The project will achieve the following results:
- To obtain and verify, in several environmental and climate contexts in the MENA area (Italy, Greece and Israel), replicable solutions and protocols for a sustainable management of the olive oil production and supply chains, i.e. with a lower carbon footprint, reducing the effects of human actions on the environment and climate;
- On the basis of the best practices collected in a dedicated Handbook, to obtain replicable solutions and protocols for the management of soil and olive oil by products and waste in order to promote a more suitable resources management, including their life cycle. In this way it is possible to preserve the local biodiversity, water availability, etc., and reduce the alluvial erosion and the flood risks;
- To obtain innovative and experimental solutions which, through numerical models, allow a correct definition of the olive trees carbon sequestration capacity and an optimization in the implantation processes of new olive trees. This operation, indeed, will be done according to a more sustainable and lower emissions management envisaging the carbon stock and sink capacity in different climate scenarios;
- To monitor the GHG emissions in the olive oil chain supply through the involvement of producers for the fulfilment of a service certification with a direct impact on the product itself – define a product labelling system and quality assurance schemes related to the Life Cycle Analysis and to the carbon footprint evaluation;
- To quantify on the field the technical differences and the socio-economic impact of the strategies identified for climate change mitigation;
- To recognize the olive groves’ contribution to the climate change mitigation through carbon credits certification in the voluntary market, as is already done for the forestry sector, reducing the emissions and enhancing the capacity of carbon storage. In this way, it is possible to preserve olive groves with important environmental and landscape functions, but with low profitability, thanks to the incentives connected to the selling of carbon credits. In fact, the centuries old olive trees or the ones with low economic value (i.e. with low olive production), instead of being abandoned and left to die, could see their role recognized as climate mitigation instruments and continue to provide their important ecosystem service.
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