Restoration of Amalvas and Žuvintas Wetlands, Lithuania

National Id
Lithuania 01
Site name
Ž’uvintas and Amalvas mires
The WETLIFE project aimed at reversal of negative changes in Amalva and Žuvintas mires. Restoration of hydrological conditions necessary for regeneration of mire habitats was the main key to reaching the aim. Additionally, the project had a goal to facilitate a shift in agricultural practices on peatlands in order to improve conditions for biodiversity and reduce rate of peat mineralization with all related environmental consequences. Finally, the project expected to raise awareness about wetlands and to serve as an example of successful wetland restoration and more sustainable use that could be replicated in other parts of the country.
The in-depth description of the case study
RBD code
Data provider
JustÄ— BuzelytÄ—, BEF
NWRM(s) implemented in the case study
Climate zone
cool temperate moist
Case Study Info
Light or indepth?
Monitoring impacts effects
Monitoring location
Administrative annual costs
Administrative annual cost information
sum of: website, film, project seminars, farmers' info campaign, guidelines on farming, project promotion material, construstion of view platform, monitoring, devided by 3 (project durability)
Monitoring parameters
Biodiversity monitoring, Ž’uvintas and Amalvas lakes' hydrological monitoring
Performance impact estimation method
Edge of Field/Plot
Application scale
Field Scale
Installation date
Performance timescale
1 - 4 years
Area (ha)
Management change from
From arable land
Management change to
to swamp
Design contractual arrangement
Arrangement type Responsibility Role Comments Name
Contractual agreement
Amalvas polder reconstruction and Amalvas wetland view platform construction
E.Nacevičius' company "Edmeta"
Contractual agreement
Amalvas wetland drainage blocking project, Amalvas wetland water level re-naturalization activity
Contractual agreement
Purchase of 25 ha land
JSC "Agrogeodezija"
Contractual agreement
Restoration of the drained southern part of the Amalvas wetland
JSC "Alytaus melioracija"
Contractual agreement
Reconstruction of Amalvas polder
JSC "Sumeda", etc.
Design consultation activity
Activity stage Key issues Name Comments
Implementation phase
For project partners
General project seminars
Design phase
A number of purchase negotiation meeting s with farmers, guideliness for sustainable peat grassland maangement presented to local farmers.
Information campaign on farming practices
Name of policy/strategy 3
Name of policy/strategy 4
Name of policy/strategy 5
Name of policy/strategy 6
Design land use change
Land use change type
Design authority
Authority type Role Responsibility Name Comments
Nature Heritage Fund
Lead party
MarijampolÄ— municipality administration
MarijampolÄ— state forest enterprise
Ž’uvintas Biosphere reserve directorate
Key lessons
Mire†™s dryness decreased, ground water level stabilized.
Amalvas sustainable polder water pumping mode installed to ensure migratory birds population increase. Restore the natural water level fluctuations in Lake Ž’uvintas should lead to water vegetation recovery, some fish and amphibian species spawning areas expand, and stop the spread reeds and thickets. Restoring of natural water level fluctuations in Ž’uvintas and Amalvas has enabled these lakes to more easily purify its waters. Reconstruction and Ž’uvintas Amalvas locks-regulator installation passes, allowing fish to migrate.
Policy implications:
The project made an important push in promoting agi-environmental measures in the area. There is a common understanding achieved among decision makers regarding further land use on drained peatlands. However despite of significantly increased local awareness of environmental hazards related to unsustainable management of organic peat soils, there is a great need for national and European policies regarding this issue. Abandonment of subsidies for damaging farming on organic soils would prove to be extremely beneficial for biodiversity conservation and minimizing other negative environmental consequences.
Financing difficulties
Financing difficulties information
Some project actions were carried out with a substantial delay (1,5 year). That was firstly due to economic crisis that led to reduction of the staff and working hours (due to budget restrictions staff has to take unpaid days-off), therefore personnel responsible for implementation of the projects became overloaded with work.
Success factor(s)
Success factor type Success factor role Comments
Successful coordination between authorities
main factor

Ex., the key stakeholders were the project partners and other important parties, like farmers, were well integrated into activities.

Existing institutional framework
main factor
Financing type Comments
EU-funds: LIFE+
Total budget used: 1240401,26 EU
Barrier type Barrier role Comments
The project served as a good basis for establishing cooperation among protected area administration, municipality, environmental non-governmental organisation and local residents.
Driver type Driver role Comments
Legal obligations
main driver
To ensure conservation status of the
Organisation committed to it
main driver
Nature Heritage Fund is a leading organisation in country to protect and maintain species of the comunity's interest (SCI)
Availability of subsidies
secondary driver
LIFE Nature programme is supporting the biodiversity restoration projects
Financing share
Financing share type Share Comments
European funds
National funds
Policy description
During second half of the 20th century Lithuania lost more than two-thirds of former mire area which covered 10% of the country. This had
the effect of causing changes in the local and regional hydrological pattern, significant loss of wildlife and peat degradation, which in turn
resulted in various secondary negative effects: CO2 emissions (approximately 25% of currently reported anthropogenic CO2 emissions, which does not take into account emissions from peatlands), water pollution due to peat mineralization products and peat subsidence. The regulation of lakes, along with increased loads of nutrients caused a rapid deterioration of water quality, siltation, and overgrowth of the lakes or even the collapse of submerged vegetation. This further led to decreased water purification capacities, as well as
secondary pollution from sediments negatively affecting water bodies down the stream and, finally, the Baltic Sea †“ arguably the most polluted sea in the world.
Policy target
Target purpose
Improved Biodiversity
Runoff control
Pollutants Removal
Policy pressure
Pressure directive Relevant pressure
Policy area
Policy area type Policy area focus Name Comments
Policy impact
Impact directive Relevant impact
Policy wider plan
Wider plan type Wider plan focus Name Comments
Environment & Biodiversity
Climate adaptation
Policy requirement directive
Requirement directive Specification
Costs investment
Costs investment information
Infrastructure, equipment and purchase of land (finale report data, page 31)
Costs land acquisition
Costs land acquisition unit
€ (total value)
Costs land acquisition information
(finale report data, page 31)
Costs operation maintenance
Costs operation maintenance
(finale report data, page 31), total amount minus investment costs devided by 3 (3 years project)
Costs total
Costs total information
(finale report data, page 31)


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