Project info

Funding programme: LIFE
Duration: 1 September 2016 – 31 December 2022
Coordinator: HAZI foundation (Spain)
Website: http://www.lifeorekamendian.eu/


Conservation and management of Basque mountain grasslands

OREKA MENDIAN aims to develop a common strategy to manage mountain pasture areas in the 15 Natura 2000 sites in Euskadi, and 8 in Iparralde, finding a balance between their conservation and socio-economic use.

To this end, OREKA MENDIAN develops pasture management plans that ensure the conservation of flora and the provision of fodder for livestock, undertakes actions for the restoration of vulnerable habitats and the elimination of invasive species, ensures coordination between livestock farmers and conversation experts, collects good practices on mountain pasture management and exchanges with other authorities involved in the management of Natura 2000 areas.

The partnership consists of 8 partners from of the Spanish and French Basque Country. Euromontana is responsible for the actions related to the collection of good practices and knowledge exchange in Europe as well as with dissemination at European level. Euromontana’s member the HAZI foundation is coordinating the project.


OREKA MENDIAN has helped to find a balance between the conservation of habitats and the different uses of the mountains, such as livestock farming. Thanks to a multi-stakeholder approach, the project contributed to the definition of strategies for the sustainable management of pastoral areas in Euskadi and Iparralde, for example through the definition of several criteria for the management of habitats and species and a livestock management plan.

Thanks to these criteria and plans, OREKA MENDIAN has contributed to the recovery of damaged natural habitats. For example, the project has promoted the protection of wetlands and peatlands in grasslands through the installation of permeable barriers to prevent trampling by large livestock.

OREKA MENDIAN has also managed to rehabilitate abandoned pastures through a series of measures, including mechanised clearing and the installation of salt blocks and water points in strategic locations.

Finally, OREKA MENDIAN has raised awareness of the role of pastoralism and the socio-economic and environmental benefits of maintaining mountain pastures through extensive communication with various stakeholders at all levels.

Key results

A summary of the actions carried out by OREKA MENDIAN

to inform you of the concrete actions carried out to address the specific challenges of each pasture

An analysis of the ecosystem services provided by mountain pastures

to help you better understand the interactions between pastoralism, other mountain uses and their ecosystems

A booklet of good practices

to inspire farmers, breeders and other local actors, with 31 inspiring examples of sustainable mountain pasture management from 18 European countries

Available in English | French | Spanish

A policy report
"An overview of sustainable practices for the management of mountain grasslands in Europe"

to provide pastoralists, managers of Natura 2000 sites and policy makers with a precise picture of the state of mountain grasslands in Europe, an analysis of the main policies linked to their management and recommendations to ensure their sustainable use

Available in English | French | Spanish