LIFE11 BIO/ES/000726

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Esperanza PEREA COSTA
Tel: 0034-955003408
Fax: 0034-955003795
Email: dgdsia.cma@juntadeandalucia.es

Project description:


'Dehesas' are part of Spain’s natural heritage. They are areas of holm oak (Quercus ilex ) woodland transformed by humans to provide pasture for livestock. This type of transformation creates an agro-silvicultural ecosystem of high ecological value, especially in relation to pasture biodiversity (habitat 6310 – Habitats Directive). However, increasing numbers of dehesas have been in decline over recent decades and so has their conservation status, with a notable decrease in the biodiversity value of these areas. Sometimes this decline has been because of abandonment and sometimes because of agricultural intensification or unsuitable agricultural practices. The Region of Andalusia has tried to address the problem by introducing a new law on dehesas (7/2010) to favour conservation of these agro-silvicultural habitats on the basis of their relevant contribution to biodiversity, their support to many endangered species that depend on them and the ecosystems services provided by this singular habitat.


The 'bioDEHESA' project aims to promote sustainable, integrated management of dehesas by demonstrating and disseminating action plans, which deal with the main challenges involved in their conservation. The project intends to create a network of 40 pilot dehesas that will trial activities and management practices to enhance dehesa conservation and biodiversity. As well as various conservation measures, the project will test other related horizontal services that support the integrated management of dehesas, including an oak decline assessment service, a moisture deficiency diagnostic tool, nursery protocols and a geographic information system (GIS). The network will develop a monitoring system and identify indicators. It will use these to assess previous experiences, compile information on dehesa-related biodiversity and make environmental evaluations. Key to support this will be the development of a "Dehesa Technical Assistance Service", made up of six technical consultants partnering with agricultural organizations and hunting production companies, in addition to an evaluation and monitoring team of four technicians. The project will focus on the exchange of scientific and technical knowledge to finalise a model "Integrated Management Plan" as a basic tool to provide solutions to the most serious management problems for dehesas. It will hold participatory workshops to help the transfer of knowledge and best practice and disseminate its results through a manual of good practice and the internet. Expected results Various conservation actions: renewal of trees (seed plantation etc on 400 ha, other actions over 5000ha); soil remediation (liming, phosphoric acid, over some 200 ha); rational pruning (160ha); revegetation (4km watercourse, 12 km hedges, etc); improved grazing (400 ha) ; improved wildlife habitats (2000 nests, 40 ponds, 320 rabbit refuges, 12 km fencing, ...); and many others. Institution-building and consolidation of networking for dehesa conservation; Increased understanding and knowledge of dehesa-related biodiversity; An agreed Integrated Management Plan with well-defined indicators and monitoring systems (applied to 5000ha); A manual of best practice in dehesa conservation, covering a range of conservation and related activities; The preparation of new legal instruments to support dehesa conservation; and An effective dissemination of information strategy targeting national, regional and European administrations



Environmental issues addressed:


Biodiversity issues - High Nature Value farmland


agricultural method‚  grassland ecosystem‚  biodiversity‚  integrated management‚  management plan

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Consejería de Agricultura, Pesca y Medio Ambiente (Junta de Andalucía)
Type of organisation Regional authority
Description Consejería de Medio Ambiente (Junta de Andalucía) is the regional ministry for the environment in Andalusia, Spain, and has authority for nature conservation.
Partners Consejería de Agricultura y Pesca (Junta de Andalucía) Agencia de Gestión Agraria y Pesquera (Junta de Andalucía) Instituto de Investigación y Formación Agraria y Pesquera (Junta de Andalucía) Foro para la Defensa y Conservación de la Dehesa ENCINAL Asociación Agraria de Jóvenes Agricultores Coordinadora de Organizaciones de Agricultores y Ganaderos Federación Andaluza de Empresas Cooperativas Agrarias Unión de Pequeños Agricultores y Ganaderos Asociación de Propietarios Rurales, Productores de Caza y Conservadores del Medio Natural de Andalucía Universidad de Córdoba


Project reference LIFE11 BIO/ES/000726
Duration 01-OCT-2012 to 15-DEC -2018
Total budget 7,921,436.00 €
EU contribution 3,938,545.00 €
Project location Andalucía(España)


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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version