At first glance Estonia seems relatively natural – we have a lot of forests, large protected areas and well-preserved bog landscapes – but since the second half of the 20th century the habitats of many species have actually been completely destroyed or have significantly declined.
As a result of natural reforestation, open sandy areas and dunes have almost disappeared from our landscapes, and the area of our forests and coastal meadows has decreased. In the course of ditching, or land improvement, one third of Estonia's land has been drained and many wet forests, open transition mires and lowland fens have been destroyed. Intensive farming has led to the replacement of landscape mosaics with monocultural farmlands on which plant protection products and are used abundantly.
The purpose of the project is to protect and restore Estonian landscapes and ecosystems, as well as improve the condition of the species and habitats of our forests and farmlands.
We operate in four areas — forests, semi-natural grasslands, conservation agriculture and species conservation.
In addition to large-scale nature conservation works, the nature conservation management and information system will be upgraded over the years, people's general environmental awareness will be promoted together with individual and community-based environmental protection.
Although people have begun to value the natural environment, studies show that practical knowledge of conservation and environmentally sustainable activities is scarce among ordinary people, farmers and forest owners alike.
Therefore, together with scientists, foresters and farmers, land keepers and local communities, the project will test various nature conservation activities and methods — both traditional and innovative — and will provide practical guidance on how each of us can act in such a way that we do not harm nature, but on the contrary, contribute to the preservation and restoration of biodiversity.