Introducing Our New Member: Directorate for Aukstaitija Protected Areas

Sirvėtos RP, Marius Semašk

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We are thrilled to welcome the Directorate for Aukstaitija Protected Areas as a new member of our network. This esteemed institution plays a pivotal role in the conservation and management of Protected Areas in the Aukstaitija region, aligning perfectly with EUROPARC’s mission to safeguard nature and cultural heritage.

About the Directorate for Aukstaitija Protected Areas

The Directorate for Aukstaitija Protected Areas is dedicated to implementing state policies and strategies in the realm of Protected Areas. Their core mission revolves around ensuring landscape stability, conserving biodiversity, and preserving cultural heritage. They achieve this through a multifaceted approach that includes protection, rational use, and environmental education.

Daiva Narkūnienė, Kauno mariu atodanga

Main Goals and Activities

The Directorate’s primary objectives include:

– Landscape Stability and Biodiversity Conservation: Ensuring that landscapes remain stable and biodiverse through careful management and protection.
– Cultural Heritage Preservation: Protecting and rationally using areas of cultural significance, ensuring they remain accessible and appreciated by future generations.
– Cognitive Tourism and Environmental Education: Promoting access to natural and cultural protected values by creating conditions for cognitive tourism. This includes educating the public on the importance of environmental conservation and heritage preservation.

Managed Protected Areas

The Directorate for Aukstaitija Protected Areas oversees the management of eight regional parks, each a testament to their commitment to conservation:

1. Anyksčiai Regional Park – 15,459 hectares
2. Asveja Regional Park – 12,207 hectares
3. Biržai Regional Park – 14,406 hectares
4. Gražutė Regional Park – 31,933 hectares
5. Kauno Marios Regional Park – 9,852 hectares
6. Krekenava Regional Park – 11,590 hectares
7. Sirvėta Regional Park – 8,755 hectares
8. Sartai Regional Park – 12,121 hectares

M.Kirstukas, Brandto pelėausiai

Daiva Narkūnienė, Taukius

Commitment to Environmental Stewardship

The Directorate’s work is a shining example of how strategic policy implementation and active management can lead to the effective conservation of natural and cultural resources. Their efforts ensure that these Protected Areas not only maintain their ecological and cultural integrity but also remain accessible for educational and tourism purposes.

We look forward to the valuable contributions that the Directorate for Aukstaitija Protected Areas will bring to our network. Their dedication and expertise will undoubtedly enhance our collective efforts to promote nature and cultural heritage conservation. Welcome aboard!

IUCN categories that the Directorate for Aukstaitija Protected Areas crosses out:

Category Ia — Strict Nature Reserve✔️

Category Ib — Wilderness Area

Category II — National Park

Category III — Natural Monument or Feature✔️

Category IV — Habitat/Species Management Area✔️

Category V — Protected Landscape/Seascape✔️

Category VI – Protected Area with sustainable use of natural resources✔️

What Impressed the Directorate for Aukstaitija Protected Areas Most About EUROPARC

We asked the Directorate for Aukstaitija Protected Areas what aspects of EUROPARC’s mission and objectives impressed them the most. Here’s what they shared:

  • The Directorate is particularly impressed by EUROPARC’s role in advising European policy decisions. They value having a platform that shapes policies with insights from experts in Protected Area management. They also appreciate EUROPARC’s commitment to sharing knowledge and best practices. This exchange fosters innovation in managing protected areas, enabling continuous improvement and adaptation to new challenges.
  • The Directorate is excited to join a community that values collaboration, innovation, and impactful advocacy.

Our goal is to bring our best practices and share our knowledge within the EUROPARC Federation network. The Directorate would like to participate in the work of Section and several Commissions, take part in conferences and seminars. Exchanging best practices and ideas on better/innovative preservation/restoration of nature and landscape sites is also something that the Directorate hopes to gain from EUROPARC membership.