This is the first out of three white papers from the project TERRANOVA the European Landscape Learning Initiative an Innovative Training Network consortium of the European Union’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions.1 TERRANOVA investigates the deep history of human-environment interactions and how these interactions have shaped European landscapes as a foundation to design sustainable environmental policies in Europe. In 2019–2023, fifteen PhD students will be trained to conduct interdisciplinary research around this topic in order to promote a long-term understanding of the structure and functioning of European landscapes to meet current challenges caused by reduced biodiversity and climate change. TERRANOVA seeks knowledge through landscape energy regimes and transitions, which will help in the transition to future low-carbon society. In this paper, we will present our starting point and briefly describe the project design and expected outcomes of the project. RECOMMENDATIONS - POLICYMAKERS TO RECOGNISE AND SUPPORT: The importance of a nuanced understanding of the deep history of European landscapes and past changes in human-environment interactions that are required in order to address the climate and the biodiversity crises. Potential reservoirs of knowledge and experience that landscapes encompass, for nature conservation, landscape planning and sustainable livelihoods, which now remain unexplored. Sustainable research and training networks, like TERRANOVA, which means shifting academic curricula to demonstrate intelligent and innovative solutions for problems of land abandonment, landscape management and stewardship, rewilding and the process of transitioning to a low-carbon society.