Development of a European Private Land Conservation Network – LIFE ELCN

LIFE programme: LIFE Preparatory Projects call for Establishment of a European  Private Land Conservation Network. ADEPT Pilot action: Building commercial incentives for private landowner cooperation in nature conservation.

Funded by: European Commission

Project Duration: 2017 - 2020 (3 years)

Budget: 103.354  Euro

Project Objectives

The objective of the project is twofold: 

  • to test a number of private land conservation tools with an eye to promoting their replication at a wider level wherever feasible and proposing policy actions to support them
  • to develop a robust, well-informed European network on private land conservation with a clear long-term strategy (after LIFE) and strong international allies.

The project's work programme focuses on implementing and assessing innovative private land conservation tools and models, exchanging knowledge and experience about these tools, identifying legal and political obstacles to up-scaling them, and publicising private land conservation among relevant stakeholders. By doing so, the project intends to contribute to the further development of private land conservation tools and the expansion of their use.

At the same time, the project will continue and strengthen the networking among the practitioners of private land conservation in the EU and more widely. It will establish an ELCN (European Land Conservation Network) secretariat that will be charged with the long-term management of the network.

As outputs, it will produce assessments of the conservation tools tested in the project as well as guidelines and policy recommendations for private land conservation in the EU.

The project is implemented in the following Countries:

  • Germany - Berlin, Brandenburg
  • Belgium - Flanders
  • The Netherlands - Nordbrabant
  • Romania - Târnava Mare
  • Spain - Catalonia, Madrid
  • Portugal - Centro
  • Italy - All regions
  • Finland - All regions
  • Ireland - Munster

Project Updates

  • Study tour & ILCN Global Congress, Santiago, Chile, January 24-26th, 2018

The ELCN project team attended the International Land Conservation Network, ILCN’s2018 Global Congress in Santiago, Chile on January 24-26th, 2018 and a study tour, an opportunity to see the conservation tools and techniques in use in Chile first hand, and to discuss the potential of their transferability to other countries in Europe.  The Congress explored a range of topics, focused on how attendees may take specific actions in their home countries to advance private land conservation, as well as the challenges and opportunities ahead for private land conservation. During the Congress ADEPT gave a presentation in the session of the conference called "Working lands conservation: sustaining our farms, forests and ranches”.

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  • Study Tour Denver, CO, USA, October 22 - 28th  2017 

The purpose of the Colorado Study Tour was to introduce the ELCN delegates to conservation tools and techniques that are not yet widely applied in the EU and to discuss the potential of their transferability with private land conservation practitioners from the US. The ELCN members together with representatives from the ILCN and the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy went on an educational study tour of private land conservation projects around Denver, Colorado. Afterwards, the ELCN members attended the Land Trust Alliance’s annual Rally in Denver from Thursday night, October 26 through Saturday, October 28, 2017.

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  • Kick Off Meeting, Berlin, June 19 - 20th  2017

The project steering committee met on 19 - 20 June 2017 at the headquarters of NABU in Berlin, Germany in order to sign partnership agreements and discuss the procedural and technical details of the project implementation (communication, reporting format, schedules). The meeting also served to further structure the work packages and formally assign clear roles and responsibilities within the project.

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Managing Body & Contact

Project Management Team:

Project coordinator – Tilmann Disselhoff/NABU (e-mail:

Technical assistant – Kristina Richter/NABU (e-mail:

Network coordinator - Kristijan Civic/Eurosite (e-mail:

Project manager IMA-Europe – Amina Langedijk/IMA (e-mail:

Focal point Romania – Nathaniel Page/ADEPT (e-mail:

Focal point Portugal – Joao Ruano/Montis (e-mail:,

Focal point Finland – Jouni Rauhala/ELY (e-mail:

Focal point Belgium – Stefan Versweyveld/Natuurpunt (e-mail:

Focal points Italy – Francesco Marcone (e-mail: and Stefano Picchi/WWF Oasi (e-mail:

Focal points Spain – Victor Gutierrez/Fundación Biodiversidad (e-mail:, Jofre Rodrigo/XCT (e-mail:,

Biodiversity conservation and community development in Transylvania