This workshop is the first milestone in a project on a “A Richer & Healthier Baltic Sea – A Private Landowner Initiative.” It was supported by the Baltic Sea Conservation Foundation and Earthmind.
The workshop explored the conservation efforts by individual landowners and communities around the Baltic using the unique wetland restoration initiative at the Tullstorp Stream in Sweden as the starting point. Tullstorp Stream is a proposed Verified Conservation Area (VCA) and, thus, will demonstrate its conservation outcomes through a transparent process of planning, reporting and auditing. The workshop aims to identify opportunities for rolling out the VCA approach in the Baltic Sea region.
Twenty-five participants from five Baltic countries – Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden – plus Austria, Switzerland and Japan met at Jordberga Parkhotel in southern Sweden to learn about the unique, bottom-up landowner initiative to restore wetlands and a smaller river started in 2009. The group consisted of private landowners, NGOs, pan-Baltic organisations and programmes – Council of Baltic Sea States, CBSS, Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme, Baltic Sea Conservation Foundation, WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme – and regional and local authorities.
As result, at least four additional wetland/river restoration opportunities for VCA registration by private landowners were identified – Latvia -2, Lithuania – 1, Poland – 1 – with interesting prospects also in Germany.
Also a group of committed landowners and NGOs was formed, and as a first concrete step a funding application to the CBSS Project Support Facility has been prepared and submitted in mid-April involving nine partners from Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland. The funding requested would be used to develop a project proposal for the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme targeting the Priority Area 2 on Natural Resources, focusing on launching multi-functional wetland/river restoration activities run by private landowners in six countries and optimising the enabling conditions – policy and funding – at the national and EU level for multiplication.
If you would you like to hold a similar VCA workshop in your region, please do contact us.