Ondrej Prosicky / Shutterstock
Ondrej Prosicky / Shutterstock

The Endangered Landscapes Programme funds projects which provide inspiration for a fundamental shift in the way people perceive and engage with nature; which introduce a positive agenda for action; and which offer an exciting vision of hope for the future.

Through the inclusion of novel approaches or techniques; their strategy of engagement with local communities and other stakeholder groups; or their scale and aspiration, projects will harness natural processes to demonstrate cost-effective and replicable ways of bringing nature back to degraded landscapes.

Expressions of Interest have been invited and a final decision on which organisations will receive Project Implementation Grants from the Endangered Landscapes Programme will be made towards the end of 2018. We will provide full details of successful projects in due course.

Projects funded by the Endangered Landscapes Programme have the following characteristics:

Projects address biodiversity conservation priorities

The Endangered Landscapes Programme aims to help achieve a reversal in Europe’s diminishing populations of many species caused by fragmentation of habitats and declining area of natural ecosystems. Projects are focused on addressing biodiversity conservation priorities.

Projects establish large scale, dynamic systems of continuous or ecologically-connected habitat

Larger sites contain more species than small sites; have proportionately less edge; and have greater topographic, geological and hydrological diversity – facilitating species’ adaptation to climate change. It is easier to restore natural geological, ecological and hydrological processes in larger sites, and larger sites also need less management per unit area.

Projects give natural processes increased freedom to create natural patterns and distributions of species

Projects move landscapes along a continuum of naturalness in the direction of less human modification – giving space back to nature so that ecological processes recover and making places more natural, richer in biodiversity and more dynamic, for the benefit of nature and people.

Projects help overcome one or more barriers to recovery, allowing ecological processes to reach a ‘tipping point’ beyond which they cascade and are more self-sustaining

Restoring ecosystems at large-scale may be prevented by one or more obstacles, be they ecological, financial or institutional (governance) related. Projects help remove these obstacles, creating conditions for ecological processes to then work with more freedom to shape the future landscape.

Projects provide benefits to society, through restored ecosystem functions and ecosystem services

Ecosystems restored to health have potential to deliver social and economic benefits through ecological processes and ecosystem goods and services. Where these benefits are present, equitably distributed within a clear rights framework, and clearly communicated to stakeholders, they can increase value for money and help win public support.

Projects engage and empower local communities

Large scale landscape change needs the support, understanding and empowerment of the people who live and work in or near the areas affected. Local communities may have deep cultural ties associated with existing patterns of land management, and their livelihoods may be affected by any change.

Projects have prospects for wider replication

Projects have particular value in situations where what is learned can be widely replicated (i.e. the threat or cause of degradation is pervasive, affecting places beyond the landscape targeted by the project).

Projects provide opportunities to learn

Impacts are maximised by making sure that projects are monitored effectively, designed in ways which optimise learning, and where new knowledge is made available and accessible so that experiences and successful innovations can be widely replicated.