To gain a comprehensive understanding of the work plan and management of the project a conceptual framework is developed as portrayed in the following figures.
OLIVE-MIRACLE framework introduces a holistic appreciation of the various factors influencing olive tree cultivation across the Mediterranean basin in a global change context taking into account local constrains and potentialities. The project starts in May 2016 and ends in April 2019 (three years projects). The activities are organized in six 6 work packages (WPs), which are planned appropriately (Figure 3) to deliver the outputs to meet the project objectives.
WP1- Context analysis and data collection
In this WP relevant information on soil, topographic, climate, spatial data at the highest spatial resolution available for the Northern Mediterranean basin. Data that will be collected will also comprise the main olive tree management practices as well as pests, disease and pathogen outbreaks. Spatial data will be gathered from pre-existent datasets and organized onto a comprehensive geodatabase. Moreover, downscaling procedures will be also implemented according to model inputs requirements. In this WP a set of environmental sustainability indicators and economic viability indicators will be identified to assess the optimal balance between olive production and environmental sustainability. Finally, experimental data will be also gathered to be used for model calibration.
WP1 main outputs: geodatabase at high spatial resolution containing all relevant dataset, a list of indicators to be used as baseline, input data for model calibration.
WP2: Modelling framework
This WP consists of activities centred on the calibration/validation of models to predict the effect of future climate change on the environmental sustainability and economic viability of olive tree. To this aim, process based simulation model will be calibrated/validated considering a wide range of olive tree varieties and environmental conditions, considering also interaction with biotic stressors (i.e. olive fly). Models outputs, coupled to dataset collected in WP1, will be used to develop a statistical model for describing land suitability for olive tree cultivation.
WP2 main outputs: calibrated/validated model, future climatic and biotic stressors impacts on olive products and by-products in BAU conditions, statistical model describing spatial suitability for olive tree cultivation.
WP3: Stakeholder engagement
A specific WP will be devoted to stakeholders engagement for a reiterative process of management improvement strategies feasibility. In particular, stakeholders (amongst farmer advisors, policy and decision makers from each partner countries) will be identified and consulted in order to identify a list of main olive groves management practices currently applied. Relevant barriers and incentives in their application will be also analyzed. This WP will be devoted also for coordinating stakeholders consultations, meetings and workshops in order to provide insights into technical and socio-economic aspects of the optimal management strategies feasible to be applied in the future periods as resulting from WP4.
WP3 main outputs: current feasible olive groves management practices (business as usual) including barriers and incentives of their applicability, feasibility of management improvement strategies as resulting from WP4 including their incentives and applicability.
WP4: Improved management practices
In this WP, the set of indicators identified in WP1 will be computed for present time and used as a baseline to evaluate the agro-ecosystem performances in future periods. As such, a range of modelling solutions will be simulated in order to identify a set of optimal management practices (i.e. planting density, timing and amount of irrigation and pruning, best suited cultivars, etc.) tailored to maximize olive production and quality as well as by-products over each climate and environment scenarios.
WP4 main outputs: optimal olive groves management strategies in terms of adaptation and mitigation under future climate scenarios.
WP5: Communication and dissemination
In this WP a communication and dissemination plan will be developed. This plan will be the reference throughout the project for all the activities devoted to effectively disseminate and communicate the final outputs and ongoing results of project. To this end, outreach materials (leaflets, guidelines, factsheets, report cards, policy briefs, newsletter, social media) for knowledge transfer will be prepared and disseminated. Moreover, training activities for knowledge transfer will be also foreseen in this WP. Furthermore, the activities of this task imply also project results dissemination to the scientific audience through the participation to national/international symposia, conferences, etc. Some activities will be also centred to produce scientific papers and to develop technical guidelines and policy makers recommendations deriving from project outputs.
WP5 main outputs: dissemination and communication outreach, seminars and conferences, scientific papers, policy recommendations and technical guidelines.
The research coordination of the project will be carried out by CNR-IBIMET. The coordinator will ensure that tasks will be implemented by each partners. A steering committee will be elected to establish copyright and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) of the results derived from the project. Periodical project meetings will be assured also by the coordinator. Moreover, on behalf of the Project Research Consortium, CNR-IBIMET will be responsible of compiling and submitting reports and deliverables requested by the FACCE-SURPLUS call Secretariat. Furthermore, in this WP, CNR-IBIMET will be in charge of implementing project web site for external dissemination and internal data sharing.
WP6 main outputs: coordination of project, reports and deliverables, project logo and website, steering committee election, project meetings.
The main activities planned are:
First year of the project
The tasks will be centred on WP1 which includes spatial data collection and creation at the highest spatial resolution available for the Northern Mediterranean basin. This includes present and future climatology, soil and topographic data, olive tree current distribution, main management practices, main olive trees pests and pathogen outbreaks. These dataset will be used to calibrate OLIVECAN process-based model (WP2), by the end of the year. At the same time, a stakeholders platform will be set up in order to start a reiterative process for management improvement strategies feasibility definition (WP3). Finally, the setting up of a communication and dissemination plan will be started in this year in order to establishing target audience, define key and clear objectives and goals to achieve by the communication activities throughout the project (WP5). The beginning of all these activities by the first year will be fundamental for achieving project goals, so that all possible risks and constraints occurring during the initial phase of project, have been carefully analysed.
Second year of the project
At the very beginning, the activity will be devoted to fine tuning model performances (WP2) and to identify environmental sustainability and economic viability indicators to evaluate the agro-ecosystem performances in present and future periods (WP4). Afterwards, a range of working hypotheses will be explored by simulation in order to identify a set of optimal management practices as evidenced from stakeholder consultations (WP3) tailored to maximize olive production and quality as well as by-products over each climate and environment scenarios. Communication and dissemination activities (WP5), as established by the Knowledge exchange plan, will be carried out also during this year.
Third year of the project
In the last year, the environmental sustainability and economic viability of optimal management practices implemented in WP4, will be validated and analysed through a second round of stakeholder consultations (WP3). Finally, by the end of the project, the activity will be centred on producing guidelines and policy recommendation to drive policy makers (WP5), farmers and stakeholders in the identification of the best olive tree management practices for optimizing the gap between adaptation and mitigation strategies on a local scale across the Mediterranean basin (WP4 and WP3). These results will be widely disseminated through the activities of WP5 involving both scientific and technical targets.
The coordination activity (WP6), long lasting the entire project duration, will ensure completion of all activities and aspects of the project respecting quality standards, deadlines and budget constraints.