Project info

Funding programme: LIFE
Duration: 1 September 2021 – 31 December 2027
Coordinator: D.R.E.AM. ITALIA Società Cooperativa Agricolo Forestale (Italy)


Shepherds for Biodiversity in Mountain Marginal Areas

ShepForBio (Shepherds for Biodiversity in Mountain Marginal Areas) aims to restore three targeted grassland habitats by improving pastoral management in Natura 2000 sites in the Apennines.

To this end, the project will strengthen dialogue and learning between shepherds and support the development of new services and training for shepherds. These activities will target shepherds from Italy and beyond, with the creation of a pastoral Dialogue Forum open to all pastoral stakeholders in Europe.

The partnership consists of 10 partners representing associations, local authorities, nature parks and agricultural services from Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna in Italy. Euromontana is responsible for the stakeholders’ engagement, in particular shepherd schools and pastoral stakeholders’ engagement during events and within a European Discussion Forum. Euromontana is also responsible for the dissemination of the project results.

Expected impact

In the coming years, ShepForBio will restore a total of 345 hectares of grassland, namely:

  • 193 hectares of semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies on calcareous substrates (habitat 6210)
  • 79 hectares of species-rich Nardus grasslands, on siliceous substrates in mountain (habitat 6230)
  • 73 hectares of calcareous grasslands or Juniperus communis formations on heaths (habitat 5130)

Moreover, through grazing practices, the project will improve the conservation of additional 147 hectares of land in these targeted habitats.

In addition, ShepForBio will play a crucial role in promoting the role of pastoralism in grassland conservation. Through the establishment of pastoral schools, the facilitation of networking between pastoral stakeholders, the promotion of exchanges within a European Dialogue Forum and the collection of good practices, ShepForBio will build capacities among pastoralists and contribute not only to increasing their positive environmental impact but also to improving the economic sustainability of their activities.


D.R.E.AM. ITALIA Società Cooperativa Agricolo Forestale (coordinator)
Parco Nazionale delle Foreste Casentinesi, Monte Falterona e Campigna
Regione Toscana
Studio Verde
Unione di Comuni della Romagna forlivese

Unione dei Comuni del Pratomagno
Unione di Comuni Valdarno e Valdisieve
Unione dei Comuni montani del Casentino
Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Agrarie, Alimentari, Ambientali e Forestali (DAGRI)
Sapienza Università di Roma, Dipartimento di Biologia Ambientale