Reduction of durum wheat production, increase in infestations of olive fruit by the olive fly, or risks for consistency of quality in wine production.

This is what emerged from the presentation of the EU H2020 MED-GOLD project, organised in the context of the open stakeholder workshop ‘Adapting Mediterranean agriculture to climate change’, which was held on the 15th of October in Cagliari, Italy.

The workshop, officially supported by the Department of Agriculture of the Sardinia Region and the Association of Agricultural Engineers, was attended by representatives from the farmers’ community, agri-cooperatives, farm advisers, agricultural consulting firms, private companies, researchers and students, the media and the policy community, including the Sardinia regional government. First, an overview was provided by the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) on the expected changes in grape, olive and durum wheat yields for the next years. This was followed by a short description of the climate services the project is developing for each of the crops, given by ENEA, Sogrape Vinhos and Horta partners. Then, BeeToBit informed on the evolution of the ICT platform that the project is developing to help generate climate services. At the end, there was an interactive session where participants discussed on the prospective development of climate services for Sardinian agriculture, including new proposals for adapting agricultural decisions in Sardinia to climate change.

Participants identified top priority decisions for Sardinia. Most of the decisions were similar to those already identified by the MED-GOLD project, whereas new decisions were added to the list, which included the need for irrigation planning of grapes and the development of new pest management strategies for olive (rather than simply deciding the number of applied treatments).

See agenda of the workshop here.

 

MED-GOLD General Assembly

The stakeholder workshop was followed in the afternoon by the 2nd project annual meeting, running from 15-17 October in Cagliari. The event was organised by our local partner BeeToBit.

MED-GOLD team at the General Assembly 2019 in Cagliari

Project partners joined forces to advance the development of the climate services sectorial tools for the grape, olive and durum wheat crops, which will be crucial to engage a relevant number of stakeholders. Contributions from the members of the project External Advisory Committee provided strategic context to the discussion. Dr Greg Jones, Director of the Evenstad Center for Wine Education at Linfield College, Oregon, USA, stressed that ‘it is important to communicate in a way the public understands and to find the right influencers and user champions that can help in this process’. Adding to this recommendation, the Director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) at ECMWF, UK, Dr Carlo Buontempo, challenged the project to consider ‘how to keep what is being and will be developed in the project alive, even once the project is over’. Finally, Francesca Larosa from Ca’Foscari University and Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC), presented the business model work developed in the framework of the EU H2020 CLARA project, providing useful insights for MED-GOLD.

Working towards leveraging the results of the project to the policy community is also a priority for MED-GOLD. Thus, the invited talk from Dr Ignacio Sánchez Recarte, Secretary General of Strategic Orientation from the European Committee of Wine Companies (CEEV), emphasized the potential of MED-GOLD to contribute namely to two main policy priorities in the agricultural area: adaptation to climate change and sustainable plant protection.