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Lithuania will seek consensus from all EU nations on most important environmental concerns

2013-06-11

Today, Minister of Environment Valentinas Mazuronis met with the European Commission's Director-General of Environment Karl Falkenberg in Vilnius to discuss Lithuania's preparations for the presidency of the EU Council. They primarily discussed priority environmental concerns that will have to be considered by the Ministry of Environment during the second half of this year.

Our nation will have to lead the effort to find consensus among all of the EU's member states on the most important environmental concerns. According to the director-general for environment, if the EU council, led by Ireland, does not reach an agreement on the “LIFE” directive's new financing for 2014-2010 and the 7th Environmental Protection Program, Lithuania will have to assume this responsibility. Karl Falkenberg believes that, during its EU Council presidency, our nation will be able to reach an agreement on the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive as well. Other important concerns, like integrated coastal zone management, which is not yet regulated on a European level, may also be discussed during Lithuania's presidency.

The Director-General of Environment was also interested in hearing about Lithuania's progress in establishing new protected territories, the management of its “Natura 2000” territories, and what steps have been taken to protect biological diversity. Today, Karl Falkenberg will visit the Neris regional park, the Dūkštų oak forest, and the Dūkštelės valley. He will also meet with the park's workers and their partners, the Dūkštų district foresters. “Hopefully, the opportunity to see how we take care of beautiful and naturally valuable territories here in Lithuania will help convince our guest that the funds we receive for environmental protection are put to good use,” - said Minister of Environment Valentinas Mazuronis.

Over the last five years, the European Regional Development Fund and the national budget have set aside 276 mil. Lt. to protect the nation's biological diversity and landscape. The largest part of the funds went to protected territories, “Natura 2000” territories, and to the regulation of water levels, construction of visitor centers and observation areas, laying of trails, and general care of regional and national parks. These funds were also used, among other things, to breed and release endangered species, inventory habitats, combat invasive species, demolish abandoned buildings, and eliminate sources of pollution.

Information of the Ministry of Environment, tel.8~706 63660

2013-06-11

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas