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“Green Certificate” supports Latvian countryside


22 more countryside properties have been awarded with an eco-label affirming environmental quality.

The “Green Certificate” (“Zaļais sertifikāts”) — an eco-label affirming environmental quality — was founded 18 years ago. On the one hand The “Green Certificate” encourages farmers to keep their properties “green”, on the other hand it helps tourists to choose environmentally friendly services.

Latvia is a very green country — forests cover almost a half of Latvia’s territory. Nature is one of the main Latvian tourism values. To keep it that way, there are very high requirements in the rural tourism.

This year, many different rural entrepreneurs all over Latvia have been awarded with The “Green Certificate” or have renewed it. They are, just to name a few, countryside farm “Amatas mellenes” in the Amata municipality which cultivates different sorts of blueberries, the Museum of Barrels in the Kocēni municipality, recreation park “Laumas” in the Talsi municipality, garlic farm “Latvijas ķiploks” in the Rauna municipality and the Milk Manor “Berghof” in the Skrunda municipality.

Almost every one of the farms has a garden, a field or a greenhouse where vegetables, fruits, berries and other rural goods are being cultivated for both the farmers themselves and the guests. Many of the label receivers are also nature guides who can show and tell their guests about natural processes, plants, animals, mushrooms and natural habitats — biotopes.

The regulation of The “Green Certificate” defines that farm environment both inside and outside has to be friendly to all guests, also to families and people with special needs. The farm must have playgrounds and the possibility to come into contact with nature and animals.

Not only nature — meadows, forests and blue waters, but also hospitality of the hosts make recreation at the countryside unforgettable. Without doubt, The “Green Certificate” holders are very friendly hosts.

The eco-label is awarded for three years. After three years experts make re-inspection and certificate extension.

From 2017, not only properties that offer accommodation can be awarded with The “Green Certificate”, but also different sightseeing and agricultural farms that produce goods and welcome guests.

Evaluation commission, which works under the rural tourism association “Lauku tūrisms”, consists of all of the most important Latvian environmental protection institutions and public organizations, such as Administration of Latvian Environmental Protection Fund, Nature Conservation Agency and Latvian Fund for Nature.

In the first year when the eco-label was being awarded, only 12 rural tourism properties were able to meet the high certification criteria. Now there are over 80.

More information on the rural tourism association “Lauku tūrisms” homepage: http://www.celotajs.lv/en/news/list/a?7&lang=en.