Operation CO2 organizes first technical seminar

28.03.2014 By: Transfer LBC

On the 21st March 2014, the project partners of two LIFE+ projects The Green Deserts and Operation CO2 organized a joint-technical seminar on “Soil recovery of abandoned land: opportunities for productive agroforestry models”.

During the official kick-off of the day, moderator Sven Kallen of Tranfer, expressed his gratitude to all assistants, especially the host of the day (the mayor and city council of Ayoó de Vidriales) and special guests Mr Casto López (Director Environmental Affairs of Zamora, on behalf of the Junta de Castilla y León), Professor Juan Pablo del Monte (UPM, agronomy), Mr Carlos Lacasta (CSIC) and Mrs Tineke Zwitser (the Agricultural Council of the Netherlands Embassy in Madrid). Also a group of more than 15 Dutch entrepreneurs in agro and forestry products were welcomed. In total over 100 persons attended including mayors from surrounding villages, professors and students of UVA and local residents.

The seminar opened with 2 presentations on the Green Deserts project, followed by special invitee Mr. Kees Rijnhout from Jaguar, who spoke about the opportunities in the EU market for agroforestry products without residues. Jaguar the Fresh Company B.V is a European trader that imports and exports mainly fresh fruits from 72 countries worldwide. An important objective of Jaguar is sustainable production (i.e. organic/residue free) that ensures a fair price for the growers, while at the same time remaining competitive in the market. Moreover, Jaguar is aware of the benefits of integral production in, for example, LIFE+ project Operation CO2, such as nuts, berries and mushrooms. These not only provide an additional source of income, but also make growers less dependent on the outcome of a single harvest. The importance of this sustainable production is also expressed in the fact that Jaguar uses transparency in its production and certification. Jaguar strength furthermore lies in the fact that they have full control of the supply chain, as they are capable to connect suppliers and consumers of fruits and vegetables through their network of contacts all over the world.

The presentation by Mr Rijnhout already pointed out the importance of sustainable production techniques in the form of integral approaches. In this sense, the Operation CO2 project fits the overall theme of the day very well as the main objective is to demonstrate the viability of integral forestry and agroforestry projects on carbon sequestration in Europe. This objective has been clearly outlined during the introductory presentation by Kathy Franco of Transfer. She provided an overview of the project partners, areas, actions and technologies involved in this project. This exposition was followed by a presentation by assistant-professor Luis Fernando Sánchez of UVA, about the methodologies applied during control and monitoring activities and preliminary results obtained so far.

The presentations were followed by an intensive round of Q&A showing the strong interest of the attendants in this project. Questions were related to the project duration, the usage of mycorrhizae, and the way carbon credits can be introduced in the market. All project partners were available for further elaboration during the rest of the day.

The first presentation can be viewed here and the second presentation here. Below you can see some of the pictures that give a good overview of the atmosphere during these presentations

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After the theoretical part of the day was ended, lunch was served and participants were invited to the field trips to Ayoó de Vidriales y Riofrío de Alitse.