LPN was launched in 1948 under the leadership of Professor Carlos Manuel Beata Neves, to answer to the poet Sebastião da Gama appeal for the conservation of Arrábida Mountain.


In 1947, the poet sent his first alert and request for help to Eng. Miguel Neves, when the destruction of the forest began, to use the wood for a lime furnace. Upon learning of the situation, Prof. Carlos Manuel Baeta Neves, who was then teaching at the Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA), intervened and prevented the destruction of the forest.


One year later, LPN is founded, and Sebastião da Gama's letter was always referred to by its founder, Prof. Carlos Manuel Baeta Neves, as the origin of LPN:


"Mr. Engineer Miguel Neves.
Help! Help! Help! José Julio da Costa has begun (and is already well underway) the destruction of half of the Solitario Forest that belongs to him. I ask you to take care of it immediately. If necessary restore the death sentence. HELP!"

(Sebastião da Gama, 1947)




Since then LPN maintains a close contact with universities and science organizations, from Portugal and other countries. A substantial number of its members come from these institutions. They constitute a valuable technical Sponsors to validated intervention.


The building of LPN headquarters in Lisbon was donated in 1976 by the family Freire de Andrade and in 2000 suffered a substantial rehabilitation and it was converted in an Environmental Educational and Training Centre.


LPN owns and sustainable manages six estates in the Castro Verde region that are classified as biological nature reserves with a total area of 1800 hectares, where has an Environmental Educational Center.


LPN is accredited by National Institution for Quality Training (IQF), the Portuguese National Institute responsible to attribute this confirmation.


It should be noted that, throughout its history, LPN has contributed decisively to the creation of several Protected Areas, namely:


  • National Park Peneda-Gerês (1971); 
  • Arrábida Natural Park (1976);
  • Sado Estuary Natural Reserve (1980), 
  • Serra da Malcata Natural Reserve (1981); 
  • Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park (1988).


After the creation of the Protected Areas, LPN has always actively collaborated in their management and conservation by participating in Committees and Technical Boards.


Since the classification of the Municipality of Castro Verde as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve on June 14, 2017, LPN is part of the Management Board, in partnership with the Municipality of Castro Verde and the Campo Branco Farmers Association, and is responsible for the governance of this Biosphere Reserve.


In 1998, Council of Ministers Resolution no. 73/98 determined that July 28, the date of the founding of the League for the Protection of Nature, should be established as National Nature Conservation Day.


"...Considering that the League for the Protection of Nature (LPN) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, being the first and oldest association for the defense of the environment created in Portugal, and its activity being of unquestionable technical and scientific merit, and of great importance in the conservation of the natural heritage, the diversity of species and ecosystems..."


"...Taking into account the political relevance attributed by the Government to the environmental theme, as well as the justice of honoring the associative movement for the defense of the environment through one of its most prestigious institutions, and aiming to create an annual moment of special reflection on the problems of nature conservation in Portugal and in the world..."



LPN's history of awards and decorations includes:

  • 1994 - Awarded the Order of Infante Dom Henrique by the President of the Republic, Dr. Mário Soares, on June 10;
  • 1994/5 - European Ford Conservation Award under the project "Conservation of the Avifauna of the Castro Verde Cereal Steppes";
  • 1998 - Awarded the Order of Merit by the President of the Republic, Dr. Jorge Sampaio, on July 28;
  • 1999 - Sagres Expresso Millennium Award for the project "Demonstration Center for Integrated and Sustainable Management of Water Resources", developed in one of LPN's reserves, in Castro Verde;
  • 1999 - Aboim Sande Lemos - Portuguese Identity award from the Portuguese Independence Historical Society;
  • 2001 - Ford Prize for Environmental Conservation in the category Conservation Engineering for the Pilot Project to Combat Desertification in Baixo Alentejo;
  • 2002 - National Award in the Ford Motor Company Awards for Conservation and Environment and the Natural Environment category, for the Kestrel Recovery Project in Portugal;
  • 2005 - In the context of Japan's EXPO 2005, the Sustainable Castro Verde Program received the Global 100 Eco - Tech Award, which aimed to reward the 100 best environmental technologies that contribute significantly to solving global environmental problems and to creating a sustainable future;
  • 2008 - European Environment and Soil Management Award, promoted by European Landowners Organization with the high patronage of the European Commission, with the candidacy "Soil Recovery in a Rural Threatened Ecosystem in Portugal: an example with potential to disseminated among the Mediterranean area";
  • 2008 - National Award for Portugal (supported by the European Parliament), with the project "Sustainability of Nature Conservation in Portuguese Farming Areas", in the scope of the Energy Globe Award 2007;
  • 2009 - European Award for Best LIFE-Nature Projects 2008, given by the European Commission, in Brussels, within the scope of the LIFE-Kestrel Project;
  • 2010 - Mediterranean Honorific Award with the application "Synergies for the conservation of steppe birds in Castro Verde (Portugal)", under the Castro Verde Sustainable Programl;
  • 2011Distinction by the European Commission of the Project "Recovery of the Habitat of the Iberian Lynx in the Moura/Barrancos Site (2006/2009), as one of the 6 "Best of the Best LIFE Projects in Europe”;
  • 2013Honorable Mention, in the scope of the Land for Life Award of the UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification);
  • 2013 - Dryland Champion Portugal 2013 award, given by the UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification);
  • 2013 - LPN won 2nd place in the 'CAP Communication Awards 2013', in the category 'Communication to stakeholders' of the European Commission (Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development), with the project "Dissemination of good practices for biodiversity in the implementation of agro-environmental commitments", carried out in partnership with CAP - Confederation of Farmers of Portugal and funded by the National Rural Network Program;
  • 2013European Best LIFE-Nature Projects 2013 Award, given by the European Commission, in Brussels, within the scope of the LIFE Steppe Project;
  • 2015 - Honorable Mention (Finalists) in the Natura 2000 Award 2015 (Conservation Category) for "Good Practices in Fences and Power Lines" from the LIFE Steppe Project, Brussels
  • 2018 -   LPN's partnership with Castro Verde Town Council and the Campo Branco Farmers Association received the Special Award from the Alentejo and Ribatejo Tourism Regulatory Authority, for the classification of Castro Verde as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
  • 2018 - Guarda Rios Award for Good Practices, awarded by GEOTA under the LIFE Saramugo Project.
  • 2018 - LPN was awarded the Honorary Member of the Order of Public Instruction, by His Excellency the President of the Republic, Prof. Dr. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, on July 30th.
  • 2021 - INATEL Sustainability Award, given to LPN for the work developed under the Castro Verde Sustainable Program.



LPN is a member of IUCN - The World Conservation Union, the EEB (European Environmental Bureau), the CIDN (Conselho Ibérico), the MIO-ECSDE (Mediterranean Information Office for Environmental Culture and Sustainable Development),the SAR (Seas at Risk), the EUCC (European Union for Coastal Conservation) and National Commission of UNESCO.

LPN is also the National agency of the Naturopa Centre of Europe Council and it is a founder member of the National Network of Environmental Education.

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