The closure meeting of the CROSS BORDER Olive project took place in CIHEAM-Bari, Italia on 29 March 2021, via Zoom, with participation of all partners:
- Agricultural University of Tirana, Albania (LP)
- Centre International de Hautes Etudes Agronomiques Méditerranéennes – Istituto Agronomico Mediterraneo di Bari, Italy (PP2)
- Shoqata e Kerkimeve Urbane, Tirana, Albania (PP3)
- Regional Olive Park of Venafro, Molise, Italy (PP4)
- Municipality of Bar, Montenegro (PP5)
- Association for Sustainable Regional Olive Farming, VALDANOS, Montenegro (PP6)
Separated by only a few hundred kilometers of sea, Italy, Albania and Montenegro display exceptional individual qualities in terms of biodiversity, landscapes of unique beauty, historical, cultural, and culinary traditions, yet all countries share a common asset: their ancient olive groves.
The general objective of the Interreg Cross Border Olive (CBO) Project was to valorize and protect the centuries-old olive groves and their high natural value landscapes on the two shores of the Adriatic, promoting intelligent and sustainable tourism and quality production, finally supporting rural development in these areas.
The CBO Project was useful to all partners involved to implement the existing environmental and agricultural data, in the light of the censuses carried out on monumental olive trees and the studies on biodiversity and the agronomic characterization of the olive groves. And especially for the comparative presentation of actions carried out with local stakeholders and experts on good agricultural practices and on the strategies adopted for splendid trans boundary olive landscapes, in-depth studies and numerous other field activities with local interest groups, interview operators on historical, cultural, and culinary heritage of each area.
These actions were materialized in publication of Community Maps (Ndroq, Preza, Marikaj, Džidžarin, Valdanos, Regional Park of Olives in Venafro) and the SMART and Sustainable Tourism Plan for the centuries-old olive groves in Albania, Montenegro and Italy (Molise) in English and in local languages. Sustainable, Economic and Environmental Tourism Plans published (printed and/or online) on Mapping and Census, Biodiversity richness, on Best Practices and on Stakeholder analysis - representing a real contribution.
The nearly three year’s work has been carried out in the spirit of close collaboration and exchange of knowledge between Project Partners and with the Apulia JTS Project office, which made possible to achieve the programmed results.
Nevertheless the pandemic situation, this collaborative approach has been the driving force behind the project and the people who have contributed with their skills and knowledge to project implementation: researchers, operators in the olive oil sector, tourist operators, representatives of national and local institutions and, finally, the residents and communities involved along both shores of the Adriatic sea.