Horizon 2020 strengthens capacities on how to reduce Olive Mill Waste in the Mediterranean

on 09 April 2012.

As a world leader of olive cultivation and oil production, the Mediterranean has achieved substantial progress towards minimizing the negative environmental impacts of this sector. To showcase best environmental practices in olive mill waste management and related new technologies, while reaffirming the magnitude of the environmental pressure imposed by this activity in the region, the EU funded Horizon 2020 CB/MEP project organised a regional workshop in Greece from 19-21 March 2012.

Focusing on specific challenges for effective management of olive mill solid waste and wastewater, this ambitious capacity building activity was of an intermediate level targeting decision makers in relevant ministries involved in olive mill waste regulation and management, as well as representatives from the civil society sector, including university, research institutes and cooperatives’ staff involved in related fields of olive mill waste management and valorisation. Forty five participants from Albania, Algeria, Croatia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, occupied Palestinian territory, Tunisia and Turkey benefited from the workshop.

Deeper understanding of the environmental impacts resulting from uncontrolled disposal of olive processing wastes, to sharpening the awareness of coherent legal and institutional frameworks and guidelines regulating the management of olive mill wastes as well as of innovative research and applied solutions in the sector, were among the workshop’s aims. The workshop also covered relevant EU frameworks and best practices as well as the status in olive producing non-EU Mediterranean countries.  Furthermore, participants gained deeper insight of olive mill waste marketing opportunities and challenges. Participants’ presentations and experiences on all of the aforementioned were particularly enlightening.

The workshop was organised by the University of Athens with the support of the Regional Activity Centre for Cleaner Production of the Mediterranean Action Plan (CP/RAC).