On August 29th-31st an international conference "Military and Nature - Mutual Benefits" will be held in Sigulda. More than 60 representatives of the defence sector and nature conservation experts from 17 different countries will take part in the conference.
The event will provide the opportunity for professionals involved in nature management in military areas to meet and share their experiences, information on the latest achievements and lessons learned. The main topics of the conference are scientific research, public perception, use of military territories by third parties, specially protected species and habitats in military training areas and controlled burning – a habitat management method innovative in Latvia, but world-wide used for decades.
On the second day of the conference there will be an excursion to the Ādaži range.
During the conference, the participants will be informed about the nature protection activities carried out in the Ādaži range from 2013 to 2017 within the framework of the LIFE + project "Birds in Adazi" implemented by the State Centre for Defence Military Objects and Procurement. One of the main tasks of the project was the restoration of a specially protected habitat - heath - in a total area of 1100 ha. Overgrown heath was restored by mowing, cutting trees and shrubs, removing topsoil and controlled burning.
During the project, the nature protection plan for the Protected Landscape Area “Ādaži” was updated, the study on military impact on protected species and habitats was carried out, the territory was cleared of unexploded ammunition, several land properties were purchased, the restoration of Western taiga forest by controlled burning of the undergrowth and several measures for the protection of the European Roller – setting up of nest-boxes and perching poles – were implemented.
The education of soldiers and the wider community was carried out by organizing events, issuing publications, setting up of information stands and developing educational films. Also several exchange of experience events with other LIFE + projects and managers of military nature conservation organizations in Europe took place.