WWF Demonstration projects on Rural Development

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					WWF Demonstration projects on Rural Development
Location of the rural development demonstration projects

WWFs Baltic Program is supporting and significantly involved in 3 rural development projects in
the Eastern part of the region. These are:

   Väinameri, Estonia
   Lake Pape, Latvia
   Nemunas Delta, Lithuania and Russia


The WWF involvement in the 3 demonstration areas originates from 2 major, regional processes:

Since 1993, WWF has been acting as lead party to the HELCOM PITF JCP component 4
“Management Plans for Coastal lagoons and wetlands”, MLW. Within this component, WWF has
supported the national and local authorities in development and implementation of integrated
management plans for 5 large coastal lagoons and wetlands:

   Matsalu catchment and Käina Bay, Estonia
   Engure-Kemeri, Latvia
   Kursiu Lagoon, including Nemunas Delta, Lithuania and Russia
   Vistula Lagoon, Russia and Poland
   Odra Lagoon, Poland and Germany

Parallel to this involvement, WWF has since 1994 taken part in 3 large coastal programs, initiated
by the World Bank and the Ministries of Environment in the respective countries. These are:

   The Haapsalu Environment program, including Matsalu Nature Reserve
   The Liepaja Environment program, including Lake Pape Nature Park
   The Klaipeda Environment program, including Nemunas Delta Regional Park

All 3 programs have consisted of a combination of integrated planning at an overall level, e.g. the
entire Latvian West Coast from the Latvia-Lithuanian Border to Kolkas Rags, local demonstration
projects on integrated management and planning, a.o. the Lake Pape-area, and concrete investments,
e.g. wastewater treatment plants in Liepaja.

Thus, altogether these programs and projects form a unique and very comprehensive co-operation
between the national authorities, the World Bank, Helcom and WWF. Further, it provides the region
with a well-developed platform for demonstration activities.

Project contents

The co-operation also underlines the importance of coastal lagoons and wetlands. Not only do they
provide significant habitats for wildlife and an abundance of resources and opportunities to the local
communities, they also play a vital role for the water quality of the Baltic Sea, acting as natural
purification plants for first of all nutrients.

In order for these coastal lagoons and wetlands to fulfil their multi-function roles as well as to
promote sustainable development, a series of activities have to be initiated within:

   Nature management and nature restoration
   Capacity building and public awareness
   Agri-environmental measures
   Diversification of income sources
   Co-ordination of planning and development strategies
   Documentation and dissemination

Altogether, these activities may be embraced by the terminology rural development, based on the
guiding principle that sustainable development requires both economic -, social – and
environmental stability.

Thus, the 3 rural development demonstration projects will consist of a mixture of the above-
mentioned activities. WWF acts both an active participant in these projects, and as a catalyst aiming
at involving not only all relevant local stakeholders, but also a number of different external partners,
e.g. the GEF/BAAP program, in order to achieve a high degree of synergy of the activities, in order
to really act as demonstration areas.

The key project participants are the WWF-partners from each of the countries involved. From the
WWF-side, WWF Sweden, WWF Latvia and WWF Denmark are involved, within the framework
of the high priority WWF Baltic Program Component on rural development.

Contact persons from WWF:

Henrik Dissing              Ola Jennersten              Martins Rekis
WWF Denmark                 WWF Sweden                  WWF Latvia  

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