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Lesser White-fronted Goose project amongst the Best LIFE Nature Projects in 2009

 Brussels, 9 November 2010 - The Finnish LIFE Nature project to protect the Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropus) is one of 23 Best LIFE Nature Projects being featured in a new European Commission publication highlighting the 2009 awards.

The selection of the top LIFE-Nature projects now showcased in the publication were originally presented at a conference on the future of the LIFE programme in Brussels in May 2010. The projects represent the most successful of the completed LIFE Nature projects in 2009, both in terms of best practices and/or demonstration actions on nature conservation and the implementation of the Habitats and Birds Directives.

The Lesser White-fronted Goose LIFE project was implemented by WWF Finland and focused on the conservation of the Lesser White-fronted Goose population along the European migration route. The ultimate objective of the project was to stop the decline of the Fennoscandian population, of which hunting and poaching is the main cause. The Lesser White-fronted Goose closely resembles the White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons), which is an important game species in most countries in its range, making awareness raising and education of hunters an important element of the project.

The LIFE project also played a key role in the drafting of the International Single Species Action Plan (SSAP) for the conservation of the Western Palearctic population of the Lesser White-fronted Goose, which was adopted by AEWA in 2008. In addition, National Action Plans for the Lesser White-fronted Goose were drawn up within the framework of the project and adopted by the national authorities in Norway, Finland and Estonia.

Building on the success of this LIFE project, a new LIFE+ project application for the Lesser White-fronted Goose has been submitted to the European Commission in September 2010. The lead organization behind the new project is the Hellenistic Ornithological Society (HOS), the BirdLife partner organization in Greece.

Drafted by HOS in cooperation with most of the previous LIFE project partners and the UNEP/AEWA Secretariat, the new proposal builds on the previous project, with a focus on conservation activities in the wintering sites of the species in Europe.

The new LIFE+ proposal also includes a number of coordination tasks for the UNEP/AEWA Secretariat, including providing assistance to countries such as Greece and Bulgaria in their efforts to draft National Action Plans for the species as well as functioning as a facilitator to ensure close cooperation and linkages between conservation efforts along the European and Eastern flyways of the Fennoscandian Lesser White-fronted Goose population.

For more information please see:

Best LIFE-Nature Projects 2009 (PDF Publication, 6 MB - see page 12 for the article on the LWfG project)
LWfG LIFE Project Publications (WWF Finland)

International Single Species Action Plan for the Conservation of the Lesser White-fronted Goose

or please contact:

Ms. Nina Mikander (nmikander@unep.de), Coordinator for the Lesser White-fronted Goose at the UNEP/AEWA Secretariat.