Latvia is internationally acknowledged as a country with a high level of biological diversity. Currently, Latvia has four nature reserves, four national parks containing reserves and restricted areas, one biosphere reserve, 261 nature reserves, 42 nature parks and nine protected-landscape areas.
Latvia’s natural resources are fairly limited, consequently industry and households will always be dependent on imports to some extent, particularly of oil, natural gas, coal, metals and minerals. There are significant deposits of quartz, dolomite, clay, sapropel and peat in Latvia.
Latvia is rich in water resources, which fully meet the country’s needs. More than 12 400 rivers and around 4 000 lakes and watercourses cover 3.7% of the country’s territory.
Latvia’s total emissions of greenhouse gases are the lowest in Europe both in total emissions and emissions per capita (total emissions have decreased by more than 55% since 1990).
According to Eurostat data, Latvia generates less waste per capita than most other EU states.
Areas of particular interest to foreign entrepreneurs include:
- Multi-tonnage municipal waste management;
- Technological development of biodegradable materials;
- Management of wood-processing waste;
- Water-treatment sludge;
- Recycling of construction materials;
- Mussel farming;
- Algae harvesting and processing.
Renewable energy in Latvia
While producing slightly more than 39% of its inland annual energy consumption from renewable energy, Latvia is the third of the share of renewables in total energy consumption within the EU (Eurostat, 2017).