Blue targeting in Latvia
The work with the adaptation of the Blue Targeting-tool is ongoing. This is a report from a Latvian perspective in how the work has proceeded.
The other countries (Finland, Lithuania and Poland) have also had national workshops for national stakeholders. During the later part of this year, 2017, a manual for the tool will be written.
Meeting in the spring -March 2017
The seminar started with project management organizational issues. Later work was done in the working groups. The riparian forest working group discussed issues related to the publications of the project, the preparation of data and materials. Afterwards the Blue Targeting questionnaire for evaluating the watercourse and setting goals for protection zone management was discussed.
National experts proposed some amendments to the questionnaire for approbation in local conditions, for example, Latvian experts stressed the negative effects of grey alder and too high amount of dead wood for the ecological quality of watercourses.
Subsequently the organizational issues concerning events planned in 2017, as well as invitation of local experts and involvement of target groups (mainly forest owners and managers) were discussed. From Latvia, it was recommended to involve hydrobiology expert Andris Urtāns to participate in local seminars and further development of national version of the Blue Targeting tool.
Blue Targeting Seminar
The seminar took place from May 22 to 23 in Latvian Scientific Research Forests On the first day of the workshop participants from the project working group on riparian zones visited WAMBAF demonstration sites in the Kalsnava Forest District to test the Blue Targeting watercourse assessment questionnaire.
In the evening of the first day country representatives demonstrated their examples of riparian zones and discussed the necessary additions to the evaluation questionnaire.
On the second day, the demonstration sites in Mezole Scientific Research Forest Area were visited and the Blue Targeting questionnaire was tested in field conditions. Here you could see the impact of beaver, a large amount of dead wood and the effect of grey alder on the quality of water.
Work group agreed to discuss the supplement of the Blue Targeting questionnaire with deadwood limit for the watercourse unit. The work group agreed to mark the impact of grey alder as undesirable. Representatives of Latvia undertook to test the completed questionnaire at a local seminar with stakeholders from the forestry sector.
Blue Targeting National Workshop for stakeholders
Participants from the Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre, JSC Latvian State Forests participated in the seminar on Blue Targeting in Mezole Scientific Research Forest Area in august.
During the seminar representatives of the Latvian organizations were introduced to the Blue Targeting questionnaire. Participants had the opportunity to fill out a questionnaire, to compare their results and to compare the questionnaire with a locally developed questionnaire that is used in mapping watercourse habitats.
The participants of the workshop concluded that the watercourse assessment approach calibrated in more diverse streams and supplemented with appropriate threshold values (fixed during the workshop) will be useful for assessing the quality of watercourses and guiding further management of riparian zones.
Participants also expressed their interest in a mobile application of the Blue Targeting tool and development of online data base with information on watercourse quality.
//Juris Sarins, Silava