Restoration of desertified land through nature-based solutions

This is a LIFE preparatory project in the 2020 call. The call describes the project as follows:

The objective of the preparatory project is to demonstrate the feasibility and scalability at EU level of a specific nature-based solution (such as sustainable cattle grazing, agroforestry) – with safeguards to ensure protection of biodiversity – to restore areas in drylands degraded as a result of human exploitation of fragile ecosystems (e.g. overgrazed grasslands subject to high wind or rain erosion, loss of soil carbon and/or loss of biodiversity). The proposed project addresses the EU commitment in the environmental policy to address desertification (UNCCD), to strive to achieve land degradation neutrality (UN sustainable agenda for 2030) and the EU objective to halt the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the EU and develop an ambitious EU Nature Restoration Plan (EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030).

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The project will…

  • identify areas of land in drylands in at least 5 regions in at least 3 MS in the EU, that have been similarly degraded by unsustainable exploitation, describe their condition and the gap to be filled in to restore the land, i.e. to revert the land condition to resilient, biodiverse and functional ecosystems;
  • analyse the possible relevant existing or innovative nature-based solutions for restoring, or accelerating the restoration of the areas;
  • before starting the project, based on the conclusions of the analysis, develop a realistic, cost-effective and scalable solution to restore, including qualitative and quantitative restoration objectives;
  • Design a plan to implement the developed solution, including:
    • the mobilization of local resources committed to timely implement the plan in one or more areas;
    • the assessment of the social and cultural benefits for the community, including jobs’ creation
    • the assessment of the impact of the restoration activity through ecosystem services assessment, in terms of status and trends
    • a communication campaign to inform and exchange knowledge with stakeholders
  • Select at least two areas for the implementation of the plan; in such area(s), either complete the plan or implement a substantial part of it achieving a key milestone, demonstrating the feasibility of the restoration solution developed, bringing evidence of the improving trend in the ecosystem condition, identifying learning from the project works and demonstrating the scalability of the solution to the other similar degraded areas;

Also interesting: Information about the LIFE programme

General conditions

Duration: approximately two years

Max. EU co-financing: € 500 000; co-financing rate 60% (costs for volunteers can be used as in-kind contribution)

Application deadline: 10th September 2020; Expected start: early 2021

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Other topics available

This is not the right topic for you? Check out the other topics:

  1. Strengthening primary and old-growth forest protection in Europe by capitalising on World Heritage sites
  2. Restoration of tree plantations to natural forests
  3. Designing mechanisms to increase the presence of biodiversity in urban and peri-urban areas
  4. Network of training activities for Natura 2000 sites managers

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