Training Modules

Europe has rich and diverse landscapes that play a vital role  in rural economies, biodiversity and cultural heritage.

Whilst at the European Union level, various policy frameworks exist relating to agriculture, rural development and conserving cultural heritage, frameworks relating to landscapes are part of wider policy frameworks within the aforementioned directives.

EU Policy Framework

  • EU environmental policies contribute to the preservation and protection of endangered habitats and species. The Natura 2000 network and the 1992 Habitats directive establish a strict system of species protection as well as an extensive network of habitat preservation sites in order to ensure the ecological and economical sustainability of threatened land and wildlife.
  • In 2014, Senior officials from the European Commission, representatives of European institutions, representatives of international bodies, foundations and international associations, as well as members of the academic community, experts and civil society organisations, attended an International Meeting on 'Cultural Landscapes in Natura 2000 Sites: Towards a New Policy for the Integrated Management of Cultural and Natural Heritage'
  • At the moment, policy and guidance relating to landscape management and conservation can be found through various CAP and rural Development objectives. Examples include agri-environment measures aimed at contributing to the provision of valuable landscapes, as well as conserving cultural importance and recreational use. Land management, and the agricultural policy of individual members states is also a contributing factor that can affect the character of landscapes.
  • The EU’s Biodiversity Strategy 2020 aims to halt the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the EU and help stop global biodiversity loss by 2020. However, the mid-term progress report in 2015 shows that while some progress may have been made in certain areas, it has been at an insufficient rate.[1]


The EU has also changed the focus of CAP on the preservation of the rural environment and assistance for sustainable production. Moreover, the EU has developed its environmental policy by establishing Council directives on the conservation of wild birds in 1976; on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora in 1992; and the Natura2000 Network, which comprised both the Bird Directive and Habitats Directive in 2004.  Natura2000 is a comprehensive nature preservation policy aimed at developing ecosystem networks within the EU. The EU is striving to develop its environmental policy to protect biodiversity by shifting its target from preserving species to the area as a whole, and create a network of diverse ecosystem areas. Natura2000 emphasizes the importance of the rural landscape and biodiversity.

Following an evaluation of the Birds and Habitats Directive, the European Commission adopted the EU Action plan for nature, people and the economy, in order to improve their implementation and boost their contribution towards reaching the Biodiversity targets by 2020.


Beyond 2020, the CAP aims to be more responsive to current and future challenges in regard to climate change or generational renewal, whilst continuing to support European farmers for a sustainable and competitive agricultural sector.[2] This may well see landscapes and biodiversity playing a role in future CAP policies.

The proposed objectives of a future CAP include:                      

  •  ensuring a fair income to farmers
  •  increasing competitiveness
  •  rebalancing the power in the food chain
  • climate change action
  • environmental care
  •  preserving landscapes and biodiversity
  •  supporting generational renewal
  • vibrant rural areas

 protecting the quality of food and health


[1] European Commission (2015). Mid-term review of the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Sept. 2018].

[2] European Commission. Future of  common agricultural policy. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Sept. 2018].

EU Project Frameworks

  • The development of a new budget line linking existing EU funding programmes (e.g. Horizon 2020, LIFE, Structural and Investment Funds - ESIF, European Regional Development Fund, European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, etc.) in the fields of the environment, culture, education and regional development, will facilitate synergies and allow for the best possible exploitation of funds for projects aimed at the integrated management of cultural and natural heritage at the landscape level.
  • There are avenues of funding at the EU level helping to shape our understanding of landscapes, including the Hercules project funded under the European Union’s seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration (FP7). The project bought together data on how landscapes change in consideration of both climate and human behaviour. This research will allow landowners, public authorities and NGO’s to conserve and manage European landscapes.
  • The EPICAH project (Effectiveness of Policy Instruments for Cross-Border Advancement in Heritage) deals with natural and cultural heritage protection in cross-border areas. The project aims to contribute to the improvement of a number of policy instruments, one of those being the Interreg V­A Slovakia­Hungary Cooperation Programme 2014­2020. The border between Slovakia and Hungary divides organically cohesive landscapes, and the Programme is an important policy instrument supporting the integration of natural and cultural landscapes on both sides of the border. EPICAH aims to improve the Programme by focusing on project design, pilot actions, and measures that combine sustainable tourism development with the promotion of the region’s natural and cultural heritage.

International Organisation

  • The majority of landscape policy within European Member states have derived from the European Landscape Convention of the Councils of Europe, also known as the Florence Convention; promotes the protection, management and planning of landscapes and organizes international co-operation on landscape issues.[1]
  • The Council of Europe, an international organization made up of 47-member states have attempted to encourage its members to introduce national landscape policy, that in turn will bring together their efforts to enhance the conservation of landscapes and their heritage value.  
  • The convention is a treaty, not an EU directive and so has no legal basis. In EU Member States, Nature 2000 and CAP schemes are the tools used to manage landscapes.  
  • The ELC is complementary to other international treaties such as:
  • The UNESCO Convention governing the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage
  • The council of Europe Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats
  • The Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe
  • The council of Europe Convention for the Protection of  Archaeological Heritage


[1] Council of Europe. Council of Europe Landscape Convention. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Sep. 2018].



The rural landscape in Germany is influenced by agricultural and environmental policy.[1] Over the years Germany has made environmentally conscious rural development policy by making fundamental revision in their rural development law in 1976 .

Through CAP, there are several eligible measures in place for subsidies: the cultivation of diverse crops; the extensive use of permanent Greenland; ecological production methods; the installation of flowering strips; the cultivation of intermediate fruit; erosion control measures in agriculture.



Italy has a long and historic tradition of landscape protection.[2]  Despite the high emphasis placed on this issue and the increasing resources devoted to  landscape conservation schemes in the Rural Development Programmes (RDP) implemented by the Italian regions, the participation of farmers is still very low.[3]



Nature conservation in Slovakia is based on species and area protection, which are regulated by national (Act. No. 543/2002 on Nature and Landscape Protection, as amended) and EU legislation. National legislation defines a coherent European Network of Protected Areas, which consists of Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas and  sets conditions for the management and protection of these areas. The State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic (SNC) is responsible for territorial, species and cave protection (CBD, 2009).[4]

The National Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 set the goal of stopping the loss of biodiversity, ecosystems and the degradation of ecosystem services in the Slovak Republic by 2020.



There are measures and payments within CAP Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 in Slovenia that have contributed to the preservation of agricultural landscapes and development of multifunctional activities.  The 2014-2020 reform of direct payments is set in a way that supports environmentally-friendly and sustainable farming practice. A positive effect on the agricultural landscape can also be presented by the scheme for coupled support for milk from the mountain region, which may help prevent the abandonment of agricultural land in mountain regions. LEADER and Community-Led Local Development measures can significantly contribute to the preservation of agricultural landscapes and their cultural and historic heritage.



There are various landscape policies across Spain due to a system where some responsibilities and powers are region-owned and not state-owned.[5]

A specific framework for multifunctional farming development is established by several laws (Acton Tourism in the Rural Environment and Active Tourism; Act on Natural Heritage and Biodiversity, etc.) as well as specific laws protecting and regulating the development of certain agricultural landscapes (the Act on Dehesa, the Act on the Andalusian Olive Grove, etc,).

The Natural Heritage and Biodiversity Act (42/2007) was updated in 2015 (Act 33/2015) and requires the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, in collaboration with the autonomous communities of Spain and other ministries, to develop a national Green Infrastructure Strategy by 2018.[6]



[1] Landscape Management in Germany. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Oct. 2018].

[2] Moschini, R. (2015). Landscape and Protected Natural Area: Laws and Policies in Italy. In: R. Gambino and A. Peano, ed., Nature Policies and Landscape Policies: Towards an Alliance. [online] Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. Available at: [Accessed 7 Sept. 2018].

[3] Patrizia Borsotto, Roberto Henke, Maria Carmela Macrì & Cristina Salvioni (2008) Participation in rural landscape conservation schemes in Italy, Landscape Research

[4] Biodiversity Information Systems for Europe. Green Infrastructure in Slovakia. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Sept. 2018].

[5] Spanish Landscape Character Methodologies after the European Landscape Convention. (2015). International Association for Landscape Ecology. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Sep. 2018].

[6] Biodiversity Information Systems for Europe. Green Infrastructure in Spain. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Sept. 2018].

[7] Biodiversity Information Systems for Europe. Green Infrastructure in Slovakia. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Sept. 2018].

[8] Spanish Landscape Character Methodologies after the European Landscape Convention. (2015). International Association for Landscape Ecology. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Sep. 2018].

[9] Biodiversity Information Systems for Europe. Green Infrastructure in Spain. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Sept. 2018].

Welcome to the training modules section of the FEAL project. 

Before you start  checking the existing modules, we would like to give you an overview of all the training modules we have created and a short introduction on how and for what purpose to use them.  

Please go through this introduction carefully to gain as many skills and as much knowledge from the modules as possible.

1. The Principles of Multifunctional Agriculture and EAL 


This module explains how  knowledge concerning landscape values of European agricultural landscapes (EALs) might open new horizons for the establishment of a farm performing different non-agricultural activities, thus implementing multifunctional agriculture. The awareness of  landscape quality by farmers and stakeholders aims to tackle the challenges of the European Landscape Convention (CoE, 2000). 

Learning objectives  


  • Understanding typology of EALs and attributes that make EALs multifunctional. 

  • Know-how in order to apply multifunctional activities within different EALs. 


  • Recognizing a landscape type – EAL and values of different EALs and their landscape character. 

  • Practising multifunctional farming coinciding with the characteristics of a particular EAL. 

  • Providing adequate maintenance to EALs, preserving EALs values and improving their quality. 


  • The awareness to improve the quality of EALs  and maintenance in a sustainable manner, regarding traditional land uses based on the deep ancestral knowledge of the environment and preserving the landscape character. 


  • International context of EALs presented in case studies 

  • EALs presented in case studies 

  • National context of EALs presented in case studies 

  • Advanced multifunctional entrepreneurship based on EALs values 

  • Attractive landscape as a result of multifunctional and sustainable farming and as an asset for the further development of entrepreneurship  

  • Maintenance and preservation of EALs values 

  • Sharing and distribution knowledge on EALs values  

2. Entrepreneurial Concepts in the linkage of EAL, Sustainable Farming and Multifunctional Agriculture (MFA)


This module is focused on interactions between farming as a professional activity based on agricultural land management, and landscaping, as a land design associated to agriculture and other rural activities, consciously linked to the knowledge of the territory, its natural capital and landscape heritage. 

Learning objectives  


  •  to know a large range of activities and services suitable for agri and rural tourism,  ecotourism, heritage food tourism and didactic farms  


  • to gain  in-depth competence on all kinds of outdoor facilities and services that can be provided by  well-structured multifunctional farm planning   

  • to know and practise marketing solutions and commercial offers for ecotourism private clients, groups and tour operators.   


  • to gain  overall knowledge and awareness of the traditional heritage of farming, constituting a basis to start successful  multifunctional farm activities based on agricultural landscapes  


  • Overview 

  • Chapter I – Scheme for Interpretation of Agricultural Landscapes 

  • Chapter II – Cultural Principles Connecting Sustainable Farming and Landscape 

  • Chapter III – Multifunctional Agriculture, Sustainable Land Use and Landscape 

  • Chapter IV – Contributing to Landscape Protection, Conservation and Innovation 

  • Conclusions  

3. Business-planning and Successful Implementation


This module will show you the steps for elaborating a clear business plan and give you hints for success, promising its implementation. It deals with formal aspects as well as an entrepreneurial approach for setting up the legal and operational basis for a successful entrepreneurship in the linkage of farming and EAL. 

Learning objectives 


  • Understanding of business-planning and its importance for successful entrepreneurship 

  • Clear picture of Business Management 


  • Recognizing changing and challenging situations on the way and dealing with those in an entrepreneurial manner 

  • Recognizing chances and business opportunities in the linkage of farming and EAL 

  • Ability to implement business planning and business management in your enterprise 


  • Awareness for improving/maintaining EAL quality  with a successful farming business 


  1. Business planning – its need and  use for entrepreneurs 

  1. Entrepreneurial handling of business planning 

  1. Writing a business plan 

  1. Main contents of your BUSINESS PLAN  


  1. Key Functions of BUSINESS MANAGEMENT  

  1. Start with your BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

4. SWOT-Analysis: sustainable use of regional specific EAL


This module offers a SWOT methodology to achieve self-knowledge in relation to factors linked to sustainable agriculture, multifunctionality and agricultural landscape. Based on this knowledge, you will be able to develop objectives linked to improve your weaknesses and threats, or to take advantage of your strengths and opportunities. 

  • Learning objectives 


  • Achieve a self-knowledge of those factors linked to sustainable agriculture, multifunctionality and European Agricultural Landscapes. 


  • Develop your capacity for analysis, through a systematic methodology of self-evaluation of factors. 

  • Develop your strategic capacity, trying to take advantage of your current situation to reach a better future. 

  • Ability to define objectives and develop them, until reaching the proposed goals.   


  • Include in any analysis related to your farm aspects related to sustainability, environment, culture and landscape. As relevant factors that offer synergies with your present and potential activities.  


  1. Introduction 

  1. Use E-Atlas as e-learning tool about diversity of EALs 

  1. Using SWOT analyses for strategic planning 

  1. Methodology of Self-Assessment Process 

  1. Self Knowledge: Factors for SWOT analysis 

  1. Self Knowledge: Questionnaires 

General  business framework 

Landscape and natural environment 

Sustainable Farming (respectful handling) 

Multifunctionallity (Touristic attraction, potential activities) 

  1. How to build your SWOT analysis 

  1. Goals settings 

  1. Goals achievement 

5. Communication Skills, Collaboration/ Cooperation


In this module, we will present factors that support and encourage cooperation, communication skills, the win-win-situations: detecting them and using these situations. For that purpose we will use links  to  Case Studies, Summary Report and additional matirial  where appropriate contents are more detailed presented. 

Learning objectives 


  • knowledge about stakeholders involved in setting up operational basis for multifunctional farming for the sustainability of FEAL 

  • insight into the possible fields and forms of collaboration/ cooperation for multifuncional farming for the sustainability of FEAL which leads to win-win situations 


  • ability to consider your own position and options for multifunctional farming for the sustainability of FEAL and possible win-win situations 


  • awareness of options for establishing or improving multifunctional farming for the sustainability of FEAL 

  • awareness of importance of communication and communication skills 

  • awareness of the power of collaboration/cooperation 



  • Stakeholders in setting up operational basis for multifunctional farming for the sustainability of EAL    

  • Communication skills and communication channels 

  • Collaboration and cooperation in multifunctional farming for the sustainability of EAL 

  • Win-win situations in multifunctional farming for the sustainability of EAL 



The training modules give you general information about background, concepts and entrepreneurial action in the linkage of farming and EAL, and you will also come across specific aspects and hints for a successful approach. 

We recommend that you study the modules intensively and not  rush through them. Take your time and maybe go through them several times – again and again if necessary. 

Depending on your personal setting and  the individual module, you should take at least 60 minutes per module to be able to fully benefit from it. 



We have created the training modules so that they can be used all over Europe and so that they can provide as much benefit to the existing variety of learners as possible. 

We recommend going through the modules step by step following the given order, as the content is developed from general information to more detailed from module to module. 

How to use the training modules: 


  • You can quickly browse through all the modules to gain an overview of the content and then have a second, deeper look at the topics you really need to know. 

  • You can go through all the modules step by step since the content was condensed from the needs assessed at the beginning of the project and, therefore, a broad range of important knowledge is provided. Possibly not everything will be relevant to your specific situation – but maybe it will be in the future. 

  • You can go through the modules on your own or do it in a group and exchange your findings or opinions about the information provided.