Environmentally friendly agricultural implementation models in order to guarantee the olive trees groves and also its associated ecosystem services.
Olive grove environmental crisis began at the end of the 80s when the Common Agricultural Policy was implemented in Spain.
In this moment, intensive farming became implanted everywhere, and everything but olive trees was eliminated, without saving any effort in insecticides or herbicides. Anything that did not produce olives was in excess. This process has caused a huge environmental damage, causing a loss of the olive grove biodiversity and making a deep degradation of ecosystem services.
The lack of non-olive grove green ground cover causes biodiversity loss and soil erosion.
Increasing the green ground cover will avoid soil erosion and control the speed of rainwater. Then, biodiversity will improve.
- Managing of herbaceous soil covers, plantation of different arboreal, shrub and herbaceous species.
- Creation of different functional elements to host fauna: nest-boxes, drinking fountains or even ponds.
- These actions are done by volunteers participating in the project.
The process has involved volunteers and land owners in the agricultural land where the analysis and the corrective measurements have taken place.
Evidence of success
It is seen an increasing of the fauna and flora biodiversity.
There is a plan to showcase the olive oil produced by these lands, in order to increase its economic profit.
Main difficulties have been to find local producers ready to change their land management system, and, then, conduct a census to size the level of biodiversity in each land.
Potential for learning or transfer
This experience of good practice can be easily exported to other regions of countries with olive groves or even with similar tree crops through the reduction and stopping at all of the pesticides and herbicides use, what it's translated into economical richness, increase of farmland ecosystem services and rising biodiversity.
The learning transfer entails the farmers who are aware that this experience can be positive for them and can help to reverse their obsession for producing only, which has brought about these olive groves to an economically, socially and environmentally unsustainable situation.
A productive model, profitable and with added value in the olive oil market is clearly compatible and profitable with biodiversity conservation and soil protection.
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