The last months have been full of exciting news in the Baltic States and 2019 is looking even more promising.
The countrywide mapping and assessment of the ecosystems and their services in Estonia got kickstarted in early January through the ELME project. Coordinated by the Environment Agency of Estonia, ELME aims at mapping and assessing priority ecosystems and ecosystem services with a strong emphasis on novel methods for monitoring biodiversity, methodologies for enhancing the performance of the Green Network of Estonia and the prognosis of Climate Change impacts on biodiversity. A multidisciplinary team of experts from the Estonian University of Life Sciences and University of Tartu has been chosen to accomplish the mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services. Grasslands, wetlands, forests and agricultural ecosystems will be at the core of the assessment.
Similarly, Lithuania has seen much progress towards MAES. Last November, Mykolas Romeris University launched the Lithuanian National Ecosystem Services Assessment and Mapping (LINESAM) geoportal. This project is funded by the Lithuanian Research Council (No. 09.3.3-LMT-K-712-01-0104). The results of LINESAM (national and case studies) will be disseminated in the geoportal. The information will be available for public, researchers, stakeholders, policy makers consultation. LINESAM geoportal contains information about some base layers of Lithuanian territory and will be populated with ecosystem services and drivers of change layers during the project time. Information about meta-data, people, project, news, media, publications and other outcomes will be also provided in the nearest future. The geoportal users will be able to create maps with the layers available.
LIFE Viva Grass project (Integrated planning tool to ensure viability of grasslands) is coming to an end after four years of hard work in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The results and the Integrated Planning Tool developed during the project will be showcased in Vilnius in the 27-28 February 2019 in the LIFE Viva Grass Conference. The tools and methods developed to map and assess grassland ecosystem services and help integrate the ecosystem service approach into decision making in the three Baltic countries will be presented. We will also share experiences on the ongoing national MAES (Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services) processes in the three Baltic countries and discuss the future plans of the European Commission on the integration of ecosystem service approach in the agricultural and environmental sectors. You can register for the event before 4th of February in this link!