Landscape conservation

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The land stewardship is a strategy to conserve the natural, landscaping, and cultural values in a determined area beyond the legal instruments of conservation that already exist, complementing them and even facilitating their development. In this field, the custody’s sense is the common work between two or more social agents with interest to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity, agreed on a voluntary basis between the parties.

In the case of the Iberian lynx the territory’s custody it is materialized with the establishment of a collaboration agreement between the entities of land stewardship (Public administrations and some non-profit organizations of the project), and the owners, agents or Hunters' Societies of the areas of the ambience of application of the project Life+IBERLINCE. This way the Spanish state legislation endorses it in the Law 42/2007, of the Natural heritage and of the Biodiversity. (Ley 42/2007, del Patrimonio Natural y de la Biodiversidad.)

The Council of Environment and of Territory’s management has been developing this legal instrument, Management Agreement or Collaboration (Article 5, paragraph 1 and 4 of the law 8/2003, of the Flora and Fauna) (Ley 8/2003, de la Flora y Fauna silvestre), for the conservation of the Iberian lynx since 2002. In this project, the agreements are based on the implementation of improvements of habitats for the rabbit and the lynx. In exchange for a sustainable management on their farms and to respect and maintain in the future certain conditions of protection. With the custody of the territory we are trying to generate in the owners of the land the responsibility to conserve and make good use of natural resources in the long term. The main commitments acquired in the agreement are:

  1. To protect the lynx and its habitat; 
  2. Ensure that their lands are free of traps and ties; 
  3. To promote a better surveillance of the property; 
  4. To facilitate the works of control and pursuit of the lynx; 
  5. To contribute the area availability to carry out the performances of progress and management of the habitat; 
  6. To make compatible the uses of the area with the requests of the lynx and to create an ambience of favourable confidence towards the species; 
  7. To respect long-term actions executed in the farms within the framework of the LIFE Nature projects.

The agreements include the data of the property and of the estate, in the case of estates of particular property and of the owner of the reserve for Hunters’ Societies, along with the clauses that define the object of the same, the agreed actions and specific and general obligations, of the Property / agent on one hand and of the Beneficiary / associate on the other one. They will be signed by the same period the project lasts; they are renewable annually until the end of the same, and by each holder of the land and the legal representatives of the beneficiary/partners.

On the other hand, the agreements constitute an active form of participation in the conservation of the Iberian lynx; owners and managers collaborate in the design of the performances and they receive direct information of the situation of the species.