Land stewardship is a strategical tool to preserve the values o the landscape and of the environment as a whole, by prioritizing the functional restoration of agro-ecosystems, the capacity to respond to environmental disturbance, and the preservation of biodiversity, thought excluding man, farmer and/or land owner. In this context, the participation of the local community through supportive practices is sine qua non.
The land stewardship strategy is based on the establishment of a Cooperative Land Stewardship Organization in which all interested farmers and landowners, as well as other professionals, participate and work together to restore the landscape. The landowners’ participation procedure is simple and involves the signing of voluntary agreements so that their land can be made productive. In this way, land stewardship contributes not only towards environmental protection and landscape conservation, but also provides those who are involved with economic, social and cultural benefits, both tangible and intangible.
Land stewardship has international impact and application. Many European organizations are active in the land stewardship network, such as the Catalonian XCT (Xarxa de Custodia del Territori), a collaborator of the TERRASCAPE project.
In the framework of LIFE TERRACESCAPE project the first Land Stewardship Organization in Greece was established.