The objective of the environmental programme was to support the achievement of the good status of the Estonian
marine and inland water quality and to prepare for adapting to the impact of climate change. The activities were implemented on the basis of predefined projects as well as those based on an open call for proposals. In total, 13 projects were implemented. The projects were divided into three fields:
I Established environmental targets and management plans for marine and inland waters
1. Inventory and development of monitoring programme for nature values in Estonian marine areas
Filling in gaps in existing knowledge and understanding the distribution of marine habitats and endangered species.
Elaborating the favourable status criteria of the marine habitat types of the Habitats Directive and specifying their spread in Estonia’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zone.
• The criteria and reference values of favourable statuses were defined, and monitoring and assessment methodology were elaborated and tested for marine habitat types with respect to the EU Habitats Directive. Additionally, a stock survey was conducted for marine habitat types in selected areas in Estonia’s exclusive economic zone and in Natura 2000 sites so far not covered by habitat inventories in territorial waters.
• The bird census methodology for waterfowl was developed and improved, with consideration for transect censuses on open seas. A waterfowl census on open seas was conducted for the first time in Estonia’s exclusive economic zone, west of Vilsandi. Furthermore, the methodology for monitoring waterbirds in the exclusive economic zone was prepared and a plan for monitoring the entire zone was elaborated.
• Monitoring methodology for the ringed seal was tested and a new census method for the warm climate scenario was elaborated.
BUDGET: €515,980 (EEA grant 77%; Republic of Estonia grant 8%)
IMPLEMENTED BY: Estonian Marine Institute, University of Tartu
PARTNERS: Estonia: Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of the Estonian University of Life Sciences, NGO Pro Mare, Baltic Environmental Forum; Norway: GRID-Arendal (Norway)
For more details please refer to: nema.bef.ee
2. Development of relevant criteria and monitoring methodology of favourable conservation status of the coastal(beaches, dunes) habitats in Estonia
Improving the spatial database concerning land-based habitat types affected by maritime conditions of the EU Habitats Directive, assessing the condition of the habitats and raising general environmental awareness.
Criteria for assessing the favourable status of coastal habitats were elaborated along with monitoring methodology for the same habitats, and a reference observation was conducted. Additionally, the spatial database of habitats was updated and training events were organised.
The data on the distribution and current state of coastal habitats was updated and a long-term cost-effective methodology for assessing the conservation status of coastal habitats was drawn up. The methodology takes into account the landscapes as dynamic systems. The test observation results indicated that these habitats are generally in a favourable status.
BUDGET: €168,374 (EEA grant 77%; Republic of Estonia grant 8%)
IMPLEMENTED BY: Institute of Ecology of Tallinn University
For more details please refer to: elupaigad-natura2000.rhcloud.com
3. Assessment for ecosystem based management of marine environment on the basis of sea bottom and sediments of the Gulf of Finland
Determining the condition of the upper layer of bottom sediment as a living environment based on various chemical and physical indicators. The prepared data layers shall increase the awareness of decision-makers, allowing for integrated management of the seabed of the Gulf of Finland. Possible measures were also suggested for the action plan with respect to the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
Based on previously gathered data as well as data drawn up during the project, digital seabed map layers were prepared along with explanatory reports for the following geological thematic maps:
• seabed geological map;
• Quaternary sediment map;
• geomorphological map;
• map of earth deposits (including a map of the spread of Fe-Mn module fields);
• lithographic map of seabed sediment and geochemical maps.
Proposals were drawn up for monitoring the seabed and elaborating protective measures in the action plan.
BUDGET: €488,600 (EEA grant 77%; Republic of Estonia grant 8%)
IMPLEMENTED BY: Geological Survey of Estonia
PARTNERS: Department of Geology of Tallinn University of Technology, Department of Marine Systems of Tallinn University of Technology, Geological Survey of Norway
For more details please refer to: sedgof.egk.ee
4. Developing the programme of measures for the Estonian marine area in compliance with the requirements of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive, including feasibility study on using LNG as an alternative ship fuel to reduce pollution
Developing a marine strategy for the Estonian marine area in accordance with the requirements of EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive, consisting of regionally coordinated cost-effective monitoring programme and programme of measures for managing pressures in marine environment.
In addition to developing the marine strategy for the Estonian marine area, the project carried out a technical and economic feasibility study for using LNG as a ship fuel and assessment of the impact of the use of LNG on the environment.
The prepared marine strategy shall help to improve the policy management systems for marine and inland water bodies.
BUDGET: €547,507 (EEA grant 90.6%; Republic of Estonia grant 9.4%)
IMPLEMENTED BY: Estonian Environmental Research Centre
PARTNERS: Republic of Estonia Environment Agency, Republic of Estonia Environmental Board, Norwegian Institute of Marine Research, Norwegian Institute for Air Research
For more details please refer to: klab.ee/merestrateegia/en
II Improved environmental information on impact, status and trends
1. Development of methods for mapping and assessing ecosystem services of marine and inland waters
Elaborating methodologies for assessing the ecosystem services (ESS) for rivers, lakes and the coastal sea.
The matrices for potential supply of ESS for rivers, lakes and the coastal sea in various conditions were elaborated and an index for ecosystem services was elaborated which will provide data on the mutual relationships between the size, ecological nature and provision of services with respect to a water body.
Should the need arise to conduct a more detailed assessment of the ESS for rivers, lakes and the coastal sea, it is possible to use the lists of indicators of ecosystem services elaborated within the framework of the project for preparing the required database.
BUDGET: €376,281 (EEA grant 81.5%; Republic of Estonia grant 8.5%)
IMPLEMENTED BY: Peipsi Centre for Transboundary Cooperation
PARTNERS: Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of the Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonian Marine Institute, University of Tartu, Institute of Ecology of Tallinn University, Stockholm Environment Institute, Tallinn Centre, Republic of Estonia Environment Agency, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research
For more details please refer to: ctc.ee/labiviidud-projektid/ecosystem-services
2. Implementation of the INSPIRE Directive
Updating spatial data with the aim to fulfill INSPIRE Directive requirements, create and make accessible the services suitable for publication through the Estonian National Geoportal prepared on the initiative of the Republic of Estonia Land Board.
During the project, the spatial data (location data) were processed to ensure conformity to the requirements of the European Union INSPIRE Directive and compatibility with the Pan-European spatial data infrastructure. This in turn allows data to be shared between various users and applications and ensuring commitment to international
In addition to data relating to land cover, the data of numerous other INSPIRE themes along with the services required to use them were brought into conformity with Pan-European requirements. For example, it is possible to view and download address and place name data as well as data concerning the mineral resources, geology, administrative units and other INSPIRE topics via the Estonian National Geoportal map application.
BUDGET: 1.47 million euros (EEA grant 91.6%;
Republic of Estonia grant 9.4%)
IMPLEMENTED BY: Estonian Land Board
PARTNER: Statens Kartverk/Norwegian Mapping Agency (Norway)
For more details please refer to: inspire.maaamet.ee
3. Restoration of habitats of freshwater pearl mussels
In order to protect the freshwater pearl mussel – one of the most endangered animal species in Estonia, identify what prevents the reproduction of the species and mitigate the risks to its habitat.
Within the framework of the project, the abundance and condition of the rare species were determined and activities were defined with the aim of protecting the species.
The favourable condition of the habitat was improved by reducing the sediment load, hunting beavers, increasing the permeability of the river for host fish and restoring the natural character of the river section. It was also revealed during the project that the mussels release glochidia and host fish infection rates are high. New knowledge was also gained on mussel cultivation and new activities were planned out for the future.
BUDGET: €227,116 (EEA grant 77%; Republic of Estonia grant 8%)
IMPLEMENTED BY: Environmental Board
PARTNER: Norwegian Institute for Nature Research
For more details please refer to: keskkonnaamet.ee/organistatsioon/rahvusvahelised-projektid/parlijogi
4. Restoring of estuarine and habitats in Lõve river
Providing a migration opportunity for the river lamprey, which is under protection in the European Union, and for freshwater fish with a migratory lifestyle, to the spawning grounds situated in the Lõve and Silmajõe rivers.
The estuaries of the Lõve and Silmajõe rivers were cleaned of sediment, the riverbed of the Silmajõe River was restored according to its natural character in its downstream section, migration opportunities for fish were restored via Oessaare Bay, the ends of the ditches running into the Lõve River were cleaned and gravel areas were created for the Enima and Mõrrasilm brooks.
The ecological conditions of the Lõve and Silmajõe rivers and Oessaare and Laidevahe bays improved, the migration opportunities for fish improved and the potential for the area as a habitat for fish fauna improved.
BUDGET: €237,045 (EEA grant 81.5%; Republic of Estonia grant 8.5%)
IMPLEMENTED BY: NPO Laidevahe Loodus
PARTNER: NPO Jätkusuutlik Saaremaa
5. Development of the data-modelling system and the decision support tool for integrated marine and inland water management
The principles of planning and organising water use and protection are provided in the Water Act, which is based on the EU Water Framework Directive and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, and aims to ensure sustainable evelopment and as natural a status of water as possible and to keep the quality, quantity and regime of surface water and groundwater as undisturbed by human activity as possible. In order to organise systematic water protection, constant
data is required concerning the condition of the water body, the pressure imposed on the aquatic environment by various sources and the impact of the measures implemented.
The databases characterising the condition of the aquatic environment were updated within the framework of the project, the existing databases were interfaced with the newly created information system and a dynamic hydrological and transport model (HYPE) was added to the existing modelling system
An operational system of models was created that improves the availability of data related to the condition of, pressure imposed by various sources on, and impact of measures with respect to marine and inland surface water, and allows decisions to be made based on the aforesaid data.
BUDGET: €2,340,660 (EEA grant 90.6%; Republic of Estonia grant 9.4%)
IMPLEMENTED BY: Estonian Environmental Research Centre
PARTNERS: Republic of Estonia Environment Agency, Republic of Estonia Environmental Board, Information Technology Centre of the Ministry of the Environment, The Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO).
For more details please refer to: klab.ee/veemudelid/
III Developed strategies and measures for adapting to a changing climate
1. The Elaboration of Estonia’s Draft National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan
The working groups of the University of Tartu, Estonian University of Life Sciences and Stockholm Environment Institute, Tallinn Centre described the most important issues pertaining to the field of climate change adaptation and analysed the impact of climate change and potential adaptation measures in eight fields in the short term (up to 2030) and the long term (up to 2050 and 2100) based on Estonia’s future climate scenarios (up to 2100) prepared by the Republic of Estonia Environment Agency.
A framework and an implementation plan were prepared with the aim of achieving the preparedness and capability of the Republic of Estonia to cope with the impact of climate change. Strategic environmental impact assessment of the development plan was conducted in parallel, as a result of which no negative impact was identified in any of the fields of the development plan.
BUDGET: €426,804 (EEA grant 90.6%; Republic of Estonia grant 9.4%)
IMPLEMENTED BY: Estonian Environmental Research Centre
PARTNERS: Republic of Estonia Environment Agency, Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection
For more details please refer to: klab.ee/kohanemine and envir.ee/en/climate
Baseline studies were implemented within the framework of three projects and one procurement:
2. Assessment of climate change impacts elaboration of adaptations measures: planning, land use, health and rescue management (KATI)
BUDGET: €253,015 (EEA grant 77%; Republic of Estonia grant 8%)
IMPLEMENTED BY: University of Tartu
PARTNERS: Estonian Academy of Security Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research
For more details please refer to: geograafia.ut.ee/et/teadus/kati-kliimakohanemine and envir.ee/en/climate
3. Climate change adaptation strategy and measures for thematic fields of natural environment and bioeconomy: BIOCLIM
BUDGET: €358,285 (EEA grant 77%; Republic of Estonia grant 8%)
IMPLEMENTED BY: Estonian University of Life Sciences
PARTNERS: University of Tartu, Stockholm Environment Institute, Tallinn Centre, Estonian Fund for Nature, Agricultural University of Iceland
For more details please refer to: pk.emu.ee/struktuur/maastikukorralduse-ja-loodushoiu-osakond/projektid/bioclim/projekt/ and envir.ee/en/climate
4. Estonian Climate Adaptation Strategy for Infrastructure and Energy (ENFRA)
BUDGET: €300,725 (EEA grant 80.8%; Republic of Estonia grant 8.4%)
IMPLEMENTED BY: Stockholm Environment Institute, Tallinn Centre
PARTNERS: Estonian University of Life Sciences, Baltic Environment Forum, Fridtjof Nansen Institute (Norway)
For more details please refer to: kliima.seit.ee/ and envir.ee/en/climate
5. (Procurement) Climate change impact assessment and elaboration of suitable adaptation measures in the fields of the economy and society (RAKE)
BUDGET: €152,455 (procurement; the amount is also reflected in the budget of the project implemented by the Estonian Environmental Research Centre)
IMPLEMENTED BY: Centre for Applied Social Sciences of the University of Tartu
PARTNERS: Umeå University (Sweden), University of Washington (USA)
For more details please refer to: skytte.ut.ee/rake/teostatud-projektid-0#uuringud and envir.ee/en/climate