Collaborative management planning and action for a.. (Baltic Compact)
Collaborative management planning and action for agriculture and environment in the Baltic Sea Region
Start date: Nov 30, 2012,
End date: Sep 29, 2014
Baltic COMPASS project has been successful in demonstrating the importance and testing different platforms for agri-environmental dialogue on challenges and solutions across the Baltic Sea Region. One of the conclusions from Baltic COMPASS stakeholder activities underscores the importance of bottom-up activities and cross-sector collaboration on the local scale. On this basis, Baltic COMPASS developed a conceptual strategy to be further tested within the Baltic Sea Region. The strategy envisions integration of both traditional top-down and proactive bottom-up approaches to planning and implementing agri-environment measures. This approach, complemented with involvement of the business and banking sectors can improve the efficiency of public budgets and provide an impetus for closer cross-sector collaboration. The existing environmental legislation and environmental objectives would serve as the background framework.The activities in the proposed extension stage project are carried out within this conceptual frame supported by strategic dialogue with the countries. As conditions vary greatly across the BSR and across different production types, results of Baltic COMPASS overall are utilized and advanced in the stakeholder dialogue. In terms of specific concrete measures, the extension stage features introduction and testing of a bottom-up management support approach on the local level as an element exemplifying the strategic approach. In parallel, investments to demonstrate conversion to advanced technical solutions related to biogas and drainage management will be implemented. These investment projects provide a concrete setting for critical review and dialogue of both past policy failures and the opportunities with more advanced agri-environment technologies, that will benefit both the agricultural sector and the environment.A specific emphasis of the investment projects in biogas technology is to demonstrate a comprehensive environmental approach and overall nutrient balance by focusing on animal manure as the main fuel substrate for the biogas process, instead of, often heavily fertilized, food or energy crops. Similarly, nutrient recycling with multiple benefits is demonstrated with innovative drainage solutions. Therefore, by demonstrating such win-win measures for economy and the environment, the project brings significant value added to existing knowledge and discussion on agri-environmental and bioenergy policies.The project contributes to:- systemic adaptations to promote bottom-up approaches into agri-environment governance in the BSR- attention to gaps in top-down regulative frameworks to ensure comprehensive environmental sustainability of agri-environment investments- increased cross-sector collaboration in the BSR- empowerment of stakeholders to implement smarter measures Achievements: The period was the most defining period of the project thus far, featuring intensified dialogue with local stakeholders in Germany, Sweden, Latvia and Finland. In local and national events and interactions, the project both presented to the stakeholders ideas and good practises in local agri-environment projects especially related to water quality but also collected valuable feed back and further lessons to be distributed in final project conclusions and outputs. In particular in Latvia and Germany, the ideas about sustainable farming and water management in the bottom-up way have attracted interest among farmers and key actors. There is good momentum to raise awareness and demonstrate the benefit of locally driven management and the project seems to respond well to existing needs to transfer knowledge, ideas and experience across countries and across different interest groups. Farm biogas investment in Latvia is slowly being completed with digestate storage and spreader delivered and put to use. Transfering of the farm level drainage water control investment from Denmark to Latvia, Vecauce farm is in process and is planned together with experts from MTT and Latvian Agricultural University. By this, the setback in Denmark not to be able to proceed with further investments at Hofmansgave is partly compensated by ensuring that the functional and demonstrational goal of the drainage investment is fulfilled with this investment at Vecauce. Policy dialogue on sustainable farm scale biogas production is also resumed after personnel resources for it could be allocated by PPs in Denmark (ABP) and Sweden (SBA). The policy recommendations in the initial policy brief will be further developed and communicated BSR wide. As part of external communication activities, the project has started to bridge with emerging project initiatives in water quality management. With respect to external visibility and sustainability of Baltic Sea Region agri-environmental cooperation, an important decision was taken to arrange the GABBS conference again this year. Baltic Compact convened a core group of partner organisations to organise the conference in Poland in September. In summary, the most essential activities during December 2013-May 2014 were: - filming in process on 3 featured farms in Latvia, Sweden and Germany; - specific dialogues with stakeholders in local development projects in Sweden, Germany and Finland with aim of communicating Compact issues and approaches and collecting good practices for demonstration to other projects; - promoting and encouraging local driven agri-environment management in Latvia in several stakeholder meetings; and - finalizing first stages of the Vecauce investment project.
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