as preserving biodiversity. The results of the project significantly contribute to the effective functioning of the Protected Species Information System.


 

 

Sustainable development of wind power in western Lithuania

Projects leader: dr. Mindaugas Dagys

Project duration:  2014–2016

More information about the Projec

 

 

Project partners: Nature Research Centre (the Leading Party, Vilnius, Lithuania), The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), Centre of Sustainable Development (Vilnius, Lithuania), The Lithuanian Wind Power Association.

PURPOSE OF THE ROJECT – identification of conflict zones which are vulnerable to the development of wind power facilities in the sense of biodiversity protection and preparation of conflict management recommendations.

Photo by Mindaugas Kirstukas

TASKS AND ACTIVITIES

  • Identify conflict zones which are vulnerable to the development of wind power facilities in the sense biodiversity protection:
  • Analyse primary information sources and establish criteria for identification of conflict zones. All areas that are important in view of protection of target animal groups as well as areas suitable for the development of wind power plants will be identified in western Lithuania. Identification of areas will be performed according to the criteria agreed with interested persons. All criteria will be described in a standardised form.
  • Perform analysis of significance of criteria. Analysis of significance of selected criteria agreed with interested persons will be performed. Researchers will assess to what extent the selected criteria are significant to conflict intensity. Assessment of criteria significance will be discussed with interested persons and described in a standardised form.
  • Build a spatial database for identification of conflict zones. A digital spatial database will be built with as many layers as many criteria will be identified. Different information sources will be used to achieve the purpose: special and detailed plans, data of cadastres and registries, as well as other digital and non-digital information. During this activity, non-digital information will be digitised. A spatial information analysis model will be created.
  • Based on results of the performed analysis create a model for identification of particular conflict zones and intensity of conflict in them. A model for automated analysis of spatial information for the purpose of visualization of conflict zones in a particular territory (e.g. municipality, county) and calculation of the total area of such zones in a territory and intensity of conflict in them will be created. After finalization of the project the model might be further used for assessment of conflict intensities outside western Lithuania.
  • Perform verification of the created model based on in situ data. In the territories selected according to the established criteria, the monitoring of target animals with be performed with a view to collecting information necessary for verification of the created model. The verification of the model for analysis of spatial information will ensure that assessment carried out with the help of the model reflects the real situation. The results of the assessment and the possibilities of the use of the model in estimating conflict intensity will be delivered in two seminars for local environmental organizations and community members.
  • Prepare recommendations for management of conflicts between the development of wind power plants and protection of biodiversity:
  • Prepare recommendations how to solve conflicts between the development of wind power plants and conservation of biodiversity. Recommendations how to ensure the lowest possible effects of the development of wind power plants on the target animal groups and. accordingly, to ensure the goals of biodiversity protection will be prepared. A newsletter to describe the possibilities of the use of the model in identifying conflict zones and measuring intensity of conflicts and to present recommendations drafted during the project will be prepared.

APPLICANT – state scientific research institute Nature Research Centre

PARTNERS

The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (Norsk institutt for naturforskning, NINA) is Norway's leading institution for nature research. Among the projects the institute has implemented, there were many devoted to analysis of sustainable development of infrastructures of separate sectors in view of nature protection, including analysis of the development of wind power plants. When running GP Wind, OPTIPOL projects, NINA's specialists have prepared conflict analysis methods that might be applied to our project. In our project, NINA's specialists will basically contribute to the creation of a spatial data analysis model (tool), which will allow analysing spatial information layers prepared according to selected criteria. NRC's researchers will apply the experience of NINA in establishing assessment criteria and drafting recommendations on mitigation of the impact of wind power plants on biological diversity.

Centre for Sustainable Development (Darnaus vystymosi centras, DVC). DVC's specialists have a long-time project and administrative work experience; therefore, in this project DVC's key functions are to arrange intermediate and final discussions with interested persons and organise seminars, ensure interactions between project partners, and organise the outsourcing of necessary expert services. DVC's specialists who have experience in bat observations will perform analysis of impacts of wind power plants on bats, establish criteria, and perform field works necessary for validation of the created model.

Lithuanian Wind Power Plant Association (Lietuvos vėjo elektrinių asociacija, LVEA). LVEA, which is currently participated by ca. 90 per cent of investors into Lithuanian wind power plants, will ensure that needs and purposes of the development of wind power plants are fully incorporated into the analysis system. Thus, it will be achieved that the created model will not be solely eco-centered and will identify in an optimal way the existing and future conflicts between biodiversity protection and wind power development. LVEA will be responsible for establishment of criteria and their significance in the context of wind power development and for assistance to NRC's researchers in preparing recommendations   .

ABOUT THE PROJECT

According to the Law on Renewable Energy Resources, the total capacity of WPPs connected to the networks should reach 500 MW by the year 2020 (Official Gazette 2011, No 62-2936; 2013, No 12-560). At the time being, the installed capacity is above 280 MW, and licences are issued for other 210 MW. Most of them are in the western part of Lithuania. The limit of 500 MW is expected to be reached in 2016 already. Despite their attractiveness due to low CO2 emissions, WPPs have a direct negative impact on biodiversity. Three types of direct impact can be distinguished: direct displacement (when WPPs are installed in wintering or resting sites of birds), direct collision (when migrating or soaring birds are killed or injured by turbine blades), and decompression (when rotating blades cause air pressure changes which lead to the burst of blood vessels in the lungs of animals, in particular bats). The density of WPPs in Lithuania is likely to keep growing after 2020 too. Thus, intensity of conflicts between wind power plants and biodiversity is predicted to increase, especially in western Lithuania which is an important area for migration of birds and bats. Identification of potential conflict zones in the context of the development of WPPs and protection of biodiversity and preparation of recommendations to minimise conflict intensity are important steps towards management of existing and avoidance of future conflicts. A tool (model) created in the course of the project and based on analysis of spatial data will allow visualisation and mapping of conflict intensity. To balance environmental protection and WPP development objectives, the selected criteria will be transformed into the degree of acceptance measured on a continuous scale from 0 to 1. This process is based on the principles of fuzzy logic theory and is used to solve conflict management problems in many countries. The model will allow automated visualization of conflict zones in western Lithuania and assessment of conflict intensity according to the agreed criteria. The tool could be applied after the end of the project. The updated information layers will facilitate identification of potential conflict zones, their total area in a particular territory, and conflict intensity. Alteration of criteria and their significance will allow us to see how the area of potential conflict zones and conflict intensity change. The model could be applied for identification of potential conflict zones all over Lithuania, and recommendations prepared for western Lithuania could be used in considerably wider spatial contexts. The outcome of the project will assist spatial planning specialists, developers, environmental impacts assessors in choosing the most sustainable solutions for the development of wind power plants and protection of biodiversity. This will ensure a more effective biodiversity protection, lower time and financial costs, and simpler environmental impact assessment process.