Agriculture is one of the main sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Latvia, accounting for 24% of the country's total GHG emissions.

Latvia is the country with the second highest share of agricultural GHG emissions in the European Union.

 

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About project

 

The objective of the project is to implement, test, evaluate, promote and provide guidance on effective and economically feasible means for the reduction of agricultural GHG emissions while preserving stable income for farmers by taking an ecosystem-based approach.

Specific objectives:


Activities

A
Preparatory actions
A.1
Elaboration of the technical documentation and acquisition of permits for installation of controlled drainage systems

The goal of the action is the preparation for the actual implementation phase through the elaboration of technical documentation and acquisition of permits for installation of controlled drainage systems (CDS). 

B
Purchase / lease of land
B.1
Lease of land for installation of CDS

Installation of CDS will take place on agricultural land that will be leased for project duration (5 years) from private land owner. A preliminary lease agreement with the land owner has been reached. IES will be allowed to install and operate CDS as well as perform other activities foreseen in the project on 80 hectares of agricultural lands.
 

C
Implementation actions
C.1
Compilation of agricultural best practice measures for climate change mitigation

The action aims at assessing different agricultural measures to mitigate climate change and compile the best
practice available and equip stakeholders with know-how. The action will consist of following activities:
1.    Experience exchange seminar on agricultural measures to mitigate GHG emissions.
2.    Preparation of the guidebook about best practice measures for climate change mitigation in agriculture.
The document will include compilation and assessment, including cost-effectiveness, of different measures
applied in agricultural sector and practical advice on how to implement the measures on the farm level.
 

C.2
Demonstration of emission reduction through the use of soil carbon enrichment

The objective of this action is to evaluate and demonstrate the use of biochar for reduction of emissions from agricultural soils in Latvian climate conditions. In the project, the use of biochar made out of wood and hay pellets will be demonstrated. By using the methods proposed by the project the farmers would achieve economic benefits through lowering the running costs of their farms. 
 

C.3
Demonstration of emission reduction through no-till technique

The objective of this action is to evaluate and demonstrate the application of no-till farming as effective measure for GHG emission reduction in Latvian climate conditions. No-till farming is a way of growing crops without disturbing the soil through tillage. No-till technique increases organic matter retention, therefore increases also carbon storage, and cycling of nutrients in the soil. It increases the amount and variety of life in and on the soil, including disease-causing organisms and disease suppression organisms. The main benefit of no-tillage from agricultural perspective is improvement in soil biological fertility, resulting in more resilient soils.

C.4
Demonstration of CDS capacity for GHG emission reduction and sequestration

The objective of the action is to install, test and demonstrate CDS capacity for GHG emission reduction and carbon sequestration on 4 pilot sites with a total coverage of 80 hectares. The available territory will be divided into control and CDS implementation fields, where crop yields and GHG emissions can be compared from a business-as-usual and CDS management scenarios. The CDS system is expected to be an innovative, sustainable and cost-effective management technique for long-term GHG emission reduction.
 

C.5
Adaptation of methodology for GHG emission evaluation using remote sensing data

Within this action, remote sensing techniques will be used for adaptation of GHG calculation algorithms aiming at data input derived from accurate land cover and land use (LC-LU) classification and change detection on a local and regional scale. LC-LU change classification result will be used to evaluate GHG emissions from local ecosystems and project direct activity impact on climate change.

C.6
Replicability and Transferability plan

The Replication and Transferability Plan will be prepared for strengthening and streamlining the replication activities in the project, and for exploring synergies with other initiatives. The Replication and Transferability Plan will be prepared during the third and fourth year of the project, when the first results from methods will be available.
 

D
Monitoring of the impact of the project actions
D.1
Monitoring of the environmental impacts of the project activities

Detailed criteria and the precise number and structure of sample plots for necessary measurements will be determined during the development of monitoring schemes by accounting for the local conditions. A monitoring plan containing specific task description of Actions C2, C3 and C4 will be developed.

D.2
Monitoring and measurement of project performance indicators

Annual analysis of the data collected within Action D1 as well as other indicators not included in Action D1 description (such as communication and economic performance indicators) will be conducted.
 

E
Communication and dissemination of results
E.1
Overall project visibility

The action will be led by coordinating beneficiary in co-operation with IES, who will be in charge for organizing the art event. All project partners will contribute to preparation of information for the websites and the content of the seminars and participate with presentations.

E.2
Project result dissemination

The action E2 aims at disseminating the Project results. It will be done via following activities:
1.    The international seminar - conference will be organized towards the end of project;
2.    Guidebook dissemination seminar;
3.    GHG emission evaluation/monitoring methodology seminar.
 

E.3
Networking with other projects

At the beginning of the project other relevant EU projects and other relevant stakeholders will be contacted. The target audience at international/EU-level consists of relevant EU projects, agricultural/environmental administrators, researchers and policy makers dealing with environmental and agricultural issues. As the project partners have widely different experiences, expertise and duties within the project a total of 7 study tours and 4 dissemination events are foreseen.

F
Project management
F.1
Project management and administration

Latvian Fund for Nature, which has many years’ experience in management of LIFE and other EU funded projects, is the manager of the project.

F.2
External audit

The final audit will be done at the end of the project. At the end of each calendar year (except the 1st year) auditors will check
the project expenditure reports from all partners. The audit will be performed by an external auditor.
 

F.3
After LIFE plan

After-LIFE plan will be prepared by coordinating beneficiary (project manager), with the help of associate beneficiaries. The After-LIFE plan will summarize all the opportunities and set the roadmap for further actions.

 

For farmers

 
 
Use of biochar as soil amendment and its impact on GHG reduction has not been tested in Latvian climate conditions. Application of biochar to soil can reduce N2O emissions by up to 80% and eliminate CH4 emissions, which both are more potent greenhouse gases than CO2.
Read more
No-till farming is a way of growing crops without disturbing the soil through tillage. No-till technique increases organic matter retention, therefore increases also carbon storage, and cycling of nutrients in the soil.
Read more
Controlled drainage provides nutrient retention, thus reducing the costs for fertilisers, as well as improves the quality of the water leaving the drainage system.
Read more
 

Contacts

 

Project "Climate Responsible Agriculture for Latvia" 
LIFE16 CCM/LV/000083
Project manager
Laura Zvingule
Phone +371 67 830 999
laura.zvingule@ldf.lv