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The successful 'Olivares vivas' plan spreads throughout Spain and Europe

The LIFE Olivares Vivos+ project has started the second edition that will last until 2026, after the end of the first last May, with very favorable results. This is a program that allows the reduction of the use of fertilizers and pesticides in the cultivation of olive trees and the recovery of biodiversity, both flora and fauna. fauna, in the areas where their techniques are practiced, as well as the extension to other areas in southern Europe.

This has been recently pointed out by the experts in the presentation of the new edition of LIFE Olivares Vivos+ that has been carried out in the headquarters of the International Olive Council, in Madrid, according to a statement from SEO/BirdLife, promoter of the initiative. “The olive grove is the most important crop for the conservation of wildlife in Europe. That Olivares Vivos+ accelerates its expansion in the main olive-growing regions of the Mediterranean basin, a biodiversity hotspot, represents a global commitment to recover the link between agriculture and nature maintaining the interests of farmers as a premise”, explained the executive director of SEO/BirdLife, Asunción Ruiz.

The first phase of this program demonstrated that the cultivation of olive groves using sustainable and traditional techniques not only improves the product, but also biodiversity. In fact, the experts participating in the initiative detected that the number of species of birds, ants, bees and plants has increased between 7% and 12%, and its abundance increased by 40% compared to the control olive groves.

Ruiz has also pointed out that the extension of the project to other regions of Spain and of Europe “will be the definitive step to consolidate Olivares Vivos as a benchmark, adding more allies and consolidating in Europe a model of agriculture reconciled with life”.

One of the goals of this new phase will be to extend and replicate this model of olive cultivation, through demonstration farms and training courses for farmers, by the autonomous communities of Andalusia, Extremadura, Community of Madrid, Castilla-La Mancha, Valencian Community and Catalonia, according to the NGO

Replicate in Portugal, Italy and Greece

Meanwhile, in the international sphere, it will also be developed in Alentejo (Portugal), Tuscany and Apulia (Italy) and the Peloponnese and Crete (Greece).

The results of the previous LIFE Olivares Vivos project, which began at the end of 2015 and ended last May, have shown, according to the entity, that this new olive growing model recovers biodiversity in a significant way and transforms it into profitability, through the savings of an average decrease of 22% in the cost of fertilizers and phytosanitary products ; for payment for environmental services (through the eco-schemes and agri-environmental measures of the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

But, above all, for the added value that the recovery of species of fauna and flora represents for the oils produced in living olive groves, guaranteed by the Olivares Vivos seal and its certification scheme.

In this new stage, it will be known how biodiversity will behave in the longer term, after its implementation, and its behavior in scenarios of climate change, as it is also studied in the most arid regions of the olive grove distribution area, and its expansion to other crops will also begin.

Consumer support

Now, all this field work and research will continue to be accompanied by actions informative aimed at consumers, the last but essential link in the chain of the project.

As pointed out by the delegate of SEO/BirdLife in Andalusia and coordinator of Olivares Vivos, José Eugenio Gutiérrez, «consumers are key in the whole process , for their ability to choose in the shopping basket , being essential that they recognize the differentiating seal of the EVOO Olivares Vivos differentiating seal of the EVOO Olivares Vivos: the first agri-food product in Europe with a scientific endorsement that certifies that in order to produce them, species of flora and fauna have been recovered”.

In relation to the CAP, Olivares Vivos represents the model to follow in the policies and strategies included in the “Green Deal” or European Green Pact, explained SEO/BirdLife, because it is an eexample of how to “bring nature back to you agricultural lands”, one of the main objectives of the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.

It integrates the philosophy of the 'Farm to Table' strategy, connecting producers and consumers, adaptation to climate change or the EU initiative on pollinators.

Also According to the NGO, biodiversity will continue to be evaluated and how it evolves in each of these regions will be studied.

The success of the actions of this project will try to be replicated in other crops, such as vines, almond trees or citrus. Related news

Photos: SEO/BirdLife

It may interest you: Explosion of biodiversity in Andalusian olive groves with the Life program

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