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Drone shot - Grisel
Drone shot - Grisel

Reverting Rural Abandonment in Aragón, Spain

  • 2020

Understanding Nature Restoration After Rural Abandonment

What is Rural Abandonment, and How Does it Cause Land Degradation?

Rural Abandonment Reforestation Project, Grisel

Rural abandonment is directly linked to overpopulation and increased global food supply demand. Due to a need for higher productivity and less farmable land available, farmers are often forced into intensive farming practices. These practices cause soil degradation, water pollution, and biodiversity loss.

Land Life's expertise extends to restoring lands affected by wildfires and other causes of degradation, such as pests and diseases, or areas impacted by wildfires, each presenting unique challenges and restoration approaches.

Here's how rural abandonment causes land degradation:

  • Soil Erosion: land once used for intense agricultural activity, then left to suffer from depleted soil quality. Common issues are soil erosion and overall degradation.
  • Polluted Water Systems: frequent chemical, fertilizer, and pesticide use can cause lasting soil and water damage, affecting local ecosystems.
  • Damaged Ecosystems: land degraded due to rural abandonment has suffered significant ecosystem damage. Natural restoration is not possible without human intervention.

Restoring Land after Rural Abandonment

In response to the increasing need for land restoration in rurally abandoned land, Land Life has developed tech-driven, science-backed, and field-tested strategies to rehabilitate impacted land. Our focus is rebuilding resilient ecosystems with healthy soil and water systems that support local biodiversity.

  • Prior to a project
    We analyze the land using our technology to understand the degradation and level of soil degradation due to the agricultural use of the land.
  • During planting
    We plant a diverse mix of species to help enhance the quality of the soil and ensure that we create a resilient ecosystem that will support biodiversity.
  • Aftercare and management
    We maintain the site, monitor the trees to ensure they are healthy, and provide the necessary wildlife corridors for returning species.
Case Study

Land Life Project: Grisel, Spain

The project site Grisel is in the region of Aragon, Spain, situated between the Iberian Range and the Ebro Valley, a scenic, tourism-dependent region yet very vulnerable in Spain’s climate change scenario. The land was degraded due to rural abandonment in the latter half of the 20th century.

Project Highlight


Native and mixed-species

  • 01

    Aleppo Pine

  • 02

    Holm Oak

  • 03

    Portuguese Oak

  • 04

    Italian Buckthorn

  • 05




Hectares Planted

Property Improvement

  • 01Clear-cutting
  • 02Punctual hole-holing with minimal impact on existing herbaceous and shrub vegetation

20,651 tCO2

Sequestered over 40 years

Challenges — Solutions

Reviving Grisel: Land Life's Sustainable Approach After Rural Abandonment

The land on the project in Grisel, Spain, was deforested and modified to create terraces back in the first half of the 20th century. Due to little agricultural and industrial returns, it was abandoned during the second half of the 20th century during the advent of mechanized farming. Since then, the land has been severely degraded. Land Life stepped in during 2020, focusing on a nature restoration approach driven by the goal of preventing further soil erosion, and restoring the area's native forest. Since then, we have planted a diverse mix of native tree species. The top three planted are Aleppo pine (29%), Holm oak (20%), and Portuguese Oak (11%).

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Meet the Site



Benefits Beyond Carbon


Carbon Sequestration with a Diverse Forest

We planted a mix of 10 native species for a more resilient forest. This project will remove approximately 192 tCO2 per ha over 40 years.


Supporting native species & ecosystems

Supporting the return of native species, such as the Iberian hare, wildcat, peregrine falcons, and kestrels. Our reforestation project helps improve soil diversity, bringing back balance.


Job creation for a stronger economy

Through this project, jobs were created for skilled local forest workers. We also partnered with a local nursery for seedlings and planting.


Who did we work with?

Ayuntamlento de Grisel

Land Life works with Ayuntamlento de Grisel

Ayuntamlento de Grisel

Ayuntamlento de Grisel

Land Life works with Ayuntamlento de Grisel

Ayuntamlento de Grisel


Other Land Types

Case studies according to different land types and degradation causes.