The list of actions and needed to achieve the objectives of the project, together with the main methods, are summarized below.

Preparatory actions

A.1 Realization a scoping study on best practices in biodiversity conservation and monitoring activities implemented by farmers in the EU Member States. The collection of materials will be followed by the selection of 5 case studies that could be of interest for the GRACE project.

A.2 Environmental and socio-economic analyses. The available information on the environmental context of the 3 target areas will be collected, in terms of vegetation, description of the European ecological network Natura 2000 (N2000) sites and of the three habitat types involved in the project (natural and semi-natural grassland formations) to build a geo-database useful for monitoring activities.

A.3 Market analysis. It will provide an exhaustive survey on meat produced in N2000 sites for the useful for the construction of subsequent project actions, including marketing strategies and correct territorial management of breeding areas.

A.4 Involvement of stakeholders:

  • To inform farmers on: conservation objectives and opportunities of the N2000 network and specific objectives of the project;
  • Creation of at least one network of environmental breeders;
  • Integration of Green Public Procurement (GPP) in involving local territorial bodies in actions to enhance grazing meats and in the conservation objectives of the N2000 network.

Governance and information actions

B.1 Implementation of a marketing model. It will consist in promoting the N2000 breeding economy as an incentive for better and dynamic conservation.

B.2 Implementation of a cooperation model for biodiversity conservation. It will enable joint research activities by farmers, technicians, and scientists within environmental cooperatives to encourage shared responsibility in the conservation of nature, landscape, and the environment.

B.3 Implementation of a cooperation model on biodiversity monitoring. In order to assess the conservation status and the degradation processes of the semi-natural target grassland habitats, 5 simplified monitoring protocols and an app will be elaborated, in order to involve farmers in monitoring activities.

B.4 Development of a replication and transfer plan. Study aimed at validating the possible extension of the GRACE models to other Regions. Drafting of a "Code of Conduct" and its signing by farmers.

Monitoring actions

C.1 Monitoring of the impacts of the project.

  • Monitoring of the socio-economic impact;
  • Monitoring of the impact on biodiversity: monitoring of the impacts on biodiversity of GRACE's management and conservation strategies, in particular on the 3 N2000 habitats and on the 3 types of livestock.

C.2 KPI monitoring. It consists at reporting on the outputs and impact of the project through the Key level indicators of the LIFE project (KPI).

Dissemination actions

D.1 Communication and dissemination plan. Dissemination and information to ensure the dissemination of the project by raising awareness among interested parties and the general public on the importance of biodiversity conservation.

D.2 Campaign for the public as consumers. It consists of a promotion and communication activity to bring consumers closer to a type of product with elements of innovation, intended to modify their consumption and eating habits.

D.3 Campaign for farmers. It will involve farmers active on pastures inside and outside Natura 2000 areas. A mix of actions are planned, including interactive ones, in combination with conferences and web initiatives.

D.4 Networking and final workshop. Networking activities with other European projects (LIFE, Interreg, etc.) or other initiatives involving farmers.

Management actions

E.1 Project management and coordination. It will guarantee effective management and coordination of the project and the partners activities, both from the technical and administrative and financial aspects .

E.2 Project monitoring. The monitoring activities will continuously and systematically collect information and data from the partners on the progress of the project in order to analyse the changes over time in the values of the indicators.

E.3 Drafting of the after-LIFE plan. The plan will define a strategy to ensure that the results of the project will be maintained or improved, and the actions will continue beyond the life of the project.

 

Expected results

The main objective of the LIFE GRACE project is the long-term conservation of the following grasslands of EU interest: * 6210 Festuco-Brometalia (1,500 ha), Thero-Brachypodietea (1,300 ha) and Nardus (1,600 ha). The habitats will also be object of conservation measures through the Rural Development Plans, and will be monitored with the collaboration of farmers. The project will restore / maintain at least 10% of EU habitats object of grazing.

Other objectives of the project are:

  • The reinforcement of the role of farmers as custodians of the territory, and in particular of biodiversity, through their active involvement in monitoring activities.
  • The conservation of target native breeds (Maremma cows, TPR, Tolfa, Maremma and Esperia and CapreGrigie and Monticellane).
  • Raising awareness of the general publicof the importance of supporting the breeders by buying the products they produce.