The main goal of Life-Relict project is to substantially improve the conservation status of the Portuguese relict laurel-leaved communities, such as the Portuguese Laurel and the Pontic Rhododendron. These two plant communities are vegetation relics of yore when climate in the Iberian Peninsula was sub-tropical and given their rarity the European Union classified it as a priority for conservation, with code 5230 * and description of Laurus nobilis communities, in Annex I to the Habitat Directive (92/42 / EEC). Currently, this habitat is underrepresented in the Iberian Peninsula, its fragmented, dispersed and in poor condition due to serious expansion problems and threats to its preservation.
In order to reverse the unfavourable situation, concrete management actions will be implemented targeting the Portuguese Laurel in Serra da Estrela and Serra do Açor, and the Pontic Rhododendron in Serra de Monchique as these are the most representative areas for these communities in Portugal. Therefore, these areas are the Intervention Areas of the project, being part of the Natura 2000 Network.
The specific goals of Life-Relict project are:
1. Improve the conservation status of the habitat and its ecological function;
2. Increase the area of occurrence of this habitat by restoring favourable adjacent areas;
3. Reduce the impact of the main threats to their conservation through management measures aimed at controlling invasive alien species and reducing the risk of fire;
4. Test the impact of implemented management practices and demonstrate innovative management methodologies and approaches;
5. Increase the motivation, skills and cooperation of the local population and regional authorities for the preservation of Laurissilva relics;
6. Ensure the dissemination and transfer of knowledge obtained, enabling its replication in other territories;
7. Promote nature tourism and various communication actions;
8. Streamline the local economy through financial support and job creation.