Mature land stewardship in Catalonia
XCT is very satisfied with the work carried out by the land stewardship organisations in Catalonia and enthusiastically face future challenges with the belief that, together with its organisations, land stewardship will become a key strategy for the conservation of natural areas.
LIFE-ELCN partner Xarxa de Custòdia del Territori (XCT) has recently published the VIIth Inventory of land stewardship organisations and agreements (only available in Catalan). Data, collected in a report, proves that land stewardship is an effective tool for the conservation of the environment in Catalonia. It also confirms the strengthening of environmental organisations and their growing compromise towards the execution of quality stewardship projects. It registers more than 40,000 hectares managed by 69 organisations through 765 agreements, 76 of which were signed between 2015 and 2017. Notice that stewardship agreements play an important role for the Natura 2000 Network: 44% of the agreements are partially or totally carried out inside the Network. The most common area is forestry, both in the number of agreements (373) and in the surface covered (19,982 ha). Other objectives are associated with the conservation of traditional land management and the fauna. 36% of the agreements include sites of community importance. A large part of the land stewardship agreements are implemented on private properties (531 of the agreements, covering 25,345 ha).
The inventory has been produced since 2003, every 2 or 3 years, based on data provided by the land stewardship organisations operating on the Catalan territory. As a novelty, data collected in this last version is accompanied by the agreements cartography, which can be easily consulted online. The objective of such access to cartography is to provide relevant information about the agreements (surface, start year, duration, overlap with protected areas, detection of habitats of interest, etc.), thus promoting transparency and the dissemination of existing projects.