We work on improving the sustainability of food production under a changing climate. We design, test and deploy practices that minimize the use of agro-chemicals in farmer fields, and promote biodiversity conservation. We are based in Cyprus, an island in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea, with one of the hottest and driest climates in the EU, and probably the longest agricultural history in the Union. Current projects include:
1. Common Agricultural Policy, Farm 2 Fork Strategy and Sustainability: The new CAP sets high environmental ambitions in its specific objectives, with specific focus on biodiversity, sustainability and climate change. In parallel, the F2F Strategy aims to reduce the use of pesticides by 50% by 2030, and to increase the area under organic farming to 25% of the Union's agricultural area. The EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030 sets as a target the increase in the area under high diversity landscape features to 10% of the agricultural land. While the CAP and the F2F and Biodiversity Strategies set aspiring and arguably ambitious targets, it is not clear how these targets will be achieved, and what impacts they will have on farmers, farming systems and food production. Using viticulture and vineyards as a model system, we have been and are working to better understand the practical implications of the changing policy environment on farmers and their land, as well as to develop ready-to-use solutions for policy implementation.
2. Sustainable vineyards under global change: Together with other colleagues throughout the EU we work on the development of low emission practices and biodiversity conservation in vineyards. More information here.
3. Conservation of wild bees: The global population decline of the honeybee, Apis mellifera, in the last decade has emphasized the importance of wild bee species in securing food production. Together with colleagues from other European countries we work on identifying and conserving the wild bees of Cypurs. More information here.