Asta Juknevičiūtė Pranas Mierauskas


Protected areas are the base for conservation of natural and cultural heritage. There is an important need to ensure its’ protection in all over the world, according to the principles of sustainable development. Such kind of development encourages coordination of activities of stakeholders, local communities, and saving our heritage in order to meet future generations’ needs. Furthermore, effective management is an important tool of conserving natural and cultural heritage. Protected areas cover about 15.6 percent of Lithuania. However, there are disagreements about the meaning of the protected area.What causes a of different understanding? Is the current management model of protected areas considered as the most effective? Is the system of protected Lithuanian areas so confusing that forms different opinions? The relevance of this topic is based on the questions which are recently discussed in Lithuania. These questions are related to validity of boundaries of protected areas. Were they based on scientific researches? These questions are discussed in the article.In the first part a review of the history of protected areas’ network in Lithuania is presented, focusing on its development and changes. The second part intends to contemporary challenges of the management of protected areas. In addition, the main reasons of decreasing effectiveness of the management of protected areas are revealed. According to reform models in 2009, which were considered to make changes in Lithuania’s administration of protected areas, conclusions about the trends of management are made.