Data collected on natural habitats are a reflection of nature’s health2014-12-10
Lithuania is the first country in the Baltic region to have conducted a stock-take of natural habitats of Community interest. The information collected is a reflection of the state of nature and it will allow ensuring enhanced conservation of natural habitats.
A natural habitat is a terrestrial or aquatic area distinguished by geographic, abiotic and biotic features, whether entirely natural or semi-natural. The conservation of natural habitats of Community interest is one of the most important tasks of implementation of European Union environmental law.
Lithuania has 54 types of habitats of Community interest. Natural habitats cover about 7 per cent of the country’s territory.
The stocktaking involved 188 specialists who completed about 90,000 field stock-take forms on the habitats’ areal, linear or point objects. According to the researchers, a stock-take of natural habitats is like a picture of the health status of country’s nature. Analysis of its changes allows judging about the success of nature conservation.
During the stocktaking procedure, accurate data on the area localisation of the natural habitats have been collected that show the conservation status not only in the territories of the European Ecological Network Natura 2000, but also outside those territories throughout the country. The stock-take of these habitats is one more step towards their quality conservation.
The information collected is important not only for the conservation of habitats, but also for business, including economic operators and environmental impact assessors. Having knowledge of the location of natural habitats, economic operators can choose places where environmental conflicts are least likely to occur. Based on the collected data, responsible authorities can take decisions on the environmental impact of a proposed project quickly and with quality.
The collected information is also important when preparing management documents for Natura 2000 and national protected territories, reviewing their boundaries and areas, establishing appropriate protection measures, drawing up and implementing the national biodiversity strategy and action plans and preparing other documents dedicated to biodiversity conservation.
The habitat stock-take data are published here.
Public Information Division