LIFE+ MANSALT

At the end of 2009, the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park applied for a project within the EU’s LIFE + nature and biodiversity call for proposals. The five-year project entitled “Man and Nature in Sečovlje Salina” was eventually confirmed by the European Union, and the project designed to conserve biodiversity in the area of Sečovlje salt-pans began to be implemented on October 1st, 2010.

The living world, both nature and man, greatly depends on water conditions in this salty environment of the pans. Most of the funds are earmarked for the sanation of the frontal and high-water embankments, by which a control over the salina water regime will be provided for. At the same time, the numerous embankments damaged during the disastrously high tides in December 2008 will be reconstructed and consolidated.
 
Various public workshops will also be organized within the project’s framework, for the awareness as to the significance of preserved nature in the pans is low and often even incorrectly interpreted. The Sečovlje salt-pans can be an added value to the development of this area and its tourism only if their image is preserved, without being endangered by various plans envisaging encroachments upon this particular environment. Good indicators of the degree of close-to-nature salina management are birds; as the salt-pans are inhabited by rare, endangered and even for visitors very interesting bird species, everything will be done within the project’s framework to prevent a decrease in their numbers. One of the rare and endangered species, threatened largely by the development of mass tourism and urbanisation of sand banks, is the Little Tern. In Slovenia, it breeds solely in the Sečovlje pans, thus a special attention will be dedicated to it within the LIFE+ project.

The project has been estimated at seven million Euros, with a half of the funds to be provided by the EU and the other half by the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning within the framework of the Sanation Programme for the Elimination of the Consequences of Flood Tides, which has been confirmed by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and the firms Mobitel d.d. and SOLINE d.o.o.

LIFE+ is a financial instrument of the EU, earmarked exclusively for environmental protection. It supports implementation of the EU’s environment policy and stimulates projects that contribute to the sustainable development as well as those that constitute an added value in the sense of environment and nature conservation in EU states. It is also the main financial mechanism for the implementation of projects within Natura 2000, into which the Sečovlje salt-pans have been included as well. Natura 2000 is a European network of special areas of conservation proclaimed in the EU member states, its prime objective being to preserve biodiversity for future generations.

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Project objectives:

The main project objective is to improve conservation status of target bird, reptile and fish species and target habitat types in NATURA 2000 site Secovlje Salina. Target species are:
- birds:  Charadrius alexandrinus, Himantopus himantopus, Sterna hirundo, Sterna albifrons and Larus melanocephalus
- turtle: Emys orbicularis, 
- fish: Aphanius fasciatus,
- habitats: 1140 Mudflats and sandflats not covered by seawater at low tide, 1310 Salicornia and other annuals colonizing mud and sand, 1410 Mediterranean salt meadows (Juncetalia maritimi), 1420 Mediterranean and thermo-Atlantic salt marshes and salt meadows (Sarcocornetea fruticosi), 1130-Estuaries, 1320-Spartina swards (Spartinion maritimae)
 Saline ecosystem is manmade ecosystem and therefore needs human interventions to maintain its ecological status. In this process particular attention is put into restoration of see defence walls to ensure water control over the protected area of Secovlje Salina Nature Park.

The project’s more detailed objectives are:

-  to establish control over the salina’s water regime and to restore the areas degraded in the past; 
-  to raise awareness about the significance of traditional salt-making, which preserves nature and enables
   sustainable development of the local community;
-  to present a good practice model as to the use of traditional methods in the reconstruction of the salina’s
   ecosystems.
 
The activities to be carried out to attain the planned objectives are divided into: 

·         Activities aimed at reconstruction of frontal and high-water levees and other infrastructure, as well as   at  ecological restoration of degraded habitats

Reconstruction works aimed at controlling the salina’s water regime comprise almost 3,000 metres of high-water embankments and 670 metres sea defence walls, digging of 8,000 metres of edge channels, and reconstruction of some 8 ha large freshwater marsh.
 
HIGH-WATER EMBANKMENTS

ACTION C2 – DRNICA:  518 m 
ACTION C3 – PIKETO:  1,538 m  
ACTION C4 – KURTO:  344 m 
ACTION C5 – JERNEJEV KANAL:  586 m 
 
SEA-DEFENCE WALLS

ACTION C1 – SEA DEFENCE WALLS:  420 m 
ACTION C6 – LERA ROCK SEA WALL: 250 m 
 
·         Communication activities aimed at public awareness building and transfer of good practice models

-  reality show at the terns’ nest site
-  workshop for the young and adults about the significance of the salina as of a Natura 2000 site
-  presentation of good practice models and cooperation with managers of other salt-pans and coastal
   ecosystems
-  2 films
-  website
 
LIFE+ is a financial instrument of the EU, earmarked exclusively for environmental protection. It supports implementation of the EU’s environment policy and stimulates projects that contribute to the sustainable development as well as those that constitute an added value in the sense of environment and nature conservation in EU states. It is also the main financial mechanism for the implementation of projects within Natura 2000, into which the Sečovlje salt-pans have been included as well. Natura 2000 is a European network of special areas of conservation proclaimed in the EU member states, its prime objective being to preserve biodiversity for future generations.
 
·         Project news

·         Publications on LIFE project  

 
LIFE+ in Natura 2000

LIFE+ is a financial instrument of the EU, earmarked exclusively for environmental protection. It supports implementation of the EU’s environment policy and stimulates projects that contribute to the sustainable development as well as those that constitute an added value in the sense of environment and nature conservation in EU states. It is also the main financial mechanism for the implementation of projects within Natura 2000, into which the Sečovlje salt-pans have been included as well.

Natura 2000 is a European network of special areas of conservation proclaimed in the EU member states, its prime objective being to preserve biodiversity for future generations.



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