In RESCHEDULE, we hypothesize that improvements in farms adaptation to climate change extremes in the Mediterranean at scales able to cause impact require the adoption of integrated and easily adjustable approaches that consider all the types of resilience. To meet this goal, RESCHEDULE assembles a multidisciplinary consortium and a wide spectrum of stakeholders; encouraging their active participation and interaction throughout the project lifetime to maximize the innovation potential and outcomes applicability. RESCHEDULE adopts a hierarchical strategy that considers incremental, and transformative adaptations, targeting mainly the improvement of soil health and associated microbiota to strengthen farm resilience and efficient use of resources. State-of-the-art approaches, based on agroecology principles are theoretically evaluated before their extensive evaluation in three experimental sites (GR, IT, TUN) characterized by contrasting conditions (crops, social, economic, climate). To advance our insights on climate change effects, new experiments are planned at the Global Change Experimental Facility (DE) on non-tillage, crop genetic diversity and intercropping at ambient and anticipated climate. Modelling tools are then employed to extend studies outcomes in the long-term, under different climate change scenarios. Transition pathways are then evaluated to propagate the spread of adaptation strategies at larger scales. Toward this goal, RESCHEDULE outcomes will identify and engage relevant stakeholders to ensure that the pathways proposed for a transformative change of agriculture under changing conditions result from a co-construction. Cost benefit analysis will be performed, considering all costs to provide estimates of environmental benefits. The RESCHEDULE outcomes will be effectively communicated to local, governmental and EU agencies in the form of a solid roadmap, describing actions and conditions, gaps and limitations, and need for incentives and initiatives. This roadmap can be considered by policy makers and stakeholders at different governance levels to make the decisions to increase the resilience of agricultural sector to climatic change.
The principal goal of RESCHEDULE is to improve the resilience and the sustainability of Mediterranean smallholder farms to climate change and climate extremes by developing scientifically-informed interventions with the potential to be adapted locally through the development application of user-friendly decision supporting systems (DSS) that will allow stakeholders to conceptualize complex interactions and to take the informed decisions regarding the sustainable management of farming systems.
RESCHEDULE addresses the following specific objectives: OBJ1: Evaluate strategies that effectively restore soil health, the cornerstone of agricultural production and the farms resilience to climate change and variability, in different environmental settings and cropping systems. OBJ2: Elucidate the role of soil microbiota in restoring/maintaining ecosystem services (e.g., crop yield, nutrient cycling) and use co-occurrence networks and modeling of network structure to better understand the stability and interaction of microbial communities under the different scenarios. OBJ3: Expand the outcomes of divergent adaptation practices on ecosystem services at timescales relevant to adaptive farm management (>10 yrs) through model projections under different climate change scenarios. OBJ4: Develop and evaluate indicators (ecological, social, economic) of smallholder farms resilience and sustainability that address complexities and weaknesses. OBJ5: Enhance the engagement of small farmers and other key stakeholders and actively involving them in the co-construction of all steps and validation of interventions. OBJ6: Raise the awareness, knowledge access and knowledge of stakeholders, especially small family farmers and the new generations, emphasizing on networking structures and on-farm, user-friendly, DSS. OBJ7: Up-scale the RESCHEDULE outcomes to other Mediterranean areas through a cross-country dissemination strategy as well as by the DSS that account for differences in environmental, economic and social factors. OBJ8: Integrate the science-based knowledge and communicate outcomes to local, regional, and (trans)national decision-makers and institutions improving the opportunities to incorporate them into policy tools.
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