L1 Municipality of Lampedusa & Linosa (IT)



The Desert-Adapt project aims at creating 4 different systems in Lampedusa:

  • SYSTEM 1. Erosion control and pasture improvement. Current bare, eroded and overgrazed lands will first cover with grass to improve soil and in turn pasture.
  • SYSTEM 2. Agro-forestry. Current covered heavily overgrazed soils, will be convert to a more agro-forestry-like system with a first layer of trees. Soil will be improved to sustain pasture, as well as fruit trees and shrubs that will generate income. A canopy closure to max 30% will be reached.
  • SYSTEM 3. Food forest. Current pine reforestation with some acacia will be converted to a mixed food forest, where the new species will generate income.
  • SYSTEM 4. Reaching climax vegetation. Currently, in the nature reserve of Lampedusa the climax vegetation was reached, but with missing parts. The Desert-adapt project focuses on filling them and biodiversity improvement: missing species will be planted, water ponds, for birds and small mammals, will be constructed.


Note: there is no nursery in Lampedusa and the introduction of new plants is forbidden. All species must be produced from native species already present on the island. The Municipality has entrusted the task to an external nursery.

 Below, numbers of functions and measures correspond to the list reported in the DAM methodology, defining the operative DAM plan








 Aromatics (SYSTEM 2 AND 3)  [1]

Aromatics will be planted in all the project areas, for commercial purposes only in agroforestry and food forest systems. The municipality would contract out and/or entrust to a local cooperative for the marketing.


 Fruits + pasture improvement (SYSTEM 2)  [7 and 20]

The agro-silvopastoral system (SYSTEM 2) will be created increasing the amount of edible plants for animal (grasses and legumes). Native carob and mastic trees will be planted, as well as capper shrubs. 


 Fruits + nuts + aromatics (SYSTEM 3)  [1, 7, 15]

Carob, wild olive, myrtle, mastic, juniper and thyme will be planted in mixed planting grids. In addition, cocoons have been taken in place to test their feasibility as growing aids in drought conditions, All local varieties will be selected. Shrubs and fruits trees will be mainly sold to a local marked. The municipality will have to contract out and/or entrust for both management and marketing.


 Compost  [100]

Municipality has already contracted out to a local company the production of compost. The idea is to produce compost using municipal pruning materials to applying in several plots of systems 1, 2 and 3 in order to improve soil properties. The compost won’t be sold. 




 Bee keeping rights


There are few beekeeping experiences in Lampedusa. Project aims to better organized them and improve the whole sector, introducing new beehives in different site inside and/or outside the nature reserve. A social local cooperative will be involved in the management and marketing through entrustment/contract. 


 Hiking trails


Creating “thematic routes” (nature, history, geology) connecting existing routes to Life project areas. Entrusted management.


 Photo hunting


There are already some observation points useful for photo hunting. The idea is the creation of new observation points in the project areas.


 Test Area


In this area, the natural regeneration processes, i.e. thinning out of pines and subsequent planting of local varieties of plants, will be deeply tested. The mycorrhizae use will be evaluated too.


 Study and guided tours


More groups and tourist could be attracted in ‘low’ season because this is the best season for nature tourist. The idea is to create a guided tour of project areas. Entrusted management.




 Erosion control+ pasture improvement   (SYSTEM 1)

 [37 and 20]

The area will be first fenced to avoid grazing by goats and sheeps, and after sown with a mix of soil improving grasses (Medicago, Trifolium) and legumes (Lotus, Melilotus) Subsequently compost, wood chips brushwood will be used to cover soil and protect planted plants (Juniperus turbinata, Tamarix africana, Thymelea hirsuta, Teucrium fruticans, Chiliadenus lopadusanum) and those in natural regeneration.


 Animal Feeding places

Several project areas will represent a food place for bird: trees and shrubs will be selected to make more attractive the sites.  

 Wildlife protection

Project will build one temporary pond (rainwater harvesting). Furthermore juniper and tamarisk will be planted around them for shadow.  

 Insect and bird shelter

Bird and bat houses, as well as insect hotels were installed.  

 Reaching climax vegetation (System 4)


Project aims at reaching and/or improving the will imitate the climax vegetation in the nature reserve of Lampedusa. This is also the site where water ponds, for birds and small mammals, will be constructed. The focus is on biodiversity. Climax vegetation is composed of following associations: Oleo sylvestris-Pistacietum lentisciPeriploco angustifoliae-Juniperetum turbinatae Periploco angustifoliae-Euphorbietum dendroidisAll local varieties will be selected.

In the valleys that are characterized by a more humid microclimate and less wind influence, trees dominate (50% of area). The following plants will be planted: myrtus communis, Arbutus unedo, Olea europaea var. sylvestris, Phillyrea latifolia, Pinus halepensis Coronilla valentina subsp. Glauca, Prasium majus, Rubia peregrina subsp. Longifolia, Rubus ulmifolius Schott, Smilax aspera, Clematis cirrhosa.

The dry exposed areas, strongly influenced by wind, will be dominated by shrubs (50% of area). The following plant will be planted: Juniperus turbinata, Pistacia lentiscus, Periploca angustifolia, Lycium intricatum, and Asparagus acutifolius.

 Landscape Restoration

Existing stone walls will be repaired in Fruits + pasture improvement (SYSTEM 2).  

 Biodiversity promoting plants

Plant planted in several areas will be selected focusing on biodiversity promotion.   


   Create employment


See entrusted management of several economic functions and ecoservices  

 Work with disabled people


Working with a care center for mentally disabled already present on the island. Entrusted management to a social cooperative. 

   Provide social services
 Working with schools.  
   N. Name  Comments   
  1  Seed collecting & native species

All spontaneous plants from Lampedusa must be produced with seeds collected in situ. Priority to local varieties if available.

   Existing vegetation protection

 All native vegetation will remain intact. Pines pruning and exotic trees will be used as mulching or chips.

   Mycorrhizae & plants

Plants inoculation with mycorrhizae is foreseen in test areas.


They will be built on slopes in the System 4.

  10 Soil ripping

Done only when necessary in conjunction with ridge and furrows.

  11 Conservation tillage

Everywhere no tillage, just superficial tillage or cutting.

  12 Ridge and furrows

Done only when necessary in conjunction with soil ripping.

  14   Organic fertilizer

Only fertilizers allowed in biological protocol and produced in Sicily, as well as local compost and manure (sheeps and goats).

  15   Pasture improvement

A mix of soil improving grasses (Medicago, Trifolium) and legumes (Lotus, Melilotus) is applied in Systems 1 and 2.

  16   Legumes  
  19   Nurse shrubs

Periploca angustifolia will be used as nurse shrubs.

  21 Plant hole digging

Selective digging of holes to avoid large-scale soil disturbance.

  22 Interplanting

Iterplanting in existing vegetation improves biodiversity, ecosystem resilience, protects seedlings, prevents soil erosion.

  23   Planting in mixes

Cocoons and controls were planted following this AM in System 3.

  24 Regular planting

Planting in rows, patched or blocks thinking what fits best the local circumstances

  25   Natural fences

Lycium intricatum and Periploca angustifolia will be used as multi-purpose natural fence.

  26   Plant support Water aids study

More 160 cocoons were tested. The plan is to compare them to local mulching (pine and acacia leaves obtained in situ), biodegradable juta discs and local chips.

  27   Watering/Drip irrigation

 Manual emergency watering only, no irrigation system.

  29   Plant assist

Cocoons, mulching with pine leaves/small branches, juta discs, chips, canna shelters, possibly residuals of pruning and firebreak cleanings.

  30   Fence installation

Systems 1 and 2 will be fenced to avoid grazing by sheep and goats.

  31   Grafting trees

Grafting only in the nursery using ancient and rustic local varieties.

  32   Diseased trees

First an analysis of potential death causes. If diseases, seedlings/plants are removed then buried, crushed or burned.

  33   Weed control

Only manually cutting, no chemicals and weeding.

  34 IPM plague control

Developing an Integrated Pest Management (IPM), to carry out insect & plague control on ecofriendly way. Providing shelter/host plants for predator insects.

   35  Pruning

Stacking the prunings in rows to collect water and improve biodiversity. Prunings will be used as mulching, windbreaks or chipped, and for compost production.

  37 Livestock Grazing

Not implemented yet but is foreseen

  38 Ecoservices

Identify and valorize all the natural services that can create added value.

  42 Biofuels

When available will be used.

  43 Planting on ridges    
  44 Firewood 10% rule

10% of the dead wood is left on the site, perhaps some will be chipped.

  45 Natural regeneration

Protecting Natural Regeneration by small plant protectors or fences.

  49 Pruning fruit trees

It is done using appropriate schemes that do no stress trees.
Prunings will be used as mulching, windbreaks or chipped, and for compost production.

  51 Planting material

There is no nursery in Lampedusa and the introduction of new plants is forbidden. All species must be produced from native species already present on the island. The Municipality has entrusted the task to an external nursery.

  52 Root protection

No machine or soil work around each tree.


Numbers of functions and measures correspond to the list reported in the DAM methodology, defining the operative DAM plan




Testing plant growth aid techniques to support seedlings establishment and growth

[Adaptation Measures: plant support & water aid 26 - plant protectors 28 - plant assist 29]

In Lampedusa plant supports that improve the seedling survival rates in the first years after planting under harsh environmental conditions, were tested, as part of the project objectives and in collaboration with the LIFE project the GreenLink. The techniques are supposed also to reduce the need to intervene with emergency irrigation in the hottest periods, thus reducing the logistic complexity of managing extended planting and reforestation activities. The plant water aid “Cocoon” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sll6IO65vPg) was tested and compared with nature-based solutions relying on material present in the study area like wood chips, rocks  and small branches of shrubs and trees.

Pictures from 1 to 12 show the cocoon set up. The biodegradable material (i.e. cellulose) of the cocoon is filled with water (pict. 5-6), which is slowly release through seepage. The cocoon is then capped (pict. 7-8), with the seedling protected with a cylindrical shelter (pict. 9-10), and covered with soil (pict. 11-12).

In the same area others seedling were tested using chips and rocks to reduce weed competition and evaporation, while a nest of pine and acacia branches was created to accommodate the seedling protecting it from wind, excess light and reducing water loss by evapotranspiration [seedling before, pict. 13, and after mulching, pict. 14]. The two techniques were tested on replicates in the same areas (pict. 15). Periodically, the team of University of Palermo monitored the seedling growth and the cocoon performance as well as the need for extra water (pict.16-18). The activity is ongoing (pict. 19-20).