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Project number: ENI-LLB-1-077, European Neighbourhood Instrument Cross-border Cooperation Latvia-Lithuania-Belarus Programme 2014-2020 

On 12 February 2020, the National Scientific and Industrial Association "Belarusian
Scientific and Practical Centre of the National Academy of Sciences on Biological Resources" and the Minister of the Interior of Lithuania signed an Agreement on the implementation of the European funded project "Integrated management and system of measures to reduce negative impact of invasive alien species in protected areas of the cross-border region".

The goal of the project is to simultaneously provide seven participating partners with the opportunity to to learn from each other, to tackle the common problem of invasive species in practice through a set of measures that will reduce the negative impacts of invasive alien species in cross-border protected areas. The implementation of the project will improve the quality of management and will help to ensure shared public benefits and address similar challenges by introducing positive changes in systems, procedures, and internal arrangements for invasive species management, increasing skills and quality for those involved and for society. To achieve these objectives, lists of most concerning invasive species will be drawn up, modern tools and methodologies for monitoring and control will be developed,  monitoring will occur, distribution will be mapped, a large-scale involvement of the public and organizations is planned, sharing of knowledge and experience and eradication activities of the invasive Sosnowsky's hogweed in Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus will occur.

Seven partners will be involved in the implementation of the project:
Scientific and Practical Centre on Biological Resources of the Belarusian National Academy of Sciences (BY), Daugavpils University (LV), environmental managers from "Braslavskiye Ozjora" National Park (BY), Nature Conservation Agency (LV), Aukštaitija National Park and Labanoras Regional Park (LT), Nature Concert Hall, which is an organiser of unique public events (LV), and the State Plant Protection Service (LV).

State Plant Protection Service will:

  • develop national monitoring and control systems to promote environmental management, developing for the first time an innovative monitoring and control methodology for invasive species, using drones and developing an app,
  • map the distribution of Sosnowsky's hogweed over an area of 520 ha
  • engage in activities of other partners and in planning for containment in 13 protected areas,
  • provide data and ensure public participation by informing about the containment activities,
  • provide an analytical report and recommendations for methodology, thus enabling other partners to benefit from the experience and knowledge gained.

In other countries, invasive species research and monitoring will also take place, as well as containment planning and implementation by eradication activities of Sosnowsky's hogweed. In Latvia, this will be carried out in the Teiči reserve.
All partners will carry out a wide range of public outreach activities that will interest the public through games and infographics, as well as at a unique event - the Nature Concert Hall on Sosnowsky's hogweed.

The total cost of the project is EUR 560 390.94, of which 90 % or EUR 504 351.84 European Neighbourhood Instrument funding, 10% co-financing from project partners. 
Planned funding for the State Plant Protection Service for the implementation of the delegated actions EUR 166 187,20, including EUR 149 568,48 from the European Neighbourhood Instrument EUR 16 618.72 of the Latvian State funding.

Project implementation period: 24 months