The 2019 winning candidate was Valbelviso, in Italy, who occupy a well conserved alpine territory, with forests, pastures, meadows and high altitude open areas with a dense water network, rocky areas and glaciers. The whole environment is represented by natural habitats, without human settlements. No form of agriculture is practiced and the husbandry of domestic animals, such as free grazing cattle and sheep, typical of the local culture, is present in very low densities. A large area of the estate is protected by the Natura 2000 network. Many valuable and endangered species, both botanic and faunistic, are found in this estate, thanks to the valuable natural habitats. Hunting activities, concentrated over a few months each year, are conducted with a strong commitment to reducing disturbance and impact on all species present in the area. The management collaborates with parks and universities for conservation and scientific studies and management programs.. The award was presented to the estate’s owner Giampiero PESENTI by Piero MANZONI. The Belleuropa Ceremony took place at the European Parliament on December 10th, 2019 as a grand finale for the European Biodiversity Conference, which discussed how the European Union environmental policies affect users.
Konstantin KOSTOPOULOS, Gerardo GIL DE LA CALLE, Dr Andrea MARATTI, Francesco NATTA, Thierry de l’ESCAILLE, Daniel CALLEJA CRESPO
This year’s winner, “La Ronca Estate” in Spain, perfectly embodies the philosophy of the Belleuropa Award. The owner, Dr. Andrea MARATTI, warmly thanked the jury represented by Francesco NATTA for awarding him with the Belleuropa prize and closed his remarks by highlighting that “we do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors but that we borrow it from our children”.
Belleuropa® was born in Italy in the late 1990’s thanks to the initiative of Giuseppe NATTA, a leading environmental figure. It was spearheaded by Gruppo Ecodeco®, a leading Italian firm in the environmental sector. The Award rewards each year one of the members of the Wildlife Estate Label for its exemplary sustainable management plan. The Wildlife Estate Label is a network of exemplary rural estates with sustainable land use and sustainable management plans aiming at the protection of fauna and flora, and of cultural landscapes.
It is based on the principle that in Europe, the rural territory is highly degraded, and a quality environment is thus a scarce good upon which much value should be placed. The Belleuropa Award will reward an agricultural company or a rural property, which has realized an important example of “Third Generation Agricultural Production” using agri-environmental measures, achieving significant results from an environmental point of view.
The Eligibility criteria
The Belleuropa® Award is intended to recognize recovered and managed natural habitats whose value was recognised, which have been constantly maintained in a close collaboration with local authorities, associations and volunteers, in order to improve the rural landscape, enhance biodiversity, and create a new kind of rural tourism based on typical, biological products, traditional cuisine and on the environmental and historical assets of the territory.
- Environmental impact in line with the EU Policy
- Economic impact by creation of activity and employment in rural areas
- Sustainability of actions
- Innovation and creativity
- Reproducibility of initiatives
The Belleuropa® Award will recognize outstanding tools and management practices to recover and manage natural habitats, contributing to the protection, conservation and sustainable management of land.
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