Promotion of sustainable farming in Natura 2000 areas in Spain


Since 2009, Fundación Global Nature (FGN) develops a pioneer programme to support the production and selling of pulses (lentils and chickpeas) produced under organic schemes and in Natura 2000 sites. This programme is based in a wide Land Stewardship Network strategy, where FGN involves farmers in nature conservation projects, Biodiversity Action Plans, Sustainable Productive Code, and so on. Through time, FGN has gradually added to this stewardship network other farmers that work with organic (and non-organic) products, such as pistachios, saffron, wheat, barley, and so on.

Nowadays, thanks to the initiative LIFE Estepas de La Mancha (LIFE15 NAT/ES/000734 – the FGN Land Stewardship Network has more than 15.000 ha of Natura 2000 area, where more than 20 km of linear hedgerows have been planted on agrarian lands to promote pollinators and biological control, 52 water ponds have been created to provide water during summer to many steppe bird species, more than 60 farmers are implementing agri-environmental measures to be sustainable, etc. Thus, all these actions have a consequence that all these crops also provide food and shelter for many wild species, like some of the last population of European steppe birds.

Fundación Global Nature

Fundación Global Nature (FGN) is a private non-profit foundation dedicated to nature protection. Its work is based on technical knowledge, ethical commitment and innovation. Since its creation in 1993 brings together theory and practice: combined the elaboration of strategies and plans with fieldwork and applied projects.

FGN activity is distributed over three main blocks: conservation of habitats and species, sustainability of the agrifood sector and corporate sustainability. The actions and projects making up each thematic area are inter-related so as to create synergies, increase effectiveness in the use of resources and provide continuity to each action line. In addition, FGN carry outs overarching activities such as environmental education, awareness-building or training.

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Natura 2000 is the largest network of protected areas in the world. People living in and around Natura 2000 areas utilise these for a variety of economic activities. Designation of Natura 2000 areas often creates additional restrictions though, sometimes leading people to perceive Natura 2000 as a burden. One solution to this problem is to make products coming from Natura 2000 areas better known and more appealing to the public and increase awareness of the benefits these products provide for nature and for people working in Natura 2000 areas.

This website is part of a Natura 2000 branding campaign, stressing the benefits Natura 2000 can provide to local economies. It showcases products produced in Natura 2000 areas accompanied by inspiring background stories about the collaborations and socio-economic benefits related to those products. By sharing these successful and positive stories the campaign aims to trigger new partnerships between site managers, farmers and local businesses, and improve perceptions of and increase support for the Natura 2000 network.

Natura 2000 branding benefits people, nature and local economy