A series of events took place recently in Aguilar de la Frontera, showcasing the community's involvement in the Framework project. These gatherings served as a platform to evaluate progress, plan future activities, and recognise participants' contributions. From meetings with key stakeholders to a memorable annual event with hunters, Framework's Spanish Farmer Cluster continues to demonstrate its commitment to local collaboration and achieving project impacts in their region.
The main aims of the Aguilar Cluster are to mitigate ecosystem degradation and improve environmental resilience within olive groves. They're focusing on boosting plant life in the groves to combat issues including desertification and species loss.
Evaluating Cover Crops and Planning for a Project Visit
On 16 January 2023, a crucial meeting was held at the Aguilar de la Frontera hunting ground, bringing together members of the FAC (Federation of Hunters of Córdoba) with Luis Fernando Villanueva (CEO of the Artemisan Foundation), and Andrés Santos, a ranger of the Aguilar hunting society. The aim of the meeting was to evaluate the implementation of cover crops in the experimental areas and organise the upcoming visit of Framework Work Package Two participants in May.
Annual Meeting of the Aguilar Hunting Society
Hunters in the region are often connected to farmland, or are farmers themselves, meaning they're well placed to open up discussions within the rural economy about farmland biodiversity and environmental sustainability. Taking place on 28 January, the annual meeting of the Aguilar hunting society became a remarkable event for the project. 260 people attended, with the gathering providing an opportunity for Framework Farmer Cluster Facilitator Gonzalo Varas to present a summary of the Aguilar Cluster's accomplishments over the past two years. This included updating attendees on hunting society participants' importance to successes so far. The event showcased and galvanised community enthusiasm towards Framework. It was fantastic to see attendees coming together to engage with the project after the challenges posed by the Covid pandemic. Facilitator Gonzalo Varas was in turn thanked for his hard work getting the project off the ground in Andalusia.
Aguilar Farmer Cluster Meeting
On 22 February, the Spanish Farmer Cluster received another update from Facilitator Gonzalo Varas on the achievements and activities carried out so far. This meeting served as an opportunity for farmers to receive certificates acknowledging their participation and for the formal signing of collaboration contracts. The gathering further solidified the bonds between the community and the project, fostering a spirit of partnership and shared goals.
These events highlight the power of local involvement and collective efforts in driving positive change and building a sense of community engagement and pride. Aguilar de la Frontera's Farmer Cluster is developing to be a great example of how collaboration and active engagement can propel a project forward, making a lasting impact at both local and European levels.
Project Work Package Two participants from across Europe and the UK are excited to visit the Cluster in May for knowledge exchange and to see the work that has been done up close. The Spanish Cluster remains important within Framework as it tackles cultural barriers to improving the environmental and economic sustainability of Southern Spain's olive groves. These agro-ecosystems face uniquely acute threats from desertification, erosion and drought.