RMK continues to co-operate with Latvia on investments in heritage culture 26.01

RMK continues to invest in heritage culture together with the managers of the Latvian state forest and the administration of the North Vidzeme Biosphere Reserve. 2009 was the inaugural year of the Estonian-Latvian cross-border co-operation programme, Heritage Cultural Values Become Part of a Shared Environmental and Cultural Space, in the framework of which approximately 30 people were employed. The general objective of the project is to raise awareness about and preserve heritage culture.

In co-operation, heritage culture in the counties of Southern Estonia and the northern regions of Latvia will be mapped using a consistent methodology, a database will be set up to raise awareness about it, a cross-border special care and conservation area will be set up to promote sustainable and diverse use of forests, and co-operation projects between forest owners and business operators in Estonia and Latvia will be launched.

According to RMK Project Manager Vaike Pommer, Estonia and Latvia share a relatively similar cultural space, a high incidence of forest and a large role of forestry in the economy and business in the region. “Our inaugural year of the project, however, was not at all similar to Latvia’s. The economic crisis has hit Latvia hard, and for them the beginning of the funding of the project was delayed almost half a year. We try to support our partners with our experience in every way, because this is, after all, a cross-border co-operation project where it is not Estonia’s success alone that is funded. It is good to know, however, that also under the extremely tight conditions today RMK has found an opportunity to fund the project activities planned,” Vaike Pommer explained.

In a first step, a search will begin for investors. Information days about the project will be held in the salon of the Põlva Community Cultural and Hobby Centre, Kesk 15, starting at 10.00 and in Tartu at the Raadimõisa Hotel, Mõisavärava 1, Vahi Village, Tartu Rural Municipality, starting at 15.00, on 4 February.

In 2005-2007, heritage culture was mapped – tokens of the daily living culture of the people – in Harju-, Järva, Lääne and Rapla Counties. “In practice, it is destruction resulting from a lack of awareness from which heritage cultural sites are not protected,” Vaike Pommer added. In 2009, mapping was carried out in Valga and Võru counties, the results of which will be recorded in the electronic GIS database on the Land Board homepage at http://geoportaal.maaamet.ee/.

The objective of the project is guided by the measure of the Estonian-Latvian programme of INTERREG IVA to promote mutual cohesion between border regions and is in accordance with the environmental objectives of the programme. As a result, the awareness of local governments, tourism businesses, forest owners and the public about the possibilities of sustainable and diverse use of forest, will increase, as it is planned to develop a training programme and guidance materials and to conduct joint training sessions for business operators, forest owners and members in forest owner associations in the course of the project.

Further information:
Vaike Pommer
Planning Specialist, RMK
Telephone: 676 7838, 513 3838
E-mail: vaike.pommer@rmk.ee