Capacity Building for Sustainable Treatment and Valorization of Olive Mill Waste in Palestine
Seventh Framework Programme. Activities of International Cooperation (INCO)
01.10.2011 – 31.12.2014
Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Schories
OLITREVA International ConferenceOlitreva
For more information about the international Conference of OLITREVA from 19th – 20th November 2014 in the city of Bethlehem, Palestine click here.
Local newspaper covered with great interest the Kick-off-meeting of OLITREVA in the city of Bethlehem, as for the first time a Palestinian research institute coordinates a project funded by the EU Framework Programme.
The main goal of OLITREVA´s project is to reinforce scientific and technological (S&T) capacities of Palestinian research institutions working in the field of Olive Mill Waste Treatment and Valorization by means of exchanging and sharing knowledge, experiences and best practices between EU and Palestinian research institutes of top-level research and scientific excellence.
The olive oil industry is a major contributor to the Palestinian economy. Olive farms cover almost half of the cultivated area in the West Bank and oil production contributes by around 28.7% to the agriculture domestic income. However, olive mills generate large amounts of waste that at the moment is not treated. The random dumping of untreated wastewater into wadies and watercourses has been identified as one of the core problems of water pollution in Palestine which is at the same time one of the water poorest areas in the world. Similarly, large amounts of olive mill solid waste are accumulated during harvest season becoming a serious threat to the environment and to public health.
Finding effective solutions to face such environmental degradation requires that Palestinian researchers are equipped with appropriate S&T training and experience. Therefore, OLITREVA will focus on promoting the development of local human resources as it is the key factor to promote self-sustainability following the end of the project. Some of the activities foreseen in the work plan include four short-term visits from young Palestinian researchers to the facilities of the European partners where joint experiments in the field of OMW will be developed. A practical guide on cross-border cooperation will be published in order to increase awareness among Palestinian research institutions on cooperation instruments and particularly the EU Framework Programme. The OLITREVA training session for students will stimulate interest in the field of OMW treatment and valorization and boost professional growth of young Palestinian scientist. And finally, the International Conference at the end of the project will lead to future joint-activities between European and Palestinian research institutions that will bring current research activities in this field to new heights.
The Project Consortium is made up of 4 partners: The Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem (Palestine), ttz Bremerhaven (Germany), ITM-CNR (Italy) and the University of Extremadura (Spain). The project team will seek to consolidate OLITREVA as a platform to increase international visibility of research in Palestine as well as to promote long-term partnership among EU and Palestinian research institutions.