NATURA 2000 IN THE NEW EU MEMBER STATES ONE YEAR AFTER ACCESSION Status report for new and candidate Member States. QUESTIONNAIRE - Lithuania

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1 NATURA 2000 IN THE NEW EU MEMBER STATES ONE YEAR AFTER ACCESSION Status report for new and candidate Member States QUESTIONNAIRE - Lithuania Please answer the questions and add as much detail in comments as possible, especially in cases where you have indicated partial or inadequate implementation. A. Legislation 1) Have the Habitats Directive and Birds Directive been transposed into the national legislation of your country? Partially No Information Habitats Directive Birds Directive Lithuanian Laws have been amended according to the requirements of the Habitats and Birds Directives, but there not enough orders and regulations concerning protection of species and habitats in situ and exact methods haw to assess impacts on Natura 2000 sites, including what impacts should be considered significant or insignificant. 2) Regarding concrete provisions in the legal acts transposing the Habitats and Birds Directives: i Is it clear in the legislation of your country how to designate SACs and SPAs (by law, decree, otherwise)? SPAs SACs Partially More or less clear. A Ministerial order has been issued concerning cases in which SPAs and pscis should be designated. ii Is there general legal protection for SACs and SPAs according to the legislation of your country? Partially SPAs SACs Protection is very general and needs specification in order to have practical effect. Other existing legislation must be brought into line with provisions for Natura To note one example: provisions in Lithuanian legislation have been unable to prevent afforestation of a site designated as a psci for meadow species and habitat. While the site enjoyed formal protection, the afforestation had been prepared under other existing legislation. iii Is there a clear process for evaluating significant effects of plans/projects on sites (art. 6.3 & 6.4)?, following the EIA

2 , independent from the EIA Yes, but inadequate The procedure is based on provisions for Environmental Impact Assessments. It is more or less clear, but the methodology for evaluating significant effects is very general and could be treated differently by different experts. iv Are there provisions for ensuring the ecological coherence of the network (art. 10)? Yes, but inadequate There are no provisions concerning the coherence of the Natura 2000 network. Sites are designated or nominated without any strategy of coherence. In 2000, the Lithuanian Fund for Nature prepared an ecological network for potential Emerald/Natura 2000 sites, but the Ministry of Environment did not take this proposal into account in developing its list of proposed Natura 2000 sites. Furthermore, the Ministry of Environment did not include potential Natura 2000 sites in the State Master Plan for development, which was adopted by Parliament. v Is the species protection regime (art. 12 to art.16) adequately transposed? Partially Legislation theoretically ensures species conservation, but in actual practise in situ species conservation does not exist. As an example, in the spring of 2005, a proposed Site of Community Importance and botanical-zoological reserve, which was established to protect a rare plant species and habitat no. 2330, was afforested by legally adopted forest afforestation scheme. 3) Are the Habitats and Birds Directives integrated into legislation governing sectoral policies? Sectors Yes No Inadequately No info Comments Agriculture Spatial planning Transportation Water management Forests Other: Some spatial planning acts have provisions concerning protection and management of Natura 2000 EIA has been carried out, but there are no provisions in the transportrelated legislation. Requirements of river basin management plans include EIA only. In 2005, a few forest management plans were adopted by the Minister of Environment. These forest areas include SPAs and pscis, but nevertheless forest cutting is planned here as in ordinarry areas. 4) Any other or issues or general comments regarding legislation?

3 B. Site designation -- National list of sites 1) Concrete data: i Number of SCIs proposed by the national government: 271 sites by ii Number of SPAs proposed by the national government: 61 sites by iii iv v % of national surface of SCIs proposed + SPAs (avoiding double counting by overlap): psci 2,1%, SPA-5,5 %, no data available in total without overlapping % of coincidence with existing PAs of SCIs proposed + SPAs (avoiding double counting by overlap): No data Is digital data (shp, dxf, others) of the proposed SCIs and SPAs available? (if there is, please send it with the questionnaire): Digital maps exist for newly designated SPAs or nominated pscis. In cases where SPAs and pscis coincide with nationally protected areas, maps exist in the hands of the State protected areas service but are not published on the Internet. 2) Please rate the quality of scientific information used to prepare the list of proposed Sites of Community Importance: Good (inadequate) Fair (some changes needed) Poor (clearly inadequate) The quality of scientific information varies between different species and habitats, making it difficult to describe the overall quality of the data. Good information exists for mammals as well as some plant species and habitats. In general, however, data is scarce for many relevant species. 3) Please evaluate the list of proposed sites: Good (sufficient) Fair (some changes needed) Poor (clearly insufficient) Please justify your evaluation referring, for example, to % of area proposed by scientific or NGO list not included in the official list, species and habitats missing, regional imbalances, etc.: The governmental proposal for pscis only covers 2.1% of the country's total territory. The scientific and NGO communities have proposed sites covering ca. 15% of the country's area. There are no regional approaches to selection of pscis. There is no information yet regarding species and habitats that are missing; this is currently under evaluation. 4) Any other or issues or general comments regarding Site designation? C. Financing 1) Is there a cost estimate for implementing Natura 2000 in your country? Author or institution Date of estimate Overall amount Comments DANCEE-supported project "Implementation of Natura 2000 in Lithuania" million litas in total; 2 mln litas anually Very rough calculation When will there be?

4 2) Is there a national plan for financing Natura 2000? When will there be? No plans. The Ministry of Environment is planning to finance Natura 2000 in the coming year from Structural Funds. 3) Are there provisions in the national budget for financing implementation of the Habitats and Birds Directives? Yes No The State Environmental Fund is based on daily needs and tenders, but the absolute majority of funds were spent on environmental quality and organisational issues. A limited amount of funds have been allocated to manage sites in protected areas. 4) Natura 2000 and the EU funds for the period : i Are there specific lines for financing Natura 2000 in the National Development Plan of your country? Please describe briefly how:. No specific mention of Natura 2000, but there are financing opportunities anyway (please comment below) Natura 2000 is not mentioned in the National development strategic plan nor in the Lithuanian Master Plan (for Spatial Development). ii Are there specific lines for financing Natura 2000 in the Sectoral Operational Plans of your country? Please describe briefly how: No specific mention of Natura 2000, but there are financing opportunities anyway (please comment below) There are no specific financing lines for Natura 2000, but in million Litas are allocated from the Structural Funds for planning and management of protected areas, including Natura 2000 sites. iii Are there specific lines for financing the implementation of Natura 2000 in the Rural Development Plan of your country? Please describe briefly how:

5 No specific mention of Natura 2000, but there are financing opportunities anyway (please comment below) There is an opportunity to apply in agri-environmental scheme for support for grassland and wetland management (but for all protected sites, not only for Natura 2000) iv Have pre-accession funds been used for implementation of Natura 2000, or are they currently being used? Funding source Yes Comments/description PHARE ISPA SAPARD Other v Have any other funding sources been used for implementation of Natura 2000, or are they currently being used? Funding source Yes No No info Comments/description Govt Aid Agencies Ministry of Environment, State Protected Areas Service DANCEE (Danish environmental aid programme for Central and Eastern Europe) Limited funds have been allocated to manage sites in protected areas. In 2005, 12 mln Litas are allocated from Structural Funds for planning and management of protected areas, including Natura 2000 sites. Four-year DANCEE project on Natura 2000 implementation in Lithuania ; Preparation of management plan (for Natura 2000) in Lithuania ; Protection of endangered species of flora and fauna and their habitats under the Cites, Bern, Bonn Conventions and EU legislation, Private sources Others Lithuanian Fund for Nature Lithuanian Ornithological Society Some projects concerning management of Natura 2000 sites have been carried out. Small-scale projects in pscis and SPAs. 5) Is it planned to include Natura 2000 in the planning instruments for the next programming period ( )? Planning document Yes No No info Comments National Dev. Plan Sectoral Plans Operational

6 Rural Dev. Plan 6) Any other or issues or general comments regarding financing for Natura 2000? D. Management 1) Does the Government have staff dedicated specifically to Natura 2000? Main activity Approx. no. of civil servants Sites list ellaboration 3 Art. 6.3 and 6.4 assessments 1 Site/species management Scientific studies Communication 1 Others (please specify) There are governmental institutions, like the Institute of Ecology and Institute of Botany, which have carried out research on Natura 2000, but for whom Natura 2000 is not their main task. The staff listed above for stie/species management (30-40) are staff ecologists of protected areas, for whom Natura 2000 management is only one responsibility (probably less than 20% capacity devoted to Natura 2000). 2) Have principles, management guidelines and planned management measures based on Fvourable Conservation Satus been established for habitat and species? Will be ready by: There is a ministerial order on preparation of management plans in Lithuania. Guidelines on habitats and species management are currently being developed. 3) Are there going to be management plans specifically dedicated to Natura 2000 sites and species in your country? Will be ready by: Sites Species According to Lithuanian legislation, management plans are for site management, while plans for species management are called "species conservation projects". Rules and guidelines for development of such species conservation project have not yet been adopted. A management plan could be used for species management in cases where it has been prepared for the species' habitat. Site management plans are being developed under the PHARE project "Preparation of management plans for Natura 2000"; Structural Funds are going to be used for preparation of Natura 2000 management plans as well. 4) Are there specific methodologies for developing Natura 2000 management plans? Sites Species

7 Will be ready by: There is a Governmental Decision and Order of Ministry of Environment on preparation of management plans (for sites). 5) Is the procedure for assessing projects and plans (art. 6.3, 6.4) adequately implemented? Inadequately The procedure is prepared, but methology for assessment is inadequate. 6) Is there any methodology for monitoring? Will be ready by: There is a monitoring programme, but no methodology 7) Any other or issues or general comments regarding management for Natura 2000? E. Communication and public participation 1) Has there been a public participation process for i ii Designation of SPAs? Yes, but inadequate Proposal SCI list? Yes, but inadequate 2) Is public participation planned for i ii Elaboration of management plans? Evaluation of significant effects of projects and plans over sites?

8 Public participation in EIAs, which are used for Natura 2000 assessment in Lithuania, is obligatory according the law. 3) Does the government have a communication/awareness raising strategy on Natura 2000?, but inadequate Éxpected by: 4) Any other or issues or general comments regarding communicating Natura 2000? F. Known threats 1) Please note if there has been any complaint to the EU regarding implementation of Natura 2000 in your country: Regarding Complaint Status (rejected, in Court, no info ) Brief description Site designation A German NGO has submitted a complaint concerning the limited number and size of SPAs and pscis. on progress Transposition of legislation Activities negatively affecting sites Others Same German NGO on progress Complaint is concerning using motorboats in the SPA "Labanoras regional park". 2) Please note any activities (or the lack of them) that could negatively impact existing or potential Natura 2000 sites that you are aware of: Location/site Activity Expected impact EU co-financing? Margininkai nature reserve, Natura 2000 Afforestation Natura 2000 sites have been designated to protect Hydrophilus tall herb fringe plant communities (6430) and Northerm boreal alluvial meadows (6450). Afforestation will have a very significant impact and finally destroy meadows. Afforestation programme is supported from EU funds in Lithuania Ezerelis, Kaunas district Water treatment sludge utilisation field planned Ezerelis was suggested for designation as an SPA, but this is opposed by local authorities. ISPA funds

9 3) Any other or issues or general comments regarding threats to existing or future Natura 2000 sites? G. Main priorities for implementing Natura 2000 Which in your opinion are the main priorities for implementing Natura 2000 in your country (one per line)? Substantially improve the list of psci and SPA Properly evaluate plans and projects according to the provisions of the Habitats Directive and the Directive on Strategic Environmental Assessments (currently not the case). Follow guidelines for Natura 2000 management in spatial management plans/schemes Ensure that legislation is effective in practice, both by making it more specific, addressing conflicts with the Habitats Directive in other existing legislation, and ensuring rigorous implementation and application Ensure adequate financing for the Natura 2000 network H. Accession and candidate countries: Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Turkey To the extent that you have not already done so in the questionnaire above, please provide a snapshot of preparations for Natura 2000 in your country, including: 1) General progress made by the Government in site list preparation: 2) Resources dedicated by the Government (human/financial national/international) for site list preparation: 3) Involvement of NGOs and other actors in preparing for Natura 2000: 4) Other issues or general comments: People involved in answering the questionnaire Country LITHUANIA Name (last, first) Organization/Institution MIERAUSKAS Pranas Lithuanian Fund for Nature

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