Since its inception, the Emys Foundation has worked for the conservation of nature, especially the pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) and its habitat. In this task of land stewardship it has been, and continues to be, the methodology that has allowed the protection and study of pond turtle populations in the Plana de la Selva, as well as the creation of new wetlands, and the execution of various conservation and research projects.

Custody agreements established between an environmental entity and an owner are a basic tool for carrying out environmental recovery and protection projects in private spaces, with the participation or permission of the property.

Today, the Emys Foundation is a benchmark in the implementation of land stewardship and in the conservation and management of wetlands.



The population centers of Emys orbicularis de la Selva are monitored every year in order to determine their conservation status and to detect possible threats or problems for the species. These surveys have been conducted for over 30 years, during which a series of data have been collected to better study and understand the requirements and needs of the species.

To carry out this research task, the Emys Foundation maintains a collaboration with the Aquatic Ecology Research Group of the University of Girona EcoAqua and welcomes undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students from different universities.

Publications and reports

Turtle research
Natural space management

Natural space management


One of the main tasks of the Emys Foundation is the management of natural spaces for the maintenance and improvement of habitats and their ecological conditions.

This task is especially important in order to recover those natural spaces that are degraded or in a poor state of conservation, and for the creation of new natural spaces of interest. Examples are the recovery of riparian forest in areas where it is degraded, the creation of new ponds for amphibians, or the maintenance of ponds in custody where the population centers of Emys orbicularis live.

Affectation of 0,5% of the property TAX


In order to involve the different municipalities in the management and conservation of their natural heritage, an initiative is being developed that allows the councils to have a small annual fund for projects for the conservation and improvement of the environment.

This initiative consists of the allocation of 0.5% of the IBI for the conservation of biodiversity and the natural environment of the municipality, and began in 2014 in Maçanet de la Selva. Since then, Santa Coloma de Farners (2016), Vilobí d'Onyar (2017), Riudellots de la Selva (2017), Les Planes d'Hostoles (2018), Sant Hilari Sacalm (2019) and Hostalric have joined. 2020). As part of this initiative, several projects have been carried out, including the installation of nest boxes, the creation of ponds and the holding of educational and environmental awareness workshops.

See the catalog of services

Example of conservation of biodiversity and the natural environment