On-going research

Optimising the Governance and Management of the Natura 2000 Protected Areas Network in Latvia (LatViaNature) - EKOSOC-LV

Summary: The overall objective of the LIFE-IP LatViaNature is to ensure implementation of the PAF specifically addressing gaps and shortcomings and ensuring favourable conservation status of the natural and semi-natural habitats and species of Community interest by developing best practices, and creating and adopting innovative solutions. The proposed IP will include the following specific objectives:

  • To improve the conservation status of habitats and species through wise planning and effective management;
  • To improve the efficiency of Natura 2000 network;
  • To improve the nature planning system at site level by making it more flexible and user-friendly;
  • To develop motivating mechanisms to support effective nature conservation on private lands;
  • To develop an effective system for control and management of invasive alien species;
  • To create a modern, centralized data portal for nature conservation sector;
  • To strengthen the capacity of administration and to enhance collaboration among governmental, non-governmental sectors and scientific institutions;
  • To increase the stakeholder involvement and to raise awareness of specific target groups, especially private landowners, regarding nature conservation in general and specific areas of the IP;
  • To raise awareness of the general public on nature conservation issues and to increase their knowledge and voluntary involvement in biodiversity conservation.

Implementation period: 01.11.2020. - 31.12.2028.

Project Nr. LIFE19 IPE/LV/000010

Funding/ programme: EU Life Environment Programme

HESPI role: Project partner

Cooperation partners: Nature Conservation Agency (lead partner), Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia, University of Latvia, Daugavpils University, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, JSC “Latvia’s state forests”, Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre, Latvian Fund for Nature, Pasaules dabas fonds

Project funding: 19484173.00 EUR

Project scientific manager (e-mail): Agita Līviņa (agita.livina@va.lv)

Involved staff: HESPI research staff Andris Klepers, Anda Arkliņa

More information: https://www.daba.gov.lv/public/lat/projekti/aktualie_projekti/latvianature/

Visitor Monitoring and Management in Protected and Recreational Areas: New Challenges, Novel Solutions for the Anthropocene (VIMAS) - EKOSOC-LV

Summary: Recreation in the outdoors provides large benefits to individuals and societies, but with increased participation also follows challenges with sustainable management of nature areas. Nature-based recreation has transformed in several ways; besides the increase in volume of visitors, the behaviour of visitors has diversified; visitors partake in a wider set of activities, visit more remote places, take more diversified trips in nature, have different motivations for visitation as well as levels of experience and skills.

New monitoring and management tools honed for the Anthropocene must address the cumulative social and ecological impacts from increased tourism and recreation while striking a balance with ethics, privacy, and equal opportunities.

VIMAS’ primary objective is to develop more efficient governance of nature areas for tourism and recreation, in the best way possible for biodiversity, people’s quality of life and business development. This will be achieved through research about smarter monitoring methods, improved visitor management and more inclusive governance.

VIMAS Strategic objectives are:

• Train the next generation of multidisciplinary scientists that will be equipped with the skills to secure sustainable, knowledge-based visitor management through recruitment of 10 international Doctoral Candidates (DCs) to be assigned to a specific PhD curriculum, to be monitored and supervised in their career development by the multidisciplinary expertise network of the VIMAS consortium.

• Strengthen European geo-digital businesses, public administration, and academia with a cohort of talented, well-connected researchers with the qualities to become leading European professionals in visitor management and planning.

The innovations of VIMAS are to realise potential from new knowledge developed in the intersection between quantitative and qualitative social sciences, ecology, and geo-informatics technology based on inclusive approaches for non-agency stakeholders and citizens.

Implementation period: 01.11.2023.-31.12.2027.

Funding/ programme: Horizon Europe MSCA DN (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Doctoral Networks) 

HESPI role: Project partner

Cooperation partners: NMBU - The Norwegian University of Life Sciences (coordinator), Mid-Sweden University (Sweden), University of Copenhagen (Denmark), University of Eastern Finland (Finland), University of Helsinki (Finland), University of Iceland (Iceland)

Project funding: 2892644 EUR

Project scientific manager (e-mail): Agita Līviņa (agita.livina@va.lv)

More informationhttps://www.nmbu.no/en/research/projects/vimas



VIMAS AnnouncementResearch Proposal template
Assessment of Resources and Processes for Implementing Circularity and the Green Deal in the Tourism System (CirToS) - EKOSOC-LV

Summary: The aim of this interdisciplinary research project is to carry out an assessment of circularity opportunities in tourism sector organisations and identify a conceptual assessment of the resources and processes for implementing the Green Deal (GD) conditions, to develop proposals based on the results of the study for introducing circularity and implementing the requirements of the Green Deal at the level of tourism sector and tourism companies in order to promote the competitiveness of the sector in export markets.

Implementation period: 01.01.2024.-31.12.2026.

Project Nr.: lzp-2023/1-0478

Funding/ programme: Fundamental and Applied Research Programme

HESPI role: Project implementer

Cooperation partners: BA School of Business and Finance

Project funding: 300 000 EUR

Project scientific manager (e-mail): Agita Līviņa (agita.livina@va.lv)

Involved staff: HESPI Lead Researcher Sarmīte Rozentāle, HESPI guest research assistants, PhD students Māra Grīnberga-Šilaua, Gaļina Bukovska, Dace Dance, BA research staff Dzintra Atstāja, Didzis Rūtītis, Natālija Čudecka-Puriņa, PhD student Marta Kontiņa

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Article "Impact of Climate Change on International Tourism Evidence from Baltic Sea Countries"
Patriots and nationalists: cognition, attitudes, and their impact on the development of democratic civil society (Patriotism) - EKOSOC-LV

Summary: In this interdisciplinary project, we will study the determining factors of nationalism and patriotism as forms of national attachments and their influence on the formation of a democratic civil society. By studying in detail the expression of patriotism and nationalism in cognition and attitudes, as well as the relation of these forms of national attachment to the individual\'s political beliefs and behavior, it is possible to understand how to build and strengthen national identity in a way that strengthens a democratic civil society. In the project, we will develop a patriotism/nationalism orientation scale and test its psychometric properties, we will conduct a series of experiments to test the relationship between patriotism and nationalism with cognition. With the help of qualitative methods we will find out how patriotism/nationalism orientations are represented in the content of citizenship education and how they are related to the political views and behaviour of young people. We will disseminate the results at scientific conferences and publish scientific articles at political science and psychology conferences. We will inform policymakers, teachers, NGOs about the results, thus demonstrating the importance of social sciences in strengthening national security and state defence.

Implementation period: 01.01.2023. - 31.12.2025.

Project Nr. Nr. lzp-2022/1-0456

Funding/ programme: Fundamental and Applied Research Programme

HESPI role: Project implementer

Cooperation partners: N/A

Project funding: 299916.00 EUR

Project scientific manager (e-mail): Ieva Bērziņa (ieva.berzina@va.lv)

Involved staff: HESPI research staff Vineta Silkāne, Anna Broka, guest researcher Ivars Austers, master's students - guest research assistants Liene Zīvere, Kristīne Jaunzeme


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Baltic Engagement Centre for Combating Information Disorders (BECID) - EKOSOC-LV

Summary: The primary objective of the Baltic Engagement Centre for Combating Information Disorders (BECID) project is to support the EU in its efforts to tackle disinformation in the three Baltic countries. This is an area of particular importance, due to its location on the edge of the EU and the presence of a large Russian-speaking minority population (approximately 17%). It is also a region that presents a diverse crosssection of post-soviet countries, an important factor to consider when developing responses to fake news and disinformation. We will create an EDMO hub in a key region, which brings together 9 beneficiaries and 1 associated partner from the 3 Baltic States,including 4 research organizations, 4 IFCN certified fact-checkers, a non-profit organization with 13 founding members cooperating on media literacy activities and a Latvian TV channel. We also have 14 external experts supporting us, covering the topics of migration and societal cohesion; environmental policies and climate change; European security policy; Russia’s regional foreign policy; public health etc. Building off numerous previous activities of BECID partners, we will perform continuous fact-checking (720-900 audio, audiovisual or written media texts all up for three Baltic states), create 10 analytical reports on Baltic disinformation trends and a common methodology for analysing them, research information disorders in Baltic social media spaces and the impact of interventions, create systematic reviews of tools and methods used to verify false information and carry out 5 media literacy campaigns. Particular attention will be paid to vulnerable groups such as Russian speakers, elderly and youth.

Implementation period: 01.12.2022. - 31.05.2025.

Project Nr. 101084073

Granting authority: European Health and Digital Executive Agency (Digital SME Support Actions)

HESPI role: Project partner

Cooperation partners:  University of Tartu, Tallinn University, Vytautas Magnus University, The Baltic Center for Investigative Journalism, Baltic Centre for Media Excellence (BCME), DELFI UAB, AS Delfi (Latvia), AS EKSPRESS MEEDIA , Associated Partner: Sia Vidzemes Televizija  

Project funding: 2 830 662,53 EUR

Project scientific manager (e-mail): Jānis Buholcs (janis.buholcs@va.lv)

Involved staff: HESPI research staff Jānis Buholcs, Agnese Dāvidsone, Solvita Denisa-Liepniece, Iveta Auniņa, Katrīne Kūkoja

More informationhttps://becid.ut.ee/

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Scientific School Culture for Sustainable Society (ZIKS) - EKOSOC-LV

The Aim of this interdisciplinary research project is to study scientific culture at secondary schools in Latvia as one of the most crucial driving forces for science literate society, generate knowledge basis for scholarly discourse and policy recommendations, and to develop and test a model of theoretically and empirically grounded criteria for evaluating scientific school culture in the post pandemic future.

Implementation period:  03.01.2022. - 30.12.2024.

Project Nr.  lzp-2021/1-0135

Funding/ programme: Fundamentālo un lietišķo pētījumu programma

HESPI role: Project implementer

Cooperation partners: University of Latvia

Project funding: 299 996.40 EUR

Project scientific manager (e-mail): Agnese Dāvidsone (agnese.davidsone@va.lv)

Involved staff: HESPI research staff Agnese Dāvidsone, Vineta Silkāne, Gatis Krūmiņš.  Master's students - guest research assistants Gita Dukure, Lelde Āre. Guest researcher Anželika Krastiņa. LU research staff Zanda Rubene, Linda Daniela. 

Quantitative Data about Societal and Economic Transformations in the Regions of the Three Baltic States during the Last Hundred Years for the Analysis of Historical Transformations and the Overcoming of Future Challenges (BALTIC100) - EKOSOC-LV

Summary: The aim of the project is to create a depository of quantitative data about societal and economic transformations in the regions of the three Baltic states during the last hundred years and provide a quantitative analysis of the long run trends (since 1920) in regional disparities.

This project breaks new interdisciplinary ground in the socio-economic history of the Baltic countries, providing for the first time cross-time and cross-country comparable gross domestic product (GDP) data series for all three countries, covering the complete 100 years period since the end of independence wars. Applying a methodology tested in recent research on the economic development of Europe‘s regions since 1900, it will decompose these series down to a regional level to explore trends in the economic and social disparities between regions inside of each Baltic state.

The implementation of the project will include two tasks: (1) creation of data depository with data on economic and social differences between regions of Baltic countries and (2) analysis of long run trends (since 1920) in cross-regional economic and human development disparities. As a result, a collective monography and 8 high-quality publications will be prepared.

Project No: EEA-RESEARCH-174

Implementation period: 01.05.2021.-30.04.2024.

Funding/ programme: European Economic Area (EEA) Grants, Research and Education, Baltic Research Programme

HESPI role: Project promoter/ lead partner

Cooperation partners: Norwegian School of Economics, Norway; Vilnius University, Lithuania; University of Tartu, Estonia

Project funding: 999092,70 EUR

Project scientific manager (e-mail): Gatis Krūmiņš (gatis.krumins@va.lv)

Involved staff: HESPI research staff Jānis Šiliņš, Ilmārs Mežs, Jānis Bikše, SSII research staff Ginta Majore, Andris Lapāns

Further information: https://eeagrants.lv/; https://eeagrants.org/

Nudging for Behavioural Change to Improve Households’ Waste Management - EKOSOC-LV

Summary: This research project will study behavioural insights of recycling efforts among the households, exploring the potential of nudges in the promotion of sustainable consumption and circular economy. The scientific excellence of this project lies in the multidisciplinarity: the application of social psychology in increasing the efficiency of existing recycling approaches by altering the behaviour of private households, thus, contributing to existing policy efforts in environmental protection.

Implementation period: 01.01.2021. - 31.12.2024.

Project Nr. lzp-2020/1-0303

Funding/ programme: Fundamental and Applied Research Programme

HESPI role: Project implementer

Cooperation partners: N/A

Project funding: 300000.00 EUR

Project scientific manager (e-mail): Vineta Silkāne (vineta.silkane@va.lv)

Involved staff: HESPI research staff Agnese Dāvidsone, Anna Broka, Linda Veliverronena, SSII researcher Jana Simanovska, guest researchers Inga Belousa, Andris Saulītis, master's students - guest research assistants Armands Aivo Astukevičs, Anna Karolīna Ozola, Gerda Ajanta Gaile