Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
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Project Summary
Municipal Environmental Management and Public Participation, North Kurzeme Coastal Region, Latvia

Revision Date: 10th August, 2001
Title:  Municipal environmental management and public participation, North Kurzeme Coastal Region, Latvia. (Former title: Local government partnerships for sustainable coastal development [North Kurzeme, Latvia]).
Goals: To promote and support the rehabilitation and socio-economic development of the project area in an environmentally sound, socially equitable and culturally appropriate manner; to provide training in environmental management and sustainable coastal development for municipal decision-makers, education specialists, local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the community; to co-ordinate and support the Nordic-Baltic Network on Sustainable Coastal Development.
Location: The territory of North Kurzeme Municipality Association and the Roja Municipality, Latvia.
Starting date: 1999.
Partners: Institute for Environmental Science and Management (IESAM), University of Latvia; North Kurzeme Municipalities Association and member-municipalities’ boards; Roja Municipality; Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development; Latvian Academy of Sciences; Ventspils Regional Environment Protection Board; Livonian Union; Slitere National Park; United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization through the Coastal Regions and Small Islands (CSI) platform.
Project leader:

Dr. Raimonds Ernsteins, Institute for Environmental Science and Management, University of Latvia, Raina Blvd. 19, Riga, LV 1586, Latvia.
Tel: 371 703 4575, (direct 371 703 4579), Fax: 371 703 4570
e-mail cesam@lanet.lv


The North Kurzeme Municipality Association consists of nine coastal municipalities with 13,000 inhabitants and an area of 2,181 km2.  

A community-based research project on ‘Coastal Environmental Management’ has been developed focusing on urban and rural environments. There have been several different activities:

(1) Environmental communication research into water management, waste management and biological diversity has been carried out in the Roja Municipality.


Guidelines for an Environmental Policy Plan for the municipalities of Roja and Kolka have been elaborated with the assistance of M.Sc. students from the University of Latvia.
(3) An ‘Environmental Management Action Programme for the North Kurzeme coastal Region’ has been prepared, covering the nine coastal municipalities.
(4) A survey of environmental information, education and communication in Rojupe has also been conducted.
As part of a programme of courses on sustainable coastal development, integrated with the UNESCO chair activities at the University of Latvia, a new in-service training programme package on ‘Environmental Management and Sustainable Coastal Development’ was given to municipal decision-makers, schoolteachers, NGOs, and the general public.
Achievements & Assessment: (1) A co-operation agreement has been signed between the Institute for Environmental Science and Management, University of Latvia, and the North Kurzeme Municipality Association.
(2) Project activities are presented and discussed at monthly board meetings and round table discussions with local representatives, including elected politicians and managers.


The Ventspils Regional Environmental Board, which supervises and manages the project area, is actively involved in the project activities, together with its departments.  
(4) Masters degree students are working with local experts on case studies aimed at resolving local problems in a participatory manner.
(5) Co-operation with the Latvian Academy of Science has included discussion meetings; a seminar involving all project partners; the preparation of an IESAM report on Sustainable Coastal Development; and a joint research project proposal.
(6) A seminar entitled ‘Municipal Development: Wise Coastal Practices’ was held on the 15th September 2000, in Roja, Latvia, attended by 31 participants from different coastal municipalities, National Parks, the North Kurzeme Municipality Association, and regional and national environmental and territorial authorities. Experts from UNESCO/CSI, the University of Lueneburg, Germany, and the Mid-Sweden University, Sweden, also took part.
Future Directions: (1) Environmental management guidelines (ISO 14,001) will be prepared for the Kolka coastal municipality.
(2)   A local Agenda 21 Action Programme will be initiated in the Kolka municipality.
(3)  A national conference to exchange experiences on Local Agenda 21 strategies, models and practices will be held.
(4) Guidelines for a school-based Agenda 21 programme will be developed in Kolka and used as a model for a coastal schools network throughout Latvia.  This will involve school children and the public in Agenda 21.
(5) Environmental management projects will be designed and implemented on different topics, e.g. biodiversity in the Slitere National Park, waste management.
(6) Follow-up activities to the seminar on ‘Municipal Development: Wise Coastal Practices’ (15th September 2000, Roja) will include the preparation and publication of the report on the seminar, further surveys and the establishment of a network.
(7) A web site on sustainable coastal development will be designed, with links to the ‘Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development’ forum (user name = csi; password = wise).
(8) A Second National Conference on Sustainable Coastal Development will be organised prior to the Nordic-Baltic regional conference, to be held in Latvia in 2001.


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