2019 was a significant year for the environmental agenda. We witnessed the twinned biodiversity and climate change crises moving up the political agenda – nationally, regionally and globally – as well as the growing awareness and concern from the public. Increasingly we are realising that is not enough to just conserve nature; we also need to restore what has been lost – at the landscape scale.
It is this ambition that sits at the heart of the Endangered Landscapes Programme (ELP). Enabled by generous funding from Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin – the ELP offers a positive agenda for action in which key landscapes across Europe are restored. Its funded projects are providing inspirational and replicable examples of landscape-scale restoration, as well as foci for lesson-learning.
2019 was a remarkable foundation period for the ELP; eight projects which were awarded major grants at the end of 2018 – alongside the Programme’s official launch – have started work and made great progress in reviving land and seascapes, and the ELP also awarded ten planning grants to support the development of exciting, new initiatives. The ELP is managed by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI), and drawing on the experience and expertise of the organisations that make up this partnership, four grants to tackle cross-cutting landscape restoration challenges in Europe have also been awarded to (and will be led by) CCI partner organisations.
It is our pleasure to share the first ELP Annual Review as we work to restore ‘landscapes for life’.