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Amber Trail / Dzintara Taka / Bärnstensleden - Ett naturturistprojekt i Lettland
Jag har bland annat jobbat med biståndsprojekt i Lettland där vi genomförde projekt på kommunal och regional nivå med inriktning på planfrågor och hållbar utveckling. Projektet gick ut på att utmed en oexploaterad kuststräcka både skydda känsliga områden och exploatera andra områden. Projektet ledde också till en fortsättning i form av ett större turismprojekt för området.

Jag har även jobbat med ansökning och översättning av projekt till engelska om mot EU åt Landstinget i Värmland samt deltagit i seminarie och prisutdelning under AER.

AER Regional Innovation Awards 2014

Participate in the AER meeting March 2014 Brussels Press Club as a member in the the winner contribution team. read more

Description of the GIS-project

(only english)
I have been working with aid projects in Latvia, where we implemented projects at municipal and regional level with a focus on planning issues and sustainable development. The project was to plan and development of coastline both to protect sensitive areas and exploit some areas. The project also led to a sequel in the form of a major tourism projects for the area

1. Background

The Amber Trail Eco-tourism project started as a typical Agenda 21 project in the area north of Liepaja in the summer of 1997. Five municipalities (Medze, Vergale, Saka, Pavilosta and Jurkalne) initiated a project with the objective to develop sustainable tourism. The main objective was to build a hiking trail along the coast and to develop nature based tourism in the area. In 1998 the project got financial assistance from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. An inventory and evaluation of the nature was completed.

During 1999 the project received support from the EU Phare programme. Proposed sites for exploitation in purpose to increase the accommodation facilities was presented. A pre environmental impact assessment was produced. 60 km of the trail was sited with poles and in some places toilets and other infrastructure was built. Education of local inhabitants and workshops about eco-tourism has been carried out with funding assistance from the EU Phare programme. As a result of the pre-EIA, the need of protection and management plans of the coast area got obvious and plans for this was initiated.

The threats to the sensitive coast nature in the region of Liepaja are increasing. Since the start of the Amber Trail project in 1997 three new houses has been built close to the beach, valuable areas have been destroyed by mistake or on purpose. The possibility to buy cheap land nearby the Baltic Sea makes the area economically attractive for house building with increased fragmentation of the nature and lesser accessible to tourism as a result.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development and the Regional Environmental Board of Liepaja are the main authorities responsible for the coast zone and its protection. A further development into making Amber Trail a National Nature Trail has been discussed.
In 1999 Swedish EPA assisted with financial funding to prepare a bigger project in order to achieve a functional nature protection of the area. In November 1999 Leonids Zelenskis and Maruta Kaminska from the Regional Environmental Board of Liepaja visited Sweden. During the visit possibilities to protect the valuable coast nature was discussed and this project proposal was developed. In March 2000 discussions with the Latvian Ministry of Environment and the Swedish part participating in the development of Amber Trail resulted in this project description.

The main objective is to assist the Regional Environmental Board of Liepaja with the development of a system for environmental management of the Amber Trail area. This is also a condition for the further tourism development in the region and an important pilot for Latvia in how to develop a sensitive coastal region. As Latvia applies for membership in the EU the project will focus on EU values and legislation and the project will also implement the natural habitat to the European network 2000-code system NATURA 2000 where so applicable. This will have many advantages in the future protection work but it will also give practical experience in a new way to work with inventory technique.

The Swedish partner will be helpful in the work with education, practical training in field inventories and the GIS system application. The focus is to introduce a modern method for nature management based on GIS and to make it into a practical administrative tool in the regional work. Through this a pilot is established and it will be easier for other Latvian regions to follow.

2. Objectives and target groups

Developmental Objectives:
The development objective is going to provide Regional Environmental Board of Liepaja with an instrument to protect the Baltic Coast and to develop a proper management plan in order to safeguard the nature environment around Amber Trail. The management plan will direct the protection work carried out by the coast municipalities.

The area will function as a national pilot in how to plan for future development projects in the area with a high level of integrated environmental awareness. Special attention is paid to the developing tourism sector.

A modern GIS system will be created to assist decision making and monitoring of the area. A biological database will be created. Natura 2000 biotopes will be identified in order to assist Latvia's coming participation in EU.

Complementary biological field inventories in order to create the inputs to the database will start in this project.
The project will be carried out in close co-operation with the Latvian Ministry and it will in many ways indicate how the future work on the national level will be organised.

Immediate objectives
A. Establish a GIS planning system for Regional Environmental Board of Liepaja
B. Assist the implementation of user routines for the GIS system
C. Establish a vegetation map of the Amber Trail area
D. Make a development draft of the management and nature conservation plan for Amber Trail.
E. Plans for finalisation and implementation of the management plan.

3. Planning and design

The Regional Environmental Board of Liepaja suggests that the protection should be developed in terms of management routines. The idea is to make an integrated inventory of the whole coast area that has a high tourism and nature value. A vegetation map will be of great importance to achieve an instrument for the future management of the nature in the area. Already existing nature reserves and nature parks and the land in-between will be included. The municipalities will participate in the development of a nature protection management plan that will guide and control the all activities affecting the environment. Together with the local authorities a possible nature reserve of the whole area in the form of a "National Trail" will be considered.

The project is proposed to start in the spring of 2000 since it is urgent to get the nature management systems in place as soon as possible so that the development of the Amber Trail could proceed.
The project consists of four main work areas for year 2000.

The project is divided into six steps. The six steps are all connected to at least one immediate objective.

Education in the use of a Geographical Information System and inventory techniques.
A planning workshop where a mutual platform for the future works is created. What are the main objectives and which are the roles of the different stakeholders? A second workshop in inventory techniques will initiate the start of the field inventory. (Immediate objective A and B)

I. Adopting the GIS database interface for the Regional Environmental Board of Liepaja.

The GIS database will be set up at the Land survey in Liepaja, base maps are produced and the database is constructed. (Immediate objective A,B and C)

II. Vegetation mapping and classifying sensitivity to environmental impact.
The ambition for the summer 2000 is to cover the whole Amber Trail coast with vegetation maps. (Immediate objective C)

III. Training application of GIS for the Latvian part.
The GIS database will after compiling vegetation maps start to function as a planning instrument at REB in Liepaja. Training of system users. (Immediate objective A, B and C)

IV. Proposal of nature protection and management plans.
A draft management plan will be prepared and discussed in a workshop. (Immediate objective D)

V. Develop plan for further implementation. Final report.
In the next stage the management plan will be implemented. Training and information to the public will be of focal points. (Immediate objective E)