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Participation of new wineries in the project

Participation of new wineries in the project

The work carried out by Cooperativa Bodegas El Rosario of Bullas on climate change mitigation, jointly with Microgaia Biotech and EuroVértice Consultores in LIFE SARMIENTO has been reinforced this year thanks to the incorporation of new hectares of vineyard to the project from other wineries from P.O.D. Bullas. The wineries, with their disinterested collaboration, provided the vine shoots from the last pruning carried out during the past winter in order to be transformed into compost through the waste management system that LIFE SARMIENTO uses.

Specifically, theses wineries have been Bodega Carrascalejo, with the contribution of their vine shoots from 73,58 ha, Bodegas Lavia, supplying the pruning waste from 9,85 ha and Bodegas Monastrell which has provided the vineyard pruning waste of 6 ha in the project.

We invite you to know more about these wineries and about their tradition, vineyards and wines.

 

Bodega Carrascalejo

The Hacienda de Carrespalejo belongs since 1850 to the Pidal family that has been producing home-grown wines for five generations.

Carrascalejo is located between the towns of Bullas and Cehegín, at 640 meters altitude above sea level. The property has an extension of more than 1,000 hectares that are distributed among pine forests, scrubland and different crops, mostly dry, such as cereals, almond trees and, above all, vineyards. 74 ha of the vineyards have supplied their pruning waste to the LIFE SARMIENTO project.  Presiding this landscape is the Casa-palacio, in whose cellars the winery is located, and where home-grown wines have been produced since the 19th century.

Since then, the care of the vineyards and the careful preparation of their wines following traditional methods, together with the adaptation of new technologies, have led the wines of this winery to achieve recognition in the most demanding markets.

In their vineyards, predominate the genuine Monastrell variety, with vines over 40 years old. There are also Cabernet Sauvignon grape cultives, Syrah, Tempranillo, Merlot and Gamacha, which, in appropriate proportions, enhance the virtues of the native variety, resulting wines of strong personality.

If you want to know more about Bodega Carraspalejo click here.

Bodegas Lavia

 Bodegas Lavia was born in 2003, when a group of wine lovers, fascinated by the potential to produce unique wines in the Region of Murcia, decided to join to create the winery.

Bodegas Lavia, in Cehegín (Murcia), began its activity as a winery of small dimensions but equipped with the latest technological advances and which shows great respect for the environment, achieving the maximum balance in its plantations and the maximum expression in its DO Bullas wines from own grapes in an ecological way.

Its was the singular peculiarities of this winery, that fitted perfectly with the requirements demanded to be part of the great MGWines Group family, which led its inclusion in the group during 2014.

This winery, currently counts on the certification of ecological production by the Council of Organic Agriculture of the Region of Murcia in all its references.

Bodegas Lavia is located in Venta del Pino, a place of great landscapes richness and strong viticultural character where areas of the height Monastrell variety t are located, at 800 meters above sea level, with more than 40 years.

The country house has 12 hectares of Monastrell vineyard, in addition to a small plot with Syrah on one of its slopes. From these 12 ha, approximately 10 ha have contributed to the supply of vine shoots for the project.

For more information visit the website of Bodegas Lavia.

Bodega Monastrell

Bodega Monastrell is born from a long family farming tradition. Own vineyards, wishful thinking and a well-designed solid project are the foundations of this winery, that in 2005 vinifies its first vintage.

The vineyard is located in the Valle del Aceniche, between the municipalities of Cehegín and Bullas (Murcia), with an altitude higher than 850 meters above sea level. The country house, entirely owned by the family, has a cultivated area of 20 ha next to the winery, of which 6 ha have joined the LIFE SARMIENTO project.

The climatic and edaphic characteristics of Valle del Aceniche make easier to obtain grapes with excellent oenology properties in each of he varieties cultivated by Bodega Monastrell, which owns 90% of Monastrell, 8% of Petit Verdot and 2% of the Tempranillo variety.

The winery practices viticultural techniques according to a biodynamic agriculture, respecting the nature and following its vital rhythm. In turn, both, the wine production and the wines of Bodega Monastrell are protected and certified by the Council of Organic Agriculture, since the 2011 vintage. 100% of their wines are Tintos de Crianza (reds with ageing wines).

You can find more information on the Bodega Monastrell website.


Project progress

Project progress

During the summer, the second cycle of composting of the vine shoots has continued. As in the first cycle and continuing with the pruning management system, vine shoots were stored in the collection points. Once the chopping was made, they were transported to the transformation site in the Cooperative Bodegas el Rosario in order to start a new composting process.

The overall duration of the composting will be 6 months. Thanks to this process, mature compost, free of pathogens and weeds will be obtained in order to be used again in the soil as an organic amendment. To ensure the hygienization of the compost, pharameters as mixing/agitation, temperature and humidity, microorganism inoculation and physical-chemical analysis will be controlled. The process will end in 2019.

On the other hand, the compost obtained from the previous cycle of composting has been stored in bags to ensure its conservation and to facilitate its transport and distribution to the viticulturist ‘plots where the vine shoots were obtained. The distribution of the compost will take place after the wine harvest for its application to the soil during the fertilization period, in order to close the cycle “use/waste/handing/re-use” in the vineyard.

It is worth mentioning that thanks to the adhesion to the project of new wineries during this second cycle (2018), all of them located in the town of Bullas, the project has been provided with shoots from approximately 100 more hectares.

Regarding the viticulturists involved, during the first cycle of management 59 viticulturists took part in the project, adding 11 more to the project this year, it makes a total of 70 viticulturists involved.

Finally, the monitoring of the urban micro-gardens of Bullas where the compost was applied, has continued during the summer and the periodic measurements will continue during the coming months.


Networking Session with SwitcMed Project in Bullas

Networking Session with SwitcMed Project in Bullas

On July 24, we celebrated a networking event in Bullas between LIFE SARMIENTO and the SwitcMed Project developed in Lebanon.

The objective of the project is to demonstrate the technical, environmental, social and economic feasibility of the composting of exclusively organic waste generated by wine companies and wineries in the Beqaa Valley (Lebanon). Within the framework of the project, a pilot activity for the composting of residues produced during the pressing of the grapes (grape pomace) is currently being carried out.

The project is being carried out by the Center for Regional Activity for Sustainable Consumption and Production based in Barcelona and the Center for Nature Conservation of the American University of Beirut (AUB-NCC) in Lebanon.

The initiative presents the possibility of becoming a point of reference to be reproduced and replicated in other regions of Lebanon, as well as in other states of the Mediterranean water-basin: a model of circular and ecological economy that is able to use resources efficiently and to involve and to train local wine companies using the best available techniques in accordance with the objectives of the national and regional plans.

During the day, knowledge and experiences on the activities developed by both projects were exchanged, the vineyard plots of DO Bullas were visited, as well as the place where the vines were transformed, where the composting process was explained in detail.


Networking day with LIFE ADVICLIM and LIFE PRIORAT + MONSANT

Networking day with LIFE ADVICLIM and LIFE PRIORAT + MONSANT

On May 31, a networking event took place in Bullas between the projects LIFE ADVICLIM and LIFE PRIORAT + MONSANT.

LIFE ADVICLIM “Adaptation of viticulture to Climate Change: high resolution observations of the adaptation scenario for viticulture” presented the conclusions derived from the implementation of the project to date. In the same way, LIFE PRIORAT + MONSANT shared its experiences on the efficiency in the use of resources for the improvement of the vitivinicultural sustainability of the Comarca del Priorat.

Throughout the day, the vineyards plots of DO Bullas participating in the project were visited as well as the place where the vine shoots are being transformed and the composting process could be explained in detail.

The complementary objectives of these three projects and how to address them in each particular project, offered a global vision of the effects of Climate Change in the Spanish vineyards and the main trends for its mitigation.

You can find more information about this two projects at the following links:

LIFE ADVICLIM

LIFE PRIORAT + MONSANT


We received the visit of FLAGA project from NGO Red Araña

We received the visit of FLAGA project from NGO Red Araña

On Tuesday, May 15th, we received the students from the Green Marketing course held in Murcia Region by the NGO Red Araña “Entities for Employment” within the framework of the FLAGA Project.

The FLAGA project, co-financed by the Empleaverde Programme of the Biodiversity Foundation from the spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment and the European Social Fund, aims to provide a quality job to unemployed people in companies from the green sector.

From FLAGA project they were interested in knowing LIFE SARMIENTO as an example of sustainability for their students, which were able to know more about the LIFE Programme from the EU  that supports Life Sarmiento, the environmental problems associated with vineyard pruning waste and the vineyard composting solution proposed by the project.


Supply of compost to the urban gardens of Bullas

Supply of compost to the urban gardens of Bullas

The users of the urban-gardens of the City Council of Bullas received yesterday the first bags of organic compost obtained in the project for the application in their plots.

The compost supplied, an organic fertilizer free of chemical products, is the product of the first cycle of composting of the vineyards pruning collected in the plots participating in the project located in the Protected Denomination of Origin of Bullas.

During the day, the project technicians explained to the users of the orchards the protocol for the use of the compost and the benefits of its application. During the growth of the crop, there will be periodic visits to the urban-gardens to monitor the response and yield of the crop, as well as to provide support and resolve any doubt that may arise from the farmers.


Pruning management 2018

Pruning management 2018

During April, the collection and stockpiling of the vineshoots from the annual pruning is being carried out to start the new composting cycle.

The collection of the branches is the first activity that stablish the pruning management system in the vineyards of the project (collection, transport, storage and composting). The procedure follows the scheme already carried out the previous year: collection of the pruning which farmers have been gathering in areas of their plots, transport to the collection points, chopped and transport to the composting place located in the cellar of the cooperative El Rosario.

Management system improvements

Due to the experience gained during the first year of the project, some key aspects of the management have been improved, such as the optimization of the collection and transport of shoots, the grouping of collection points, the increase in their volume and the reduction of the number of points to minimize transportation.

On the other hand, this new pruning cycle incorporates approximately 147 ha more thanks to the entry of new vineyard plots into the project.

Once all the vine shoots have been collected, they will be cut up and transported to the processing plant, where the compost will be produced again and ready for 2019. In this way, the closure of the vineyard cycle is achieved, contributing to a local circular economy.


Contribution to mitigation and adaptation to climate change during the first cycle of the project

Contribution to mitigation and adaptation to climate change during the first cycle of the project

On the occasion of the beginning of the collection activity of vine shoots for its management we wanted to take stock of the achievements made during the first composting cycle of the project.

The main impact generated is the reduction of GHG emissions, since by avoiding the annual burning of the pruning waste and transforming them into compost, a direct reduction of 85% of CO2 emissions has been achieved, compared with the usual burning practices. The area managed during this period has been around 224 ha, in which 230,700 kg of vine shoots have been collected and the emission of 485,402 tons of CO2 has been avoided. Therefore, the management of grapevine pruning waste from PDO Bullas is converting around 1,025 kg / ha of waste to a by-product with new uses.

In relation to adaptation to climate change, the application of compost to the soil helps to slow down its degradation, improving its fertility, biodiversity, resistance to erosion and its yield, which increases its capacity to adapt to climate change.

As a resulto f all this, LIFE SARMIENTO, with an ecosystem-based approach to adaptation and focusing on vulnerable areas, works to improve soil fertility by being a low-emission project, contributing at the same time to climate change mitigation and adaptation.


Networking visit to LIFE project Vineyards4Heat in Vilafranca del Penedès

Networking visit to LIFE project Vineyards4Heat in Vilafranca del Penedès

On March 23, LIFE SARMIENTO visited LIFE+ Vineyards4Heat project (V4H), promoted and coordinated by the City Council of Vilafranca del Penedès, located in the Alt Penedès region, one of the most important wine-growing areas in Catalonia. The project has the collaboration of three beneficiary partners: COVIDES (wine cooperative that brings together grape producers), INNOVI (Catalan wine cluster) and NOU VERD (social initiative cooperative).

The cultivation of vineyards annually provides an underutilized biomass of up to 30,000 tons / year in the Alt Penedès area, therefore, this project was born as a way of using the agricultural biomass from the annual vineyard pruning as a source of local and renewable energy, demonstrating its environmental, economic and social benefits for the region and for the wine sector. The project is based on the transformation of the energy contained in the shoots to obtain heat and cooling.

Traditionally, most of the biomass resulting from pruning is burned without producing energy, treating it as a waste, instead of as a resource. That is one of the reasons why LIFE SARMIENTO has carried out a networking session with this project, since both projects solve the same problem in two different ways, being complementaries and closing in both cases the cycle of the biomass of the vineyards. These projects, therefore, become a local strategy for the adaptation and mitigation of climate change in agriculture, reducing CO2 emissions and serving to establish the bases of the biomass management helping to meet the objectives of the European Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change.

The LIFE+ Vineyards4Heat project started in June 2014 and ended in November 2016.  Its main objective has being to demonstrate the operation of the biomass circle, with two pilot tests, one in a winery where a biomass boiler was installed and supplies energy to the installation and another one located in the facilities of the City Council that supplies energy to an area of public facilities in Vilafranca del Penedès.

During the visit, both boilers and the vineyard plots were visited and we had the opportunity to see the equipment used for the pruning management system.

We invite you to visit its page by clicking here to know more about this Project.


LIFE Platform Meeting on Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture and Forestry in the Mediterranean Region (Madrid)

LIFE Platform Meeting on Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture and Forestry in the Mediterranean Region (Madrid)

Representatives from LIFE projects converged on Madrid, on 13-14 March to discuss the impact of rising temperatures on agriculture and forestry in the Mediterranean. The two-day platform meeting drew on expertise from LIFE projects, EU policy makers, local authorities and stakeholders in the agro-forest sector to tackle the impact of climate change in an area notoriously exposed to its effects.

The event, organised by Spanish NGO Fundación Global Nature and supported by the European Agency of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (EASME) and the Directorate-General for Climate Action of the European Commission, singled out solutions to help farms and forests adapt to southern Europe’s shifting climate.

From extreme weather events to forest fires, climate change has hit the Mediterranean hard in recent years. According to the latest report from the International Panel on Climate Change, the region is among the most vulnerable in the world to the impacts of global warming.

At the event, delegates met in working groups specialised on increasing the climate resilience of Mediterranean farms and forests, implementing adaptation policies and engaging with stakeholders.

We invite you t oread the full story here.


Project technical visits

Project technical visits

During February and March, the project received the visit of numerous students from different Training Centers of Agricultural Experiences from the region, such as the Degree of Oils and Wines, Degree of Agroecological Production, Degree of Viticulture of the CIFEA Jumilla, Degree of Education and Environmental Control of CIFEA Molina de Segura and the students from the course “Waste as a resource” taught by Región de Murcia Limpia Association.

The visits began at El Rosario winery, where an introduction to the situation and context of the wine sector in the región and to the El Rosario cooperative was made Then, a tour through the winery began, during which the process of winemaking could be explained from the entry of the grapes to the winery until they were commercialized and packaged as a bottle of wine. During this tour we visited the room of the mosaics of the winery, where is located the exhibition of the LIFE SARMIENTO project and where we presented the project to the attendees and detailed it main objectives and actions. Then, we proceed to explain the composting process of the vineyard in the composting place in the cellar.

The visits ended with a field visit to the vineyard plots of the project in the area of Venta del Pino (Bullas), where the students could observe in situ the pruning of the vine and the location of several spots where shoots are collected, prepared for their chopping and moved to the composting plant where the second cycle of the project will begin.


LIFE SARMIENTO visits the Urban Gardens of Bullas

LIFE SARMIENTO visits the Urban Gardens of Bullas

Yesterday we had the opprtunity to visit de Urban Gardens of Bullas Municipality, where we met with the users of the 14 plots which are currently been used and we could introduce the LIFE SARMIENTO Project.

Thanks to the visit we could know more about the operation of theses urban gardens and their management. Thus, the assignment of the municipal plots is done for a period of three years and is aimed at retirees, pensioners, associations or any person interested in this experience, once this period is over, the adjudications are made again.

Due to the premises of the Municipality, which establish the obligation to use organic fertilizers in the plots, compost from domestic organic waste, as well as from the garden itself and, in general, the use of traditional sustainable practices  and respectful with the environment, the urban gardens are ideal places to apply the organic substrate obtained in the project.

 

During the visits, the participation of the users of the urban gardens in the demonstration actions of the project was agreed, which will consits in the application in their gardens of the compost obtained after the first composting cycle of the Project.

At the next visit, the compost will be supplied for its application in the plots, just before the new sowing time. Then, the specific characteristics of the LIFE SARMIENTO compost, the protocol for its use and the monitoring process will be explained to the users of the orchards.


Last stage of first composting cycle

Last stage of first composting cycle

Members of Microgaia, coordinating partner of the  project, visited the composting site in Bodegas El Rosario facilities in order to add the last components needed to complete the maturation of the compost: two types of microorganisms that will provide the ideal characteristics as organic fertilizer.

 

 

The vine shoots or sarmientos pruning management cycle developed by the project begins with the annual pruning of vineyards at December and concluding on February approximately. Once all the branches are transported to the processing plant the composting process begins, which lasts about six months: three months for the initial composting and three more for the final maturation of the compost and preparation of the compost that later will be applied in the vineyard plots just after the next pruning.

The composting process is aimed at producing the biological decomposition and the stabilization of the organic matter under temperatures of 60ºC-70ºC, in order to produce a stable final product, free from pathogens and undesirable weeds, which can be used again in the soil as an organic amendment. The process main works are the periodic stirring of the waste and the addition of water. During the last stage of maturation, two types of beneficial microorganisms, Trichoderma harzianum and Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF), are inoculated into the compost, which will increase the later delivery of nutrients to the vines, facilitate their growth and provide them also resistance in front of pest.

The result is an organic amendment that improves soil quality while providing also favorable features for the crop and an ecologically feasible peatless substrate with enhanced properties compared to the existing ones. The composting cycle will be repeated 4 times over the 4 years of the project in order to be able to monitor significant changes in soil, plant and yield data.


Meeting between the Agroecology and Environment Center of Murcia and LIFE SARMIENTO.

Meeting between the Agroecology and Environment Center of Murcia and LIFE SARMIENTO.

Last January 19th, members of the LIFE SARMIENTO team met with the manager of the Agroecology and Environment Center of Murcia (CEAMA) located in Bullas. The objective of the meeting was to make contact with the center in order to present the work that LIFE SARMIENTO is carrying out in Bullas, introducing the vineyard pruning waste management system that is being used for the transformation of the pruning waste into organic compost and its subsequent application to the soil as an organic amendment in the vineyard plots participating in the project. Thanks to the meeting, it was possible to know the training activities that are currently carried out in the center as well as the projects related to Climate Change that may be of interest for possible future collaborations with LIFE SARMIENTO.


How is climate change influencing Spanish vineyards?

How is climate change influencing Spanish vineyards?

The spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Environment (MAPAMA) has made public the annual report on the potential of viticultural production which, in general terms, evidences a continuous downturn of vine cultivation from 1980 until today of 42% in Cultivated area. In 1980 there was a cultivated area of 1,642,622 hectares, while currently the vineyards occupy 953,607 hectares.

Along with the decrease in surface area, the evolution of the vineyard map in Spain in the last 40 years is also noteworthy, with a clear tendency to move towards the north, reflecting an evident change in dynamics: it has changed from having a very large expansion in the south of Spain and hardly anything in the north.

Some of this changes in dymamics may be due to the climate, since it plays the most decisive and difficult role to control in the elaboration of wine. The spring and summer seasons in Spain are becoming drier and hotter, and consequently the vineyard, which is so intimately linked to the rhythm of the seasons and the evolution of temperatures, is acting as one of the best bioindicators of climate change in agriculture.

Matías Vela, winery consultant, approved trainer and technical director sommelier of Misumiller.es explains that to maintain production rhytms of som PODs it woild be necessary to advance the harvest activity and start harvesting with practically green grapes. But that would have disaster results, since it would directly affect the wine characteristics, which in addition to being odorless, would have a very harsh taste and a bitter and astringent tannin, that ruins the quality of the wine.

To deal with this situation there are different adaptation processes, some wineries have already been using changes in the crop system, substitution of varieties, vertical displacement, irrigation contribution, etc.
 

You can read the full story here.


Study on climate change and its effect on grapes cultivation

Study on climate change and its effect on grapes cultivation

A research published in ‘Nature Climate Change’ journal, suggests that, although planting lesser-known grape varieties could counteract some of the effects of climate change, scientists and winegrowers need to explore how the wide diversity of this crop can be adapted to different climates.

One of the effects of global warming is that it will be complicated that in many in many wine regions to continue cultivating the same varieties that have been cultivated in the past. The Old World has an enormous diversity of vines – more than 1,000 varieties – and some of them seem better adapted to hot climates and tolerate drought better than the 12 that occupy 80% of the global wine market.

Unfortunately, convincing producers to try different varieties of grapes is a difficult task, and the reason is related to the concept of “native land”, which refers to the taste of the wine as a reflection of what grapes, where and how they were grown. Only certain traditionally used varieties are part of each “native land”, leaving small place for change. ‘In the main producing regions, there is the notion that the historical native land is what makes a great wine, and recognizing that the climate changes implies recognizing that the land is changing’, explains Professor Elizabeth Wolkovich, from the Department of Evolutionary Biology and of Organisms of the University of Harvard.

In addition, researchers still do not have enough data to determine if other varieties will be able to adapt to climate change.

You can read the full article here.


NEEMO external monitor visits LIFE SARMIENTO Project

NEEMO external monitor visits LIFE SARMIENTO Project

Last Thursday, January 11th,  took place the second visit of NEEMO external monitor assigned by the European Commission to monitor LIFE SARMIENTO Project. The meeting was attended by managers from the the three parteners of the project (Microgaia Biotech, Bodegas El Rosario and EuroVértice).

During the day was presented the general progress of LIFE SARMIENTO. The technical part was reviewed in detail, analysing each action of the Project, its implementation status and its planification for 2018 period. Likewise, the main financial aspects were checked and a expenditure forecast for the new period was made.

At he end, LIFE SARMIENTO team could show to the external monitor the composting state of the vineyard prunning residues located at the transformation site in El Rosario facilities, which are already in their last phase of maduration.


Soils and waste. The compost market

Soils and waste. The compost market

The role of compost in agriculture is twofold; on the one hand, it acts on the ground as an organic amendment, and on the other, on plant species, acting as organic fertilizer and growing medium.

The soil continuously used in a cultivation system suffers a progressive decrease in the level of humus, causing several problems such as accelerated erosion, deterioration of the physical-chemical and biological properties and, in general, decreased fertility ground. The contribution of compost counteracts all these deficiencies.

 

The are broad applications of the compost, depending on its granulometry, presence of impurities, etc., and can be as different as horticultural, citrus, vineyard, forest and rice fields. In turn, it is also being used in sugar beets, non-citrus fruits, improved degraded soils, forestry and nurseries.

In general, the application of mature compost at moderate doses causes, both at field and greenhouse level, appreciable increases in crop yields.

There are other possible uses of compost in fields such as landscaping, restoration of degraded soils and the recovery of surfaces that are affected by various activities.

It also interesting to point out the possibility of using compost in non-natural forest areas, and in the reforestation plans for burned areas, abandoned agricultural lands, areas damaged by industrial discharges, etc., expanding the market of this product.

Find more information here.


New pruning cycle 2018 of LIFE Sarmiento project

New pruning cycle 2018 of LIFE Sarmiento project

On December 14th took place at the Wine Museum of Bullas the last meeting of the LIFE Sarmiento Project betwen the partners of the project and the members of the Cooperative “Nuestra Señora del Rosario” in order to prepare the new prunning cycle of vineyards. During the event, the project actions already carried out in the first year of the project were reviewed and the farmers of the Cooperativa Nuestra Sra. del Rosario were again asked to cooperate in order to avoid the burning of the shoots that would be generated during the next pruning. In turn, it was explained to the attendees the stage of maturity in which is the first compost already generated by the project and the forecast for its final maturation. The meeting was also attended by agents from differents organizations such as the City Council of Bullas, the Association Región de Murcia Limpia or the Integrated Center of Training and Agricultural Experiences of Jumilla, which had the opportunity to know the project and were invited to participate in the dissemination and demostration activities scheduled for 2018. The day ended with a wine tasting at the Wine Museum hall, where the farmers and the rest of participants could share their opinions about the planification for the new period.


The first biological house built with materials from agricultural residues

The first biological house built with materials from agricultural residues

The architectural firm Een til Een has crossed the boundaries of green building by using agricultural waste as building materials, which would normally be considered waste, offering a new, efficient and affordable way to build houses in the future. As part of BIOTOPE, an exhibition park and resource center designed to showcase the latest sustainable building technologies in Middelfart, Denmark. On this basis, the biological project will stimulate a new market for green growth through the refining of waste. It also demonstrates how to build healthy, green homes in the future that cost a competitive price.

 

The biological home is based on a flexible and modular construction system. The house is designed to ensure rapid construction and disassembly. Simplified production and modular design make future adaptation and replacement of the construction less complicated and less costly.

 

Here you have more information.


Presentation of LIFE Sarmiento in Italy

Presentation of LIFE Sarmiento in Italy

This week, the project coordinator, Microgaia, has been presenting actions and objectives of LIFE Sarmiento in Future IPM Congress in Riva del Garda (Italy). This congress, which already counts with its third edition, met around 1000 participants that have exchanged knowledge and experiences to improve plan protection against pest and pathogens. The compost produced in the framework of LIFE Sarmiento has biopesticide properties, so its use will contribute to reduce pesticide use-and-risk in integrated pest management (IPM).

 


Internal monitoring meeting

Internal monitoring meeting

Our colleagues at EuroVértice and El Rosario met this morning in order to review the state of the project in the Cooperative’s facilities. During this day we have reviewed the actions concerning sarmientos collection and the composting process.  We have also updated the financial state of the cooperative.


LIFE Sarmiento activities keep on going

LIFE Sarmiento activities keep on going

Following the pruning’s management approach proposed by the project, samiento’s composting started this last summer. After the storage in collection points, chopping and transport to the transformation site, the composting process began. This involves monitoring parameters such as temperature and humidity in order to control the process and determine when tipping and water and microorganisms addition should be done. Microorganisms favour the breakdown of vegetal matter and confer bio-stimulant and bio-fertilising character to the final product. The fields of the Cooperative “El Rosario” are expected to receive the compost produced this first year during the next spring.

By the other hand, samples collection in selected parcels is being carried out during this September in order to test compost effects during the next four years. Doing this, soils where the compost will be applied are characterised and we can obtain a study baseline regarding yield and quality crops improvement and for the physicochemical and biological state of soils where the LIFE SARMIENTO compost will be applied.


An European report is published on the impact of the Circular Economy

An European report is published on the impact of the Circular Economy

In order to improve the understanding of the concept of Circular Economy, the Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS) published a report on April 7, which reviews definitions, processes and impacts in different sectors and the value chains.

The conclusions of the report are very interesting:

• The Circular Economy has achieved wide appeal among the academic, political and business sectors, but its interpretation and application have been very diverse. Although some definitions and interpretations focus on aspects of physical and material resources, others go further and discuss a major transformation of the economic system that involves various sectors and issues that go beyond material resources and waste.
• Available studies take different approaches when calculating impact, making it difficult to compare results from different sources.
• There is a need at EU level for greater clarity on the areas and sectors that fall within the scope of the Circular Economy. This can help avoid confusion, as well as support the preparation of studies that provide consistent messages about the potential effects that Circular Economy could generate.
• In order to avoid simplistic messages, for each case of applying a circular economy process to a sector, all parameters that play a role in the overall sustainability of the circular process that has to replace a linear process must be carefully considered.
• It is important to provide clarity on the expected impact across sectors on employment. This would also assist policymakers in designing well-targeted transitional policy measures to manage negative impacts.
• Although the effects on employment of the Circular Economy in terms of the number of jobs have been analyzed in several studies, evaluations of other social and employment impacts seem to be less present in the literature.
• Indirect effects on the economy (e.g., value chain impacts and / or changes in consumption patterns) need to be understood to estimate overall impacts at EU or national level.

From LIFE Sarmiento we take note of these conclusions and support their consideration by researchers and policy makers, who are designing new policies for the arrival of the circular economy to civil society.

In this link you can consult the published report.


Next National Congress of Recovery and Recycling in Sitges (Spain)

Next National Congress of Recovery and Recycling in Sitges (Spain)

The 15th National Congress of Recovery and Recycling organized by the Spanish Federation of Recovery and Recycling (FER) will take place on 15 and 16 June. These days have been consolidated during the last years as the meeting point of the sector in Spain.

The organization has already closed the program, which will feature some of the largest international experts in recycling. From LIFE Sarmiento we encourage all the agents of the sector to attend, for being an opportunity not only to learn about technological developments, but also to become aware of the needs that exist both in Spain and in the rest of Europe.

You have more information on this link.


Which countries are supporting Circular Economy in EU?: Leaders and laggards

Which countries are supporting Circular Economy in EU?: Leaders and laggards

The European Environment Agency, together with Zero Waste Europe and Friends of the Earth Europe, have asked EU member states whether they will support the much-needed proposals to boost EU waste policy in the negotiations they will held in Brussels in the coming weeks to promote an open and transparent decision-making process and a complete transition towards a circular economy.

Policymakers and NGOs, together with a growing number of industries, agree that the shift to a “circular economy” – where waste generation is prevented and products are reused or recycled – is the best solution for the Planet and for business.

The ongoing negotiations in Brussels will determine the future of EU waste laws in the 28 member states and will reveal whether the EU is ready for the transition to a circular economy.

The senior representatives of the Member States will meet this month to define the position of the Council of the European Union. At the end of May, the three EU institutions – the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council – will enter into the final interinstitutional negotiations before agreeing on the final text of the new EU waste laws.

As a result of the study, an interactive map of EU waste policies has been drawn up to monitor the ongoing negotiations, which can be found here


Vine shoots are being chipped

Vine shoots are being chipped

The process of chipping the vine shoots is on progress.

After the weather conditions (rain, snow) have improved, the technicians and working on the chipping process, which will be finished before the end of May. The vine shoots are placed in the collecting areas and, once the process is finished, they will be transported to the composting site to finish the process.


‘EU Green Week’, new jobs and circular economy

‘EU Green Week’, new jobs and circular economy

Initiatives from around the world will gather at this annual meeting organized by the EU to share their experiences of sustainable work within a circular economy model.

With the slogan “Green Jobs for a Greener Future” the EU Green Week will start on 29th May. Every year there is a debate on European environmental policy, which is increasingly oriented towards the development of a circular economy model that will allow for the maintenance of the value of products, materials and resources to reduce minimum generation of waste.

The current focus on European policies is generating significant changes in the European economy including the labor market. And this will be spoken of. About the creation of new jobs through business initiatives that are developing new sustainable business models, expanding their markets and adapting innovative solutions for an efficient use of resources.

According to EU Green Week sources, despite the economic crisis of recent years, the environmental goods and services sector has created new jobs. There is a growing real demand for innovative skills that requires skilled and qualified people, thus becoming another important issue to address: demand for new types of “green skills” in different european professional sectors.


The vineyards, threatened by Climate Change

The vineyards, threatened by Climate Change

A scientific study advices about the global warming impact on wine production with the disappearance of the current suitable zones for its production.

This is a research work carried out by scientists from different universities and organizations from countries such as the United States, Chile and China. It states that Climate Change will have a direct impact on ecosystems affecting different species, but it will also affect indirectly to land uses as a result of habitats loss, focusing specifically on the effects on wine grape production.
According to this study, due to Climate Change, the suitability of the current main wine-producing regions will decrease by 2050 between 19% and 73% (depending on the area), moving these crops to higher elevations as can be seen on the world map generated from this data.

Experts announce that this situation can lead to possible conflicts related to land uses and the fresh water ecosystems, so they warn about the necessity to make efforts of adaptation and conservation on agriculture, like preventive measures to face these possible effects, which could bring about a significant change in the current agrifood industry model and lead towards self-sufficiency and food security.


Biowaste generates employment

Biowaste generates employment

This is recognized by the European Compensation Network (ECN) in a piece of information published in which it estimates the direct jobs that could be generated from processing unused biological waste.

The ECN affirms that taking into account the potential biomass of unused municipal waste (64 Mt), more than 50.000 direct jobs in rural areas would be created in the biowaste sector, and up to 16,000 in urban areas.

According to this report, the biological waste used already generates around 90.000 direct jobs, mainly in rural areas reaching 70.000 direct jobs.

The organization that makes these data visible, the ECN, has as its main objective to promote sustainable systems of organic waste management, supporting the circular economy and the creation of local jobs, while wishing to contribute to safeguarding the soil for future generations.


A new initiative to reuse glass bottles in the wine sector

A new initiative to reuse glass bottles in the wine sector

LIFE reWINE promotes the reuse of bottles in the wine sector to reduce waste generation, greenhouse gases and production costs.

This initiative, which has been recently presented, aims to demonstrate the feasibility of a sustainable system of collection, cleaning and reuse of glass bottles in the wine sector, identifying barriers and opportunities, as well as evaluating the main environmental, technical aspects and economic benefits derived from the pilot system.

The wine industry is one of the most affected by climate change, so new techniques and strategies are needed to reduce the carbon footprint in the sector. In the case of LIFE reWINE, the initiative is even more meaningful in view of the fact that, currently, there isn’t any available system for the recovery of wine packaging, as opposed to other sectors where such a network exists.

LIFE reWINE system involves all the links in the distribution and consumption chain, from wineries to restaurants and final consumers, considering the whole process of the bottle, from its labeling to its recovery and recycling, with a forecast of recovery of about 100,000 bottles until June 2019. This is also intended to help raise awareness and achieve qualitative and quantitative objectives of waste prevention.


“Efficient” crops with less phytosanitary products

“Efficient” crops with less phytosanitary products

The Institut Catalá de la Viñya i el Vi (INCAVI) hosts the conference “Uniting efforts towards the reduction of phytosanitary products” in the control of mildew and powdery mildew in vine plantations.

It is a meeting that aims to show the results of the LIFE FITOVID project obtained from the application of different management schemes for the control of mildew and powdery mildew of the vine. These conclusions have been drawn from the impact of the reduction in the use of plant protection products in the production of grapes, must and wine, and include their consequences from the environmental, economic and health areas.

The meeting will begin on Wednesday, April 5 at 10:00 am at INCAVI in Vilafranca del Penedès (Barcelona), and will affect the improvement of efficiency in treatments and the correct realization of them, as well as the good state of the applicator machinery, also showing the reduction in the costs of phytosanitary products and the saving of fuel.

Polytechnic University of Catalonia and the University of the Basque Country, together with companies from the Tecnalia group (Neiker / Azti) are participating in this date.


25.000 samples to help soils in Europe

25.000 samples to help soils in Europe

Scientists from Europe have taken soil samples from all over the continent to better understand the main threats they face and to get preventive measures.
Soil specialists, biologists and agricultural engineers work together from the Joint Research Center (JRC) to advance this research that seeks to understand in a integral way what is happening under our feet, and to analyze challenges such as erosion, pollution, biodiversity and urbanization.
The analysis of the 25.000 samples taken so far will allow the study of the physical, chemical and biological properties of soils that have been selected to try to give a homogenous representation of all European countries so that the EU will can better determine policies for an appropriate management of soils.
JRC intends to advise farmers on good practices to be followed to stop the one that arises as the main problem, soil erosion. Among the advice that these specialists emphasize are the reduction in tillage practices, after the harvest leave the plant residues on the field and protect grass margins.


A documentary shows the secrets of Segura River through Murcia

A documentary shows the secrets of Segura River through Murcia

El Segura, a river full of life‘ is the title chosen for the documentary that carries out a tour of the biodiversity of its section in the Region of Murcia.
Many people have participated in the presentation, having the opportunity to know the peculiarities of its great biodiversity, as well as the need for conservation of this ecosystem.
The documentary also reflects the important cultural, economic and social legacy of the river thanks to the agricultural and industrial uses developed around it.

The documentaty was produced by Integra Foundation, in collaboration with ANSE Association and Segura River Basin Authority through the LIFE + SEGURA RIVERLINK project.


The Circular Economy in Spain is a trend

The Circular Economy in Spain is a trend

 It is presented as an alternative to the current model of production and consumption, and it is growing. These are some of the conclusions that can be drawn from the first report on Circular Economy made in Spain by the Cotec Foundation for innovation.

And this model presents the potential to solve environmental challenges, while opening up business opportunities and economic growth.

The publication gathers and analyzes the available indicators of this economic model, based on the maximum use of resources, and proposes the creation of a roadmap to know where to start and how far.

The report also analyzes the current situation of the Circular Economy in Spain and its main actors, reviews the policies developed in this regard and includes successful examples of Circular Economy developed by companies and entities in Spanish territory.

Conducted by the UNESCO Chair of Sustainability of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), in collaboration with the International Recycling Association (RECNET) and the Association for Sustainability and the Progress of Societies (ASYPS).


Collection of shoots for composting begins

Collection of shoots for composting begins

The first steps of the process have begun. Technicians and farmers of the Nuestra Señora del Rosario cooperative work hand in hand to remove the vine shots and transport them to collection centers.

There, wastes that were previously burned producing environmental problems, will be cleaved to begin their process of transformation to compost.

This is an action that aims to implement new practices that are more sustainable and beneficial to the environment, while trying to demonstrate the advantages of a system of community management of vine shots.

The collection will continue until all the farmers have finished their pruning work, streamlining the process with the transfer in batches to the processing area.


Workshop with Farming Cooperative Members

Workshop with Farming Cooperative Members

LIFE SARMIENTO brought together the members of “Nuestra Señora de El Rosario” Cooperative in the Bullas Wine Museum last Thursday November 17th. The Sarmiento partners had the opportunity to introduce the project activities and request the collaboration of farmers to collect pruned shoots and participate in demonstration activities.

The workshop was attended by more than 40 farmers, who raised their views on the project and posed some technical questions.


LIFE Projects Meeting in Brussels

LIFE Projects Meeting in Brussels

Two members of the LIFE Sarmiento team, Sabina Romero from Microgaia Biotech and Eva Navarro from EuroVértice Consultores, attended a meeting for Climate Change Mitigation projects in Brussels on October 3-4, as approved in the 2015 Call-for-Proposals.

A number of EASME reps, the agency in charge of the LIFE Programme, and NEEMO, the team in charge of project monitoring, explained the duties and requirements of the programme throughout the project developments.

Some time was also dedicated to networking and sharing of experience for the 13 projects approved in this overriding topic.


Life Sarmiento Project Kick-Off Meeting

Life Sarmiento Project Kick-Off Meeting

On October 11, Microgaia Biotech, “Nuestra Señora de El Rosario” Cooperative and EuroVértice, as partners of the LIFE Sarmiento Project, met for the first time in the Cooperative facilities in Bullas (Murcia, Spain).

During this meeting, partners reviewed the project actions and the roles of each partner, and defined the tasks for the upcoming months.


Project Presentation in the World Bulk Wine Exhibition

Project Presentation in the World Bulk Wine Exhibition

On November 21-22, LIFE Sarmiento Coordinator Sabina Romero attended the World Bulk Wine Exhibition (Amsterdam), presenting the pruned vine shoot management system and the composting process of the project. This is the eighth occasion on which this event has been held and has grown as the major gathering in the bulk wine business. It receives also the participation of professionals that study, develop and work with a wide range of vine-related commercial applications.


LIFE Sarmiento project begins

LIFE Sarmiento project begins

The DOP Bullas vineyards (Region of Murcia) innovates with more sustainable practices in the management of vine shots.

The LIFE Sarmiento project was created with the aim of minimizing CO2 emissions due to the burning of pruning waste, replacing its current waste management practices for others more beneficial to the climate.

In addition to being an innovative solution to this environmental problem, the initiative improves the soil conditions in arid zones through transforming the pruning remains into compost and its later incorporation into the soil as an organic improvement.

In this way a double task is performed. On one hand, the revaluation of these residues by transforming them into by-products, obtaining a quality compost with biostimulating properties. On the other hand, contributing to the stimulation of a Circular Economy that directly and positively will impact in the territory where the action is carried out.

The project is granted the European Union through the Environment and Climate Action Program (LIFE). The total budget is 835,020 euros. The companies Microgaia Biotech, Eurovértice and the cooperative Nuestra Señora del Rosario are participating in that initiative which will have a duration of four years (until the end of 2020).