Investment Report See for yourself a webcam pilot project in Slitere National Park

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1 Investment Report See for yourself a webcam pilot project in Slitere National Park By Andra Ratkevica January 2010

2 Imprint This report was compiled within the Balltic Green Belt project. The Baltic Green Belt project wants to conserve, use and develop the common natural and cultural heritage of the coastal border areas formerly dividing east and west by establishing a platform for transnational cooperation between stakeholders working in nature conservation and sustainable development of the southern and eastern Baltic Sea coast. The project Baltic Green Belt is part-financed by the European Union (ERDF) within the Baltic Sea Region Programme. The Programme supports transnational projects working together to make the Baltic Sea region an attractive place to invest, work and live in ( The reports are published as part of the European Green Belt initiative which has the vision to create the backbone of an ecological network, running from the Barents to the Black Sea that is a global symbol for transboundary cooperation in nature conservation and sustainable development. Project Lead Partner Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel Department of Geography Coastal Geography & Natural Hazards Research Scientific Advisor: Prof. Dr. Horst Sterr Coordination: Michael Schultz Communication: Stefanie Maack This report can be downloaded from The responsibility for al contents lies with the author(s) of this report. Author of this report Andra Ratkevica Slitere National Park Administration "Sliteres meznieciba", Dundaga Region LV-3270 Latvia

3 2 Initial situation Sliteres National Park is a specially protected nature territory and is part of the Natura 2000 network of Special Areas of Conservation of European Union. The oldest part a relatively intact forest with an extent of ha of Slitere National Park was taken under protection in No forest management has been carried out in this territory ever since. Slitere National Park as it is today covers ha of land and ha of sea territory. The ancient shoreline of the Baltic Ice Lake Zilie kalni (Blue Hills) is the oldest part of Sl tere National Park, geologically speaking. It is covered with old, relatively intact broadleaf deciduous forests with high biodiversity. Geologically newer is a distinctive landform kangari and vigas complex. Kangari are long, linear dunes that have formed about 6000 ago. They alternate with narrow marshy depressions, which are called vigas. Between Kolka and Ba u Bog kangari and vigas alternate parallel to the shoreline. Nowhere else in the world a similar complex of such a large extent can be found. In kangarivigas complex lies the biggest bog in Sl tere National Park Ba u Bog (1 880 ha). The newest geomorphological formations are dunes on the coast of the sea. The entire territory of Slitere National park has remained relatively intact due to sparse population and former inaccessibility of the territory. Fig. 1: Map of Slitere National Park indicating the position of the permanent webcam.

4 3 Idea and aims of the pilotproject See for yourself The idea of the pilot project See for yourself is to show the wildlife of Slitere National Park to wildlife lovers and potential visitors without harming nature. In this manner, the National Park Administration wants to reveal what the strict nature zone where it is prohibited to enter - is hiding: To this end, contemporary information technology is supposed to be used, namely a web cam approach. The natural wealth of Slitere National Park is worth to show and explain to people all around the Europe. However, Slitere National Park should remain intact in future as well as today. The main reason to reduce further anthropological influence is an outstandingly high biodiversity. At the same time, the public needs to understand and become aware of the importance of nature conservation all around the Europe in the light of, for example, human responsibility for global climate change and the poor ecological state of the Baltic Sea. The only way to increase the awareness of the general public is to give them information and education. Lately, national parks are more accessible to people also in Latvia. They can see wildlife for themselves by walking in relatively intact nature. On the other hand, the wildlife will no longer be wild, if people walk, watch and explore everything without any restrictions.the pilot project See for yoursef offers a chance to have a look into the hidden life of Slitere forest without physical contact, but through virtual reality. It will help people better understand the importance of nature conservation. This is why the pilot project is a long-term investment aiming not only to show the nature, but also to achieve companions in nature protection field. The investments of the pilotproject See for yourself thus aims at contributing to education and information of the general public. Implementation of the investment The main activities of the interactive informative educational event will be carried out on the Internet website

5 4 Fig. 2: Example of the presentation of webcam pictures on the website There are two complete sets of investments. Web camera in Slitere lighthouse shows the breathtaking view at forests of Slitere from above. Direct flow from Slitere Lighthouse can be watched on our website. Forest camera. Close up movies about animals living their hidden lives in Slitere forests. A series of popular science articles is planned to be written and illustrated with video clips of wildlife, taken by the forest camera.

6 5 Measurement of success To assess whether the investment reaches the aim, a monthly statistical data collection will be conducted of visitations of the website. Since there is an opportunity to comment the articles, the number of comments will be recorded. Another measure will be number of sites, where the event See for yourself have been mentioned. Currently, two other websites: and have showed interest in placing live broadcast from Slitere lighthouse on their sites. Information about the pilot project is currently available on 9 sites Lessons learned At this project phase when the technique is purchased but the educational activities have just begun, it is too early to draw conclusion on effectiveness of investments. We can draw some conclusions only on the way of the technical solutions. Sliteres Lighthouse web camera and internet access carry out their functions decently. The forest camera system at the moment is being tested for several regimes.

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