Land stewardship is a tool that environmental organizations use to preserve nature in private estates, reaching agreements with their owners and / or managers to carry out actions that help to preserve and at the same time improve the farm. The Emys Foundation began its conservation work in 1987, and signed the first land stewardship agreement of the territory of Catalonia in 1989, in its effort to preserve the European pond terrapin and its habitat. Since then, 35 agreements have been signed on forest and agricultural land stewardship areas. Land Stewardship is the tool to involve all agents, in a coordinated way, in an active and sustainable management in favor of the natural heritage preservation. Land stewardship means, for example, helping farmers manage agricultural spaces in a more sustainable way, because with their collaboration nature gains a great deal of activity. Land stewardship is different with each owner and / or manager but has common denominators in all cases; communication, trust and collaboration. We work with these aspects so that the uses and activities can be compatible in areas guarded with the conservation of the natural values of the territory at a long term.
Fundació Emys has dozens of land stewardship agreements with organic farmers. Our main objective with these is to implement high natural value farming (HNVF). HNVF a farming method capable of sustaining high levels of biodiversity, which helps conservation, but at the same time it is a technique that boosts productivity and control of pests and diseases.
In Catalonia, most of the surface is forests in which applying a more comprehensive management makes them complex habitats, capable of accommodating biodiversity and offering many ecosystem services. From Fundació Emys we work on the assessment and support of owners who want to promote management of the farm, from a vision that integrates environmental and economic sustainability, on the one hand, with the vision of ownership, on the other.