LANDCARE EUROPE is nominated for the Natura 2000 Award

EUKI project “Landcare Europe Captures Carbon – Supporting natural climate protection in agricultural landscapes” shows how farmers can contribute to the protection of our climate. Across Europe, agriculture and nature conservation are battling hard to assert their respective interests. Landcare Associations (LCA) find solutions before conflicts arise – for the protection of our common goods: biodiversity, water, soil and the climate. This cooperative approach is now nominated for the European Commission’s Natura 2000 Award – the most important award in nature conservation in Europe. You can help us secure the Natura 2000 Citizens‘ Award by giving us your vote till April 26th.

Published: 10 April 2024
Landcare Europe Field trip, Lithuania

Peatlands, grasslands, organic soils and agroforestry systems are natural carbon sinks. The way agricultural land is used influences its capacity for carbon storage. A great amount of these areas are located in Natura 2000 sites. Natura 2000 sites are special protected areas in which a good ecological condition must be achieved by the Member States to preserve biodiversity in Europe (EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030). Consequently land use in them is subject to specific regulations which makes farming challenging. With the aim of having 30% of Europe’s land and maritime area covered by the Natura 2000 network till 2030, these areas need special consideration for climate mitigation of agricultural landscapes.
Landcare Associations demonstrate how it is possible to combine the sustainable and agricultural development of these important eco systems. The nomination of LCA’s European umbrella organization “LANDCARE EUROPE e.V.” for the European Commission’s Natura 2000 Award is a special recognition of this cooperative approach. Apart from the nomination as Finalist in the category “cross border cooperation”, there is the possibility to win the Natura 2000 Citizens‘ Award which is decided by a public voting.

Two of the Natura 2000 sites from the award application will function as best-practice examples for the EUKI project “Landcare Europe Captures Carbon”. The Natura 2000 sight and mountain region “Munții Ciucului” in Romania is characterized by a outstandingly high biodiversity. Important elements of the agricultural landscape that foster biodiversity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions are extensively managed grasslands, small scale farming, a high density of landscape elements and wooden pastures as traditional agroforestry systems. The Natura 2000 sight “Nemuno delta” in Lithuania is a best practice example for agricultural activities in peatlands. While organic soils with high water levels store a large amount of carbon dioxide, farming on them is a huge challenge as it requires special equipment and limits the possibilities for crop cultivation.

These and other examples of climate friendly farming are highlighted and multiplied in the project Landcare Europe Captures Carbon – together with recommendations for political decision makers to improve the framework conditions for farmers in this field. In case Landcare Europe wins the Natura 2000 award, it will thus be a great opportunity to better promote the work of Landcare Associations on natural carbon sinks in agricultural landscapes. Vote now.

Zugehöriges Projekt