Väinameri, Estonia

Ten years ago, WWF-Sweden, in partnership with the local NGO Arhipelaag and others, initiated an innovative pilot project in the Baltic coastal area of Väinameri in West Estonia.

Its main goal is to restore and manage semi-natural coastal grasslands to maintain a higher level of biodiversity of coastal flora and bird fauna. At the same time, the project ensures that the wider rural community makes income through diverse economic activities that are based on the sustainable use of natural resources.

The main “tool” for grassland and meadow management was the introduction of beef cattle to the area. Today, the original herd of 30 cattle has grown to nearly 2,000, leading to the restoration and/or management of some 20,000 ha of semi-natural areas with significant nature conservation value and safeguarding of rare coastal species. Steps are now being taken to market meat as “green beef ” – local landscape-supportive beef that benefits local conservation and provides additional incomes.

The project has successfully supported the expansion of eco-tourism (e.g. through building nature trails). And the production of local handicrafts based on traditional practices and resources has also been supported (e.g. through the creation of new artisan cooperatives).

Read the full details about the pilot project in the new "Fact Sheet: Väinameri" in the "Downloads" section.
Flock of brent geese, Branta bernicla 
Väinameri is an important stop over site on the migration routes of large numbers of waterfowl.


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