LANDLIFE - Boosting Land Stewardship as a Conservation Tool in the Western Mediterranean Arch: a Communication and Training Scheme

LIFE10 INF/ES/000540

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Sergi MARI
Email: smari@custodiaterritori.org

Project description:


Land stewardship is a strategy intending to involve owners and users in the conservation and appropriate use of natural, cultural and landscape resources and values. Land stewardship involves voluntary agreements between landowners and land stewardship entities (land trusts) in order to maintain and restore the natural environment and landscape. Land trusts are public or private not-for-profit organisations that take an active role in preserving land and its values through mechanisms that make land stewardship easier.


The LANDLIFE project aimed to convey the value of land stewardship among biodiversity conservation stakeholders at European level (especially in the Western Mediterranean Arch), and to encourage its use and application. That means making land stewardship an attractive mechanism for conservation bodies, landowners, and local and regional governments, and linking it with new opportunities for rural development, such as the marketing of local products and eco-tourism. The project also focussed on training the organisations involved in land stewardship and in raising awareness of land stewardship among the general public.


LANDLIFE successfully communicated the value of land stewardship as a means of promoting nature conservation and biodiversity in Europe, especially in the Western Mediterranean area. The project involved collaboration between five beneficiaries from four countries. This collaborative network has helped to create communications tools suitable for each participating region.

The project contributed to the standardisation of the land stewardship concept in Europe, by creating networking and discussion spaces (online and in the physical world) for all the sectors involved. The involvement of a wide range of stakeholders was encouraged. This facilitated alliances and synergies, and the exchange of knowledge, experience and expertise on land stewardship.

LANDLIFE promoted the signature of new land stewardship agreements. The project has been central to the spread of the land stewardship concept at national level in Italy; where 60 agreements covering over 1 161 ha have been signed thanks to the project. In France, approaches to landowners in Languedoc-Roussillon resulted in 73 new agreements covering 7 141 ha. The final project output was the signature of the Barcelona Declaration on Land Stewardship (November 2014), which was the first step to the creation of a European Network on Land Stewardship. This will further the continuation of the project’s objectives.

An initial study on the development and implementation of land stewardship in the different participating countries fed into the design of the project’s strategy for implementing all the target actions. This study, for instance, led to the preparation and publication of the European Manual on Land Stewardship (4 200 copies distributed and 2 702 downloaded, see Read more section).

The LIFE project directly trained over 60 technicians on land stewardship and provided training information to land stewardship organisations, as well as other public and private entities, through the land stewardship manual, the toolkits and an online helpdesk forum. The online training courses involved 30 hours study over 6 weeks. More than 31 000 citizens took part in its activities relating to land stewardship and nature conservation.

The main dissemination events carried out were the regional workshops (200 attendees), the European Land Stewardship Week (more than 400 events in each of the two years they were conducted) and the final Congress (250 attendees). In 2014, the European Land Stewardship Week involved 260 organisations from 18 countries. All the project activities were supported by the use of the website, social networks and 2.0 channels, multimedia materials, leaflets and merchandising.

LANDLIFE has demonstrated to a wide audience that land stewardship can aid nature conservation and can complement other strategies and instruments, both in public and private land; in particular, it offers valuable inputs for the management of natural resources in Natura 2000 sites. Land stewardship is therefore useful as a tool to help implement European policies and approaches such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the Habitats and Birds Directives, the Water Framework Directive, and the 2020 Biodiversity Strategy.

Although the project mainly focused on three Mediterranean regions, the demonstration value of the project resides in the development of tools that are flexible enough to be adapted for other regions having different approaches to nature conservation. The project developed several activities to demonstrate to stakeholders how land stewardship fits in with economic development and contributes to local business strategies that are in line with natural resources and nature (the “green economy”).

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).


Environmental issues addressed:


Information - Governance - Public and Stakeholders participation


biodiversity‚  social participation‚  nature conservation‚  management plan

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 79/409 - Conservation of wild birds (02.04.1979)
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...
  • COM(2011) 244 final “Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 ...
  • COM(2013) 249 final “Communication from the Commission on Green Infrastructure (GI) - Enhancing E ...

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Type of organisation NGO-Foundation
Description Xarxa de Custòdia del Territori (XCT; “Land Stewardship Network”) is a network of organisations dedicated to promoting a strategy for biodiversity conservation based on the participation of civil society, local institutions and, especially, landowners and land users. Founded in 2003, the network now has158 member organizations, 74 land trusts, 629 stewardship agreements, and more than 500 participants in training events and 5 000 participants in its annual Land Stewardship Week.
Partners Conservatoire des Espaces Naturels Languedoc-Roussillon, France Legambiente Onlus, Italy EUROSITE, The Netherlands Prysma Calidad y Medio Ambiente S.A., Spain


Project reference LIFE10 INF/ES/000540
Duration 01-SEP-2011 to 31-DEC -2014
Total budget 1,628,273.00 €
EU contribution 814,136.00 €
Project location Cataluña(España) Comunidad Valenciana(España) Baleares(España) Murcia(España)


Read more:

Brochure "Caring together for nature : La custodia del territorio come strumento di coinvolgimento social per la tutela della natura e dell'ambiente in Europa" (1.85 MB)
Brochure "Tous ensemble, prenons soin de la nature : l'intendance du territoire comme outil de promotion de l'engagement social pour l'environement en Europe" (1.77 MB)
Brochure "Conservar la naturaleza entre todos : la custodia del territorio, una herramienta para implicar la sociedad en la gestión del patrimonio natural en Europa" (1.86 MB)
Brochure "Caring together for nature : Land stewardship as a tool to promote social involvement with the natural environment in Europe" (1.91 MB)
Brochure "Conservar la natura entre tots : La custòdia del territori, una eina per impicar la societat en la gestió del patrimoni natural a Europa [Catalan]" (1.86 MB)
Project web site Project's website
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan
Publication: Case study "Study of the development and implementation of la ...
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "Caring together for nature : Manual on land stewa ...
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "Land stewardship toolkit : Basic tools for land s ...
Publication: Layman report Layman report
Publication: Technical report Project's Final technical report


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