The European conference on the management of disturbances to species and their habitats in military training areas was held in Riga on 26, 27 and 28 May 2015.
The first day was dedicated to the integration of biodiversity into European Commission sectoral policies during the Latvian Presidency.
The presentations can be viewed using the link below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwCFrKlNjas
During the second day, the Life delegation (3 representatives from MINDEF, 1 from CEN Rhône-Alpes and 1 from Syndicat Mixte des Gorges du Gardon) presented French projects for biodiversity in military lands, such as :
- LIFE Terrains militaires ( Biodiversity Restoration & Conservation of Remarkable Military Lands In South-East France)
- The work done with birds by the Syndicat Mixte des Gorges du Gardon and the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment at the Garigues camp ( Actions for the protection of birds in the military camp)
- Scaring and the protection of the little bustard on the Air Base 115 Orange ( A partnership for protection of Tetrax Tetrax on the Air-Base 115)
We learned a great deal from the different presentations. We also spoke to Tilmann Disselhoff, an expert at the European Commission who explained the victory obtained by associations from Germany: the free transfer of disused military land. The 150,000 ha conceded will be handed over in 3 lots. It's a fascinating example!
The last day was given over to the LIFE "Birds in Adazi" site. We observed the different restoration techniques: razing, burning, crushing...
The French delegation appreciated the efficiency of the Latvian Defence Ministry's environmental policy. This was an opportunity to pursue the creation of a network of stakeholders in the protection of biodiversity in military lands at a European level. Since then, Mr Raimonds Vejonis, Green Party Minister for Defence, has been elected as President of the Latvian Republic. We look forward to welcoming his ministry during the European conference to be held in France at the end of June 2016.