Sustainable strategies for the improvement of seriously degraded agricultural areas: The example of Pistachia vera L

EC Environment - Life Programme

With the contribution of the LIFE + financial instrument of the European Union

LIFE projects for Soil, Water, Wastes

This page provides information regarding other relevant LIFE (and not only) projects. To find more projects visit ECOWEB. ECOWEB is an initiative by the European Commission to increase the uptake of research results from Framework Programme, CIP and LIFE+ projects. ECOWEB provides information on 3271 European eco-innovations, including technologies, applications, products, processes?and other solutions. It aims to link enterprises, in particular SMEs, and eco-innovations to increase the uptake of EU-funded research.

 

PROSODOL       WASTEREUSE     HydroSense          SAGE-10      SOILPro    NewLife     OLIVE CLIMA
SoilConsWeb         Crops-for-better-Soil           SOILMontana         BioRem

 

SAGE-10: Establishment of Impact Assessement Procedure as a tool for the sustanability of agro-ecosystem-The case of Mediterranean olives 
PROJECT in progress

SAGE10 (LIFE09 ENV/GR/000302 SAGE 10) is a pilot project aiming at the sustainability of Mediterranean agroecosystems, and especially of olive crops, with the century-long history, through the development and implementation of an environmental Impact Assessment Procedure (IAP).??The project is implemented on a pilot scale, covering a total area of 150-200 ha, including tree regions in South Greece (two on Crete and one in Peloponnese). A total of 80 farmers participate in the project, registering 600 of their parcels, as well as 3 advisor- agronomists (one per region).

SAGE10 Highlights: 

  • Development of an environmental Impact Assessment Procedure (IAP) for olive farming practices, allowing the documentation and evaluation of all potential impacts on the natural environment (study of relevant parameters, environmental aspects, impacts and endpoints, development of the appropriate environmental indicators).
  • Publication of training material on environmental impacts and the principles of good agricultural practices.
  • Pilot implementation in 3 regions of Greece by three trained agronomists-advisors.
  • Method validation.
  • Method standardization.
  • Communication of the proposed strategy -Open Consultation with interested parties.
OliveClima : Application of new cultivation practices for olive aimed for mitigating climate change and adapting to new climatic conditions 
PROJECT in progress

Olive culture counts as one of the most significant agricultural activities in Greece, from a financial, social and ecological point of view. Modern olive culture often includes exhaustive use of the available resources having as a result adverse effects for production cost, the environment and the quality of produced food. The significant progress in technology and know-how during the past decades was not able to fully reverse the situation in the field of plant nutrition. Therefore, reduced performance and high production costs are still a fact for modern farmers.

The OLIVE CLIMA project addresses a multiplicity of environmental issues:

  • Carbon dioxide surplus in the air, lost from soil – Erosion & Desertification
  • Nutrients losses are replaced by environmentally damaging inorganic fertilizers
  • Nitrogen losses – Obstacle to the expansion of organic farming
  • Wood burning –Toxicological issues and more GHG emissions
  • Olive Oil Mill Waste Water

The reviewed Common Agricultural Policy sets the introduction of sustainable crop management practices on top of priorities on a European and national level.

The main aim of the project is to trial the introduction of new cultivation practices for tree crops in order to find a cost-effective means of mitigating and adapting to climate change. The project will focus specifically on olive-producing areas in Greece, investigating the potential of these areas to increase carbon sequestration by soils, and to reduce greenhouse gases emissions. In other words, in this project, a mitigation approach (enhanced CO2 uptake and reduced CO2 emissions) and an adaptation measure (increased soil quality) are tackled at the same time.

PROSODOL : Strategies to improve and protect soil quality from the disposal of Olive Oil Mill Wastes in the Mediterranean 
PROJECT was completed

The olive oil extraction industry is important for the Mediterranean region. Spain, Italy and Greece are the largest olive oil producers in the world. In the Mediterranean, most of the olive oil mills (OOM) are small domestic enterprises scattered around the country, with owners that are not well informed on the environmental risks of this activity or on the available alternative waste treatment solutions. They are often unwilling to bear extra costs for such alternatives. The physical/chemical characteristics and the polyphenolic content of OOM effluents pose serious threats to the environment. There is a need to identify and study potentially contaminated sites, document them in special national registries (of contaminated sites) and suggest and implement integrated technologies and practices that aim to recover the quality of affected systems, while simultaneously gaining the acceptance and confidence of stakeholders and local communities. The application of soil protection/remedial methods could lead to soil remediation and/or to development and restoration of its functions.

All foresaw activities were implemented at two demonstration-pilot areas; one in Greece and one in Italy. The Greek demonstration area is located in the municipality of Rethymnon (former Municipality of Nikiforos Fokas), in the north of Rethymnon prefecture, Crete.The second implementation site of the project was set up in Liguria Region, Italy where young olive trees were grown under controlled conditions and with the addition of specific amounts of OMW during experimentations aiming to the identification of the optimum conditions for OMW use at olive trees orchards. 

PROSODOL resulted in ready-to-be-used outcomes mostly related to the monitoring of soil quality at OMW disposal areas, to the development and implementation of soil remedial techniques at OMW disposal areas, wastes pre-treatment and legislative recommendations to policy makers.

The project’s overall objectives were:

  • to develop and disseminate innovative, environment friendly, low cost technologies for the protection of soil and water from pollution caused by the disposal of olive oil mills’ wastes,
  • to develop and implement soil remediation technologies suitable of olive mill waste disposal areas
  • to identify appropriate soil quality indicators to assess soil degradation at olive mill waste disposal areas
  • to design, implement and support a monitoring system for the assessment of soil and water quality affected directly or indirectly from mills’ activities in relation to factors pressures and responses;
  • to identify potential safest uses of mills’ wastes in the agricultural sector and to establish an info-library/knowledge base system to assess environmental impacts from olive oil mills’ wastes to Mediterranean region 

PROSODOL was completed on 31 December 2012.

WASTEREUSE : Best practices for agricultural wastes (AW) treatment and reuse in the Mediterranean countries 
PROJECT in progress

WasteReuse focuses on two significant environmental problems:

  • the uncontrolled disposal of agricultural wastes (olive oil mill wastes, wastes from the wine industry, etc) as well as, their uncontrolled use for crops/land fertilization.
  • the excess use of nutrients and natural resources (water, phosphoric minerals used for the production of fertilizers) and the potential to increase recycling of nutrients and water with sustainable use of treated (or potentially untreated) agricultural wastes

and aims :

  • to increase recycling of nutrients and water with sustainable use of treated (or potentially untreated) AW, and
  • to combine the up to now developed technologies in integrated methodologies for the sustainable recycling of waste nutrients and water in agriculture, considering:
  • the input needs of the main water-consuming crops cultivated in Mediterranean countries
  • the soil quality parameters that allow the use of this kind of wastes, and
  • the up to now accumulated knowledge regarding the sustainable use of AW in crop production across Europe and worldwide

WasteReuse aims to the development of new and alternative agricultural practices with the use of treated (or potentially untreated) agricultural waste (AW), which affects, besides the production itself, the quality of soil, water and air by considering the effect of the following significant parameters; soil properties, soil-climate relation and environmental conditions. 

Hydro-Sense: Innovative precision technologies for optimised irrigation and integrated crop management in a water-limited agrosystem PROJECT was completed

The HydroSense aims to improve the water, fertilizer and pesticide use efficiency of a major Mediterranean agricultural crop (cotton) by employing principles of site-specific management and advanced technologies in proximal remote sensing.

Project objectives

Taking into account the Water Framework Directive (WFD), the HydroSense aims to demonstrate recent advances in site-specific management in order to:
a. improve water, nitrogen and pesticide use efficiency of agricultural crops in dry Mediterranean environments
b. apply principles of precision agriculture through variable-rate inputs by the efficient monitoring of crop needs in space and time
c. exhibit a high degree of innovation by the use of proximal remote sensing such as the employment of advanced canopy sensors
d. demonstrate the economic effectiveness of the system by reducing inputs while maintaining productivity
e. provide tools for adjusting agricultural policy by upscaling in-field data to regional scale and by constructing a new design of water pricing
f. diffuse the innovative technologies to farmers by training on the use of the interactive website
g. have the potential to be applied in other agricultural crops and other geographical areas of water-limited environments

SOILpro : Monitoring for Soil protection 
PROJECT was completed

The SOILPRO project has the overall objective of  halting soil degradation in EU Member States in line with the Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection. It will do this by encouraging co-operation between local authorities and research institutes within a transnational environment, as this can promote the development of spatial methodologies for monitoring and managing soil degradation.

Specific Objectives

  1. Developing a web-based application tool supporting local and regional authorities and Member States in monitoring soil qualities and planning measures to combat soil degradation;
  2. The application of the Soil Monitoring Software in two EU Regions: Sicily and Peloponnese;
  3. Demonstrating a soil monitoring system to potential users in local and regional authorities and other stakeholders;
  4. Building the capacity of stakeholders in soil monitoring and protection;
  5. Showing examples of soil protection actions in risk areas identified by the use of a soil monitoring system;
  6. Improving the effectiveness of soil protection measures; and Raising public awareness on soil degradation.

 

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