Olive cultivation is a key socio-economic and cultural asset in the Mediterranean. Increased global demand for olive oil has acted as a catalyst for the intensification and expansion of olive groves. Often, such intensification has resulted in simplified landscapes with olive groves with low-nature values, driving negative environmental impacts, in the form of soil erosion, run-off to water bodies, increased rates of soil fertility loss, degradation of habitats and over-exploitation of scarce and vulnerable water resources.
To enhance the sustainability of the olive sector, the implementation and promotion of a set of sustainable management practices based on agro-ecological concepts, and on the exchange of knowledge and co-creation involving multiple actors and end-users is needed. This seminar will present the main objectives, approaches and outcomes of sustainable approaches to olive management, largely based on results of the ongoing SUSTAINOLIVE project. These include the assessment of ecosystems services in olive groves with different combinations of a priori sustainable management practices, different technologies to valorise the main by-products of the olive mill and the setting up of a participatory platform.
Roberto García Ruiz: After obtaining a PhD in 1995 in Biological Sciences, Roberto García Ruiz took a post-doc position at the Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of Durham (UK). In 1998 he became lecturer at the Department of Animal, Plant and Ecology, University of Jaén (Spain), where he is Full Professor in Ecology since 2011. His main research activities focus on the study of different aspects and processes of the biogeochemistry of nutrients in disturbed and managed terrestrial (riparian, forest and agroecosystems) and aquatic (lakes and rivers) ecosystems, including effects of agricultural management on soil health/functionality, the potential for carbon sequestration, and recycling of agro-industry byproducts for agricultural purposes. His research has both basic theoretical aspects and a strong transdisciplinary and applied focus. At present, he coordinates the SUSTAINOLIVE international project, funded by the EU-Horizon 2020 PRIMA programme.