During the first year, the project team focused on the preparatory actions.
The scientific component of the project was mobilized, with the drafting of the Monitoring Plan, the experimental design and starting the implementation of the field visits, to establish the baseline for the biodiversity and climatic conditions at the project area. Field visits took place for invertebrates, reptiles, mammals, pollinators, and plants, while seeds from local varieties have been collected and have been multiplied, and soil profiles’ analysis were also conducted. Furthermore, the terraced landscape of Andros island was mapped.
A series of meteorological station were installed for the measurement of basic meteorological parameters, as well as the microclimate conditions of the terraced landscape. Specifically, one automatic weather station with remote-access was installed, with the data being available online (http://www.meteo.noa.gr/WeatherOnLine/s_Andros1/meteo_tableGR.html), as well as 7 meteorological stations and 8 small autonomous stations that measure only temperature and humidity.
An open call for interested stakeholders and land owners, willing to provide their land to the Land Stewardship Organization was published, describing also the selection criteria for the fields that will be included in the project. In order to establish the Land Stewardship Organization, the application submission progress for the approval of a Social Cooperative Enterprise, by the relevant state body, was initiated.
A series of workshop and meeting have been organized including (a) the Land Stewardship workshop and its final conclusions were incorporated in the Land Stewardship Organization Plan and the legal documents for its establishment, (b) three meetings with key stakeholders groups, such as field owners, farmers and permanent residents, at Kochylou, Vourkoti and Arni villages, (c) open meetings with farmers and landowners interested in providing their land to the Land Stewardship Organization.
During the second year, the project team continued the preparatory actions and initiated some of the implementation actions of the project.
Further field work at Andros Island, focusing on organic matter content, decomposition rates, erosion, fire risk and biodiversity (birds, pollinators and plants), was carried out. While the fieldwork for fauna continued. Τhe taxonomy of the insects and plants collected in spring 2018 was concluded.
Traditional beekeeping infrastructures (bee hives, bee houses, bee gardens) in abandoned state on the island were recorded and evaluated in order to set priorities for their future restoration/maintenance. A survey related with this topic was carried out. Mapping and architectural representation of the islands’ bee houses was also carried out.
The Social Cooperative Enterprise was successfully established and its headquarters will be at the Cultural Centre of Aprovatou village. The Collaboration Agreement between the Social Cooperative Enterprise, the Green Fund and the Municipality of Andros is being developed. The Social Cooperative Enterprise website is online and operational.
A field trip to Catalonia was held for the gaining of experience on Land Stewardship. In its frame exchange of valuable knowhow, knowledge and experience regarding different cases of Land Stewardship Organizations took place.
Candidate fields for cultivation by the project were visited, an assessment on suitable crops took place and soil samples were collected for analysis. As a result, an update of the project fields was concluded.
At the headquarters of HAO-DEMETER experimental cultivation of crops of Andros local landraces was carried out and seed material was produced for the cultivation of the project’s fields.
The cultivation of the project’s fields started and a total of 18ha were cultivated and more than 1,700m of wire fencing was put in place to protect them from grazing.
Analyses of current climate data (covering the period 1970-2005) and future climate change projections (up to 2100) were completed. Climate simulations cover the Aegean Islands (coarse resolution) and Andros Island (fine resolution through downscaling), evaluating the historical and future climate findings. In summary, current climate and future projections for the Aegean islands and Andros Island in particular were analysed in detail, using observational records from meteorological stations and climate simulations from a climate model. Future simulations implemented two IPCC emissions scenarios: the weak climate change mitigation scenario (RCP4.5) and the non-mitigation business as usual scenario with high emissions (RCP8.5). The Project Coordinator participated in the 16th Congress of the "International Scientific Society for Drystone interdisciplinary study" and in the IV ITLA World Congress - Terraced Landscapes (Canary Islands), entitled “RE-ENCHANTING TERRACES”.
During the third year, the project team continued the preparatory actions and the actions for the implementation of the project.
The field work continued and the laboratory analysis of the collected samples began. The terraces of Andros and Syros Islands have been mapped.
The first Greek Land Surveillance Organization was created entitled "Farmers of the Aegean", after the signing of the Collaboration Agreement between the Social Cooperative Enterprise, the Green Fund and the Municipality of Andros "Farmers of the Aegean". The website of the Organization and its helpdesk are: http://landstewardship.gr. The first contracts were signed between the Organization and the landowners.
At the headquarters of ELGO-DIMITRA, about 4 tons of sowing material were produced for the cultivation of the project’s fields on Andros, while the purchase of basic necessary equipment was carried out by the Green Fund.
The cultivation of the project fields continued and a total of 43 ha was cultivated, while 4,500 meters of fencing were placed to protect them from grazing.
A total of 13 meteorological stations have been installed and collect data for the assessment of the microclimate at the terraces and the data are evaluated and analyzed.