The conservation actions of LIFE INSULAR will be developed in La Graciosa within the ZEC Archipiélago Chinijo (ES7010045) and the ZEPA Islotes del norte de Lanzarote y Famara (ES0000040), since it is an island territory with an important representation of ecosystems dunes, which makes it an ecological enclave of great value for the project. Specifically, the execution of the following actions is proposed:
- Action C7: improvement of the structure and functionality in 43 ha of habitat 2130* (100% of the habitat in the archipelago, 73% in the ZEC), through the elimination of IAS that affect its state of conservation.
- Action C9: implementation of measures against anthropogenic pressures on the 2130* habitat that allow an improvement in its future prospects in 43 ha (100% of the habitat in the archipelago, 73% in the ZEC).
The action in La Graciosa is especially relevant since the sensitivity and fragility of habitat 2130* to the pressures and threats identified by the project is higher than other types of habitat present, since its effects are enhanced due to the consequences of global climate change (see Form B2d). The ownership of the land chosen in the Chinijo Archipelago ZEC (ES7010045) within La Graciosa for LIFE INSULAR represents an added value for the project, since it is publicly owned land (owned by OAPN, associated beneficiary of LIFE INSULAR), including a large part of them in the Maritime-Terrestrial Public Domain (DPMT) managed by the General Directorate for Sustainability and the Sea (which is also part of the organic structure of OAPN, associate beneficiary of LIFE INSULAR), an organization that has supported the project (see support on form A8). This will make it possible to reinforce the proposed conservation actions and ensure the long-term maintenance of the beneficial effects of the conservation measures (see Form B6).
The synergy of the SAC Archipiélago Chinijo (ES7010045) with the rest of the figures of protected areas that have been declared within the territorial scope of La Graciosa is also high, thus reinforcing the importance that this ZEC plays for the conservation of biodiversity, and particularly the role played by the island complex of La Graciosa. Initially, the island territory was included in the Natural Park of the northern islands of Lanzarote and the Riscos de Famara, declared by Decree 89/1986, which would later be reclassified by Law 12/1994, of December 19, on Spaces Natural Parks of the Canary Islands (currently replaced by Law 4/2017), as the Chinijo Archipelago Natural Park. The same Law 12/1994 established the declaration of the Integral Natural Reserve of Los Islotes, which is included within the territorial scope of the Natural Park, although it does not include land in La Graciosa. Under DC 92/43/EEC, the variety and superficial representation of the habitat types present motivated La Graciosa to be included in the Natura 2000 Network within the Chinijo Archipelago SCI (ES7010045), which would later be declared a SAC by means of the Decree 174/2009. The conservation value of these island complexes is high, which also motivated the inclusion of other very close SACs (in many cases adjacent) that house similar values, such as SAC Los Islotes (ES7010044), SAC La Corona (ES7010047), the SAC Malpaís del Cuchillo (ES7010065) or the SAC Los Risquetes (ES7011001), forming an extensive complex of SACs throughout the North coast of Lanzarote. The presence of important colonies of birds of interest for conservation also motivated the inclusion of La Graciosa in the SPA Islotes del norte de Lanzarote y Famara (ES0000040).
More recently, the Spanish State has declared, by virtue of article 6 of Law 42/2007, three marine Natura 2000 spaces in the waters surrounding La Graciosa, contacting the ZEC Archipiélago Chinijo (ES7010045) and the SPA Islotes north of Lanzarote and Famara (ES0000040): the SCI Marine Space of the East and South of Lanzarote-Fuerteventura (ESZZ15002), the SAC Sebadales de La Graciosa (ES7010020) and the SPA Marine Space of the Islotes de Lanzarote (ES0000532). Additionally, through two Resolutions of July 2, 2013 (BOE nº 165, 07/11/2013), 3 spaces adjacent to the SAC Archipiélago Chinijo (ES7010045) have been included in the Network of Marine Protected Areas of Spain (RAMPE) created under Law 41/2010. These spaces are the Marine Reserve of Isla Graciosa and Islotes del Norte de Lanzarote (declared by Decree 62/1995, of March 24, of the Ministry of Fisheries and Transport of the Government of the Canary Islands), together with the SAC Sebadales de La Graciosa (ES7010020) and the SPA Marine Space of the Islets of Lanzarote (ES0000532).
However, La Graciosa has also been included within Protected Areas by International Instruments, established by Law 42/2007. In this way, La Graciosa is included in the Lanzarote Biosphere Reserve, declared in 1993, as an area in which the conservation of natural resources is compatible with sustainable development and the promotion of knowledge in all its aspects. More recently, La Graciosa was also included in the Lanzarote and Chinijo Archipelago World Geopark since 2015 due to its geological heritage of international relevance, where it is possible to observe the interaction between volcanic processes and erosive/sedimentary, both in continental and marine environments.
Thus, an extensive continuum of protected areas is formed within and around the territorial area of La Graciosa, reinforcing the ecological coherence of Natura 2000 and contributing to the connectivity of habitat types as well as the migration and genetic exchange of wild species.