The implementation actions constitute the core of the project and involve all the demonstrated method, as well as replication/transfer propelling, aiming to accomplish the project’s goals.
C.1 Operation of the Land Stewardship Organization
The Land Stewardship Organization will operate in two phases:
- Phase 1 refers to Management transfer to the Land Stewardship Organization in which the landowners, by signing contracts with the LSO will transfer willingly the management of their lands to the Organization for their restoration and cultivation with the aim of primary crop production and secondarily, the production of local high quality products. The Organization, supported by the project’s team, will encourage the formation of an innovative local cluster consisting of producers, experts and local businesses involved with tourism, to promote harvesting of terraced cultivations as climate-smart and high quality products.
- Phase 2 refers to Land Stewardship management support, in which the producers by signing contracts with the Organization will agree to a management actions package implemented in their land properties and will commit to the duration of these actions, as well as with the terms and conditions of the contract. Specific management guidelines will be determined in the contracts (control of pesticides used in cultivation, etc).
In the framework of the project the produced items will be certified and promoted. A certification logo will be created for the climate-smart, environmental and biodiversity-friendly products of terraces, in order to gain high added value and contribute to a high standard local agro-nutritional identity. Meanwhile, the establishment of the Agro-nutritional Cooperation of Andros will take place in cooperation with local authorities and companies, aiming at promoting local products.
C.2 Structural interventions in practice
Structural interventions include:
- Restoration of existing terraces and other drystone features in the demonstration farms by employing traditional local methods and existing materials
- Maintenance of old stoned-paved paths as access paths for both farm workers and cultivation machinery to the demonstration sites.
- Wildlife pond establishment as landscape elements in selected spots of the terraced fields for the benefit of the biodiversity.
- Restoration/ maintenance of beehive gates and bee-gardens
- Restoration of abandoned pigeon towers within the terraced areas and use of pigeon manure as fertilizer in the cultivations to be undertaken within the project.
- Restoration and reuse of a watermill to grind part of the project grain production.
C.3 Cultivation of abandoned terraces
Cultivation actions on terraced fields include:
- Seed propagation of selected local cultivar varieties
- Enrichment of honeybee gardens and hedgerows with wild plant species
- Revitalization of traditional cultivation of terraces by local crops of cereals and legumes for producing high quality local products. The crops to be used in each field will be selected based on local soil and microclimate, emphasizing in local cultivars as will be demonstrated by the survey of the historical use of the regions.
- Implementation of climate-smart agricultural practices to protect and enhance organic soil and improve rainwater percolation in the terraced fields.
- Establishment and maintenance of hedgerows that operate as fire deterrents to these specific areas.
- Establishment of field margins (e.g. wild plants, aromatic plants) at the edges of the demonstration farms, for the benefit of bees and other pollinators, to improve ecological diversity, and ecosystem services.
- Creation of honeybee gardens in the terraces for reinforcing the use of traditional methods in demonstrating beekeeping.
C.4 Replicability and transferability
The action of multiplicative transfer of the project’s approach and expertise to the rest of Andros, Aegean islands, Greece and Mediterranean region includes:
- Establishment and operation of the Drystone-Wall School for restoration and terrace farming in Andros which will spread the expertise and principles of the project inside and outside of Andros, through seminars and practical workshops for the art of stone building and climate-smart terrace farming practices.
- Organization of workshops and meetings for the Land Stewardship Organization.
- Operation of web platform and helpdesk as a tool to introduce LS to the general public and nature conservation stakeholders, offering multiple opportunities to learn about LS and how to become involved.
- Production of a Good Practice Guide with prescriptions for the functional restoration of the terraces and the implementation of climate-smart terrace farming.
- Development of a Decision Support Tool for the selection of the terrace areas for re-cultivation, providing information to potential users for the local climatic conditions, crops and local varieties adapted to local environmental and climatic conditions, climate-smart agricultural practices related to local environment and terrace cultivation.
C.5 Current climate and climate change projections
In an effort to record the microclimate conditions in the project sites, automated meteorological stations will be installed in order to measure the anticipated improvement of the microclimate of the demonstration areas before and after the demonstration of the proposed practices.
In order to identify the most vulnerable regions and prioritize future interventions, state-of-the-art regional climate models will be used to assess the vulnerability of Andros and other Aegean islands to climate change.