Sustainable Integrated Land Use of the Eurasian Steppe


The Eurasian steppe is recognized as a unique European ecosystem that still exists in Ukraine, Moldova and Russia. During the past centuries more than 90% of this habitat was converted, mainly to agricultural land. Nowadays the steppe needs to be stabilized through a combination of sustainable agricultural management and nature conservation methods. This project also paid much attention to the social aspects of restoring activity, introducing socio-economic plans, land use plans, structures for management of common land, and alternative parallel organizational structures supporting nature protection.

The project in Ukraine encompassed the territory of the Luhansk and Odesa regions.

Main project tasks

  • To increase sustainable land use in wetland, steppe and forest steppe ecosystems
  • To restore and use abandoned land, and improve management of privatised areas
  • To mobilise financial resources through carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emission reduction through the provision of alternative energy
  • To mainstream biodiversity concerns into rural land use policy and practice at the regional, national and local levels
  • To encourage cross border cooperation between states

Project tools

  • Demonstration pilot sites
  • Land use plans for target area
  • Nature management plans
  • Socio-economic plans
  • Improvements in general land management structure
  • Alternative energy approach
  • Carbon funding mechanisms
  • Other financial mechanisms in the field of beef farming, medicinal and aromatic herbs, steppe seed production, honey export, and rural tourism
  • Raising awareness through excursions to pilot sites, workshops and mass media

Project’s awards

  • The British Experience International Award (2008)
  • The Ukrainian National Tourism Award of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Ukraine
  • A nomination for the EU Communication Award – EuropeAid Project of Excellence of the Year 2008


230,000 ha of degraded land have been designated for sustainable management in the Luhansk region

The Cabinet of Ministers has granted € 10.000 to Bobrykovo village for the implementation of the developed plan

2 carbon projects and 3 contracts with US carbon funds

5 newly created farm associations

The plans have been approved as the official regions’ policy

The Ministry of Agriculture of Ukraine has introduced the plans as an example for other regions


The EU-funded project was implemented by Euroconsult Mott MacDonald/ICF Int in consortium with the Delegation of European Commission to Ukraine, the Ministry of Environmental Protection of Ukraine, the Ministry of Ecology and Nature Resources of the Republic of Moldova, and the Administration of the Rostov region in the Russian Federation.

The ICDU was involved in the project as a lead in Ukraine and a part of Euroconsult Mott Macdonald/ICF Int. team.