27 March 2013The ‘LIFE+Ecoedición’ project (LIFE08 ENV/E/000124) has launched a Green Publishing Membership Campaign. The aim of this campaign is to provide technical support, training and specialised consulting services to help public bodies and private companies with the practical application of green publishing criteria using the project’s “Sustainability Assessment of Publications” software. This offers a simplified approach designed to enable participants to produce greener publications without costly, time consuming investment.
During the campaign participants will learn how they can achieve a good position within the European market and how to anticipate environmental requirements in public contracts and tenders. They will also make new contacts and learn from others. The project will promote participants’ achievements and show their commitment to sustainable development and responsible consumption and purchasing.
The environmental impacts of publications cover their entire lifecycle. From the moment when raw materials are extracted (e.g. wood fibres for papermaking) to the management of waste, a product passes through different stages: design, production, packaging and distribution. At each stage resources are consumed (water, energy, materials), and discharges, emissions and waste contaminants are produced. The ‘LIFE+Ecoidicion’ project aims to encourage sustainable management in the editorial services of the Andalusian regional government (‘Junta de Andalusia’). It will also promote the inclusion of sustainability requirements in the wider publishing market; increase efficiency in the management of financial and material resources by adjusting the number of publications to actual needs; and hopes to increase demand for publications that are produced sustainably.
If you want to join the campaign or find out more about the project please visit www.ecoedicion.eu
26 March 2013On 13 March, the LIFE Nature ‘Salt of Life’ project (LIFE11 NAT/BG/000362) began scheduled bypass channel cleaning in Atanasovsko Lake, Bulgaria. During the six-year long project the entire length of the channel will be cleaned using a new dragline excavator, which was purchased partially with funds from the EU’s LIFE Programme.
The work on the bypass channel is a key action of a project whose main aim is to establish a functional, efficient and sustainable infrastructure for water management and the control of the coastal lagoon in Atanasovsko Lake. This will create long-term improvements to habitat conditions and enable adaptation to the effects of climate change. The project partners are the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation (beneficiary), the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds and Black Sea Salinas Ltd.
The bypass channel plays an important role in the management of water levels in the lake. It was significantly damaged after floods in 2006 and 2010, along with the lake’s dyke, which has reduced its effectiveness as a barrier against new floods and the flow of polluted water from the surrounding land. The resulting eutrophication has led to a reduction of the food base for many rare bird species. The channel maintenance will solve these problems and also contribute to a better environment and quality of life for residents of the town of Burgas, which is situated next to the channel.
Atanasovsko Lake is part of the Burgas Lakes complex, one of the three most significant wetland complexes for congregations of waterfowl along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. The lake region currently supports 288 bird species, 127 of which are listed in the Bulgarian Red Data Book and identified by BirdLife as Species of European Conservation Concern.
For more information about the project visit: www.saltoflife.biodiversity.bg
21 March 2013The Polish ‘AQC Plan’ project (LIFE08 NAT/PL/000511) has taken part in an international seminar on the conservation of the greater spotted eagle (Aquila clanga) and other birds of prey in the Montenegrin capital Podgorica. The event, which took place on 12 March, was organised by the National Parks of Montenegro and gave the project beneficiaries Polish Birds, Eagle Conservation Committee and Biebrza National Park the opportunity not only to talk about its LIFE co-funded work in the Biebrza Valley, but also to promote the importance of eagle conservation to wider Montenegrin society. The importance of the latter is indicated by the shooting in December 2012, of Bruzda, a male greater spotted eagle that was being tracked by radio transmitter by the project team as it flew south on its winter migration route. Bruzda died after being shot within the bounds of Skadar Lake National Park in Montenegro, an incident that has aroused much controversy and media attention.
The LIFE ‘AQC Plan’ project has been working since January 2010 to stabilise the greater spotted eagle population in its last remaining breeding area in Poland - Biebrza National Park – through improving and increasing eagle hunting and nesting habitat in the Natura 2000 network site and surrounding buffer zone and by drafting a national action plan for the species.
For the programme and presentations from the seminar in Podgorica visit this page.
For more information about the LIFE ‘AQC Plan’ project visit: http://en.orlikgrubodzioby.org.pl/
Current return migrations of greater spotted eagles can be followed online:
13 March 2013“Crafted by time”, by Vangelis Efthymiou, is a documentary about the Prespa Lakes that will be shown at the15th Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival – Images of the 21st Century this month. The film was produced as part of the LIFE Information and Communication project “PROM.SUS.FIS.PR.PRESPA” (LIFE09 INF/GR/000319) , which aims to inform the public and raise awareness about issues connected with the rare fish species and fisheries of Prespa.
The film takes a look at the magical world of the Prespa Lakes. Its protagonists are the 23 unique fish species found in Prespa. These fish are highly important to the area’s natural wealth and one of the main reasons why Prespa is considered to be one of the ten most important wetlands in the Mediterranean. The film also talks to local fishermen about their traditional customs and practices, old stories about the lake and the problems they face today.
Monitoring has shown that the introduction of non-native species poses a threat to the structure of the endemic fish populations of the Prespa lakes and could result in their extinction. The project PROM.SUS.FIS.PR.PRESPA will promote the conservation of these threatened endemic species and implement sustainable fishery practices in the area through awareness-raising and the provision of relevant information to decision-makers and stakeholders. It is hoped that a change in attitude will bring about the development of a fisheries management plan. This in turn will help biodiversity conservation and improve fishery practices and regulations right across the Prespa Basin.
12 March 2013From 1 February to 31 May both amateur and professional nature photographers are invited to take part in the photo competition “Oroklini Lake all through the year”. The competition aims to promote the Oroklini wetland in Cyprus and its importance for biodiversity. The photographer of the best picture will be awarded 1 000 euros prize money. Later in the year an exhibition and an album containing selected photos from the competition will be created.
The competition has been organised by the Voroklini Community Council as part of the LIFE ‘OROKLINI’ project (LIFE10 NAT/CY/000716), which began in 2012. Its main objectives are to restore and manage Oroklini Lake and to conserve its important bird species. This will be achieved through awareness-raising activities, such as the photo competition mentioned here, and conservation measures, including vegetation monitoring and planting, the erection of fencing around the lake, water management, and the removal of invasive species.
Oroklini Lake is a designated (SPA and SCI) Natura 2000 wetland site in the Larnaka district of Cyprus. It is one of only three natural wetland areas in Cyprus and is an important bird migratory route and stopover place in spring and winter. It is important for its halophytic (salt marsh) vegetation and for a number of wading bird species, particularly the black-winged stilt and the spur-winged lapwing.
For more information about the competition or the project please visit the ‘ORKOLINI’ project website
08 March 2013The first results of the LIFE project AgriClimateChange (LIFE09 ENV/ES/000441) have shown how agriculture can reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by nearly half in some cases. This important project is not just showing farmers what can be done to respond to climate change, but adding new information to political debate around reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.
The AgriClimateChange project – through partners in Spain, France, Italy and Germany – has developed and tested a tool to assess the energy consumption, GHG emissions and carbon storage potential of farm plots using up to 60 parameters. This in turn has enabled farmers to implement targeted actions to improve the environmental performance of 120 farm plots, which has had impressive results.
Jordi Domingo, a technician of the Global Nature Foundation, confirms that testing of the tool and resulting targeted actions in more than 25 plots of olives, bananas, tomatoes and citrus fruits in Valencia “demonstrated that it is possible to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas consumption by between 10 and 20% with simple and realistic measures.”
For example, data on soil can enable farmers to use pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers only when they are really needed. This not only reduces excessive consumption of these products, but also the energy consumption involved in spreading them across wide areas of land with a tractor. The use of vegetation cover also stores large amounts of carbon, reducing emissions further. In an orange grove of 1 ha, such actions were able to save 10.7% of energy and reduce GHG emissions by 48%.
For more information on the project, please visit www.agriclimatechange.eu