Ministry Plans to Save 'Traditional Landscapes' From Oblivion
The new environmental development plan introduced by the Ministry of the Environment on Tuesday has set the goal of extending the maintenance and protection scheme for Estonia's so-called traditional landscapes to 45,000 hectares by 2020.
According to ETV, studies have revealed that among all categories of landscapes, the species-rich "traditional landscapes," evolved over centuries of ecologically-balanced human activities like communal cattle-grazing and haymaking, are suffering the most from neglect. Currently, the traditional landscapes scheme covers 25,000 hectares of land.
Hanno Zingel, adviser at the ministry, said that over the last decade the situation of coastal meadows and floodplains has improved thanks to state support. The new objective is to similarly shape up woodlands and alvars, he said.
In addition, the plan aims to restore marshes and bogs, construct more fish passes on rivers and increase the number of studies of Estonian nature.
"It is almost impossible to protect something we know nothing about or do not understand, at least not effectively," Zingel said. “Therefore, research of less studied biological groups is a clear objective outlined in the environmental development plan,” he added.