Overview

Luga-Balt is a biennial project of the ENPI Cross Border Cooperation Programme, partly financed by the European Union and directed on development of Russian-Finnish cooperation on protection of the Baltic Sea and the coastal rivers from land-based pollution.
The project aims
1. To create the basic conditions for improvement of water quality and restoration of a natural biodiversity of the Luga River that will promote the decrease of biogene leakage into the Baltic Sea.
2. To encourage the Russian-Finnish cooperation on the level of municipal units, scientific, educational and public organisations, and also the enterprises of various forms of ownership, for effective environment protection of water sources in the Baltic Sea basin and improvement of a rural life quality.
Project tasks
1. To collect and analysis the information on the Luga River environmental condition and biology, to make the list of "hot spots” and to create the proved system of long-term objectives of improvement of water quality and a biological variety.
2. To assist to regional both municipal authorities and the enterprises in increase of competence in environmental management by rural territories and water objects.
3. To promote increase of environmental literacy and responsibility of the people living on the territory of Luga River basin, to initiate and support nature protection actions by forces of all groups of the population.
4. To strengthen cooperation between the organisations, businesspeople and social groups in pilot territories of Leningrad Region and Southeast Finland in the field of environment protection.

The Luga Area is not casually chosen as a project territory. Earlier studies have established what Leningrad Region is a cross-border environmental risk area. It affects the interests of all the countries in the Baltic Sea Region.
Pollution of water objects by nitrogen and phosphorus compounds (eutrofication) is the main problem of the Baltic Sea. The basic flow of these substances originates from the land-based sources and results from agricultural, industrial and municipal activity.
The Luga River is the longest one in Leningrad Region running into the Baltic Sea. The Luga Area features close spacing of agricultural and industrial enterprises along the river and its tributaries. So, resulting ecological risks have effect on the environment of the whole Baltic Sea Region. In the Luga Area there are a number of unique nature sanctuaries, some rare species of plants and animals, archaeological objects, special climatic conditions. They make this area attractive for tourism development and researches. So, mitigation of environmental risks on this territory is a very topical challenge.

Pilot territory: the upper reaches of Luga River basin within the limits of Luga Area, Leningrad Region
The project duration - 2 years; the beginning - on December, 12th, 2012
The general budget - 683.796 euros; volume of the EU grant - 544.276 euros
Co-financing from partners - 139.520 euros (20,40 %)

Luga River general characteristic

Length - 363 km, the basin area - 13200 sq. km. The river originates
In Tesovsky bogs in the Novgorod Region and runs into Gulf of Finland
In the Kingisepp Area, Leningrad Region.
Average width 20 - 30 m, average depth 2 - 3 m, locally to 7 - 8 m.
The Luga River has 32 inflows, on its banks there is located about 50 settlements.
Since 2007 of water of Luga are characterised as polluted (UIWP-2.72, 3rd class of quality, the category "a"). Excess on 9 of 17 considered indicators is noted.

Project structure

Working package 1
Management

Working package 2
Environment

Working package 3
Agriculture

Working package 4
Social issues

Project events Interaction

Research

Monitoring

The technical documentation

Training and Informing

Actions

Group of project management

The project head - Lyudmila Evstafieva
The deputy the project head - Tatyana Hudozhilova
The project coordinator - Vladislav Minin
The coordinator on development, the chairman of Expert Council-Valeriy Belyakov
The coordinator on partner interaction - Irina Uzhinova
The assistant of the project coordinator - Anastasia Chtetsova
The project manager - Natalia Selyunina
The IC manager - Igor Subbotin
The PR manager - Alexandra Kotova
The coordinator of WP1 (Management) - Vladislav Minin
The coordinator of WP2 (Environment) - Sergey Melnikov
The coordinator of WP3 (Agriculture) - Alexander Bryukhanov
The coordinator of WP4 (Social issues) – Valeriy Belyakov

Project Partners
LP - Luga county municipality administration
P1 - North-West Research Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Electrification (SZNIIMESH) of the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences
P2 - Saint Petersburg State Agrarian University (SPSAU)
P3 - Regional Public Organisation “Association for Assistance of Field Research and Development of Rural Territories” (AAFRDRT)
P4 - MTT Agrifood Research Finland
P5 - Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences
P6 - Cattle farm “Partizan”
P7 - Committee on Agriculture and Fishery of Leningrad Region.

The basic actions

Two-day kick-off meeting: partners’ presentation and working out of complex methodology of project actions;
Study of environment protection system around the Kimijoki River and Saimaa Lake (Southeast Finland) and its adaptation to the Russian conditions;
Environmental research of the Luga, Saba and Yashchera rivers and their water modular territories;
Working out of an Interactive Environmental Map of the Luga River basin;
Monitoring of the Luga River water quality and biodiversity;
Development of System of long-term objectives for water quality improvement in the Luga River;
Working out of Strategy of environmental management for the Luga, Saba and Yashchera rivers;
Working out of the Environmental Handbook for local farms and agricultural enterprises;
Development and the launch of the Manure Handling Program in a pilot farm "Partizan";
Environmental estimation of three agricultural enterprises of the Luga Area and development of Regulations on organic waste processing;
Study of a household waste problem in pilot territories, development of available technology on waste gathering and processing;
Creation and support of the project web site, the edition of information and methodical books;
Making the video clip “The Luga River Life”;
Social study of the local residents’ relation to environment protection and to different project actions;
The Russian-Finnish round table in Luga town;
The Russian-Finnish topical workshops on the pilot territories of both countries;
Environmental training and consulting for municipal authorities, farmers, businesspeople and local residents;
Collective works on cleaning and accomplishment of public beaches;
Making and placing of the visual information;
Carrying out of summer international youth courses on various issues of rural development and water objects protection;
Creation and support of constantly operating network of school groups of monitoring on the Luga River;
Final workshops and exhibitions in Mikkeli both Luga towns.