CAPSELLA Project launched on January 1th 2016 under Horizon 2020 will establish a Collective Awareness Platform for Environmentally-sound Land Management based on Data Technologies and Agrobiodiversity
18 February 2016: Since its birth, the European Union has put high priority to its rural development policies that were considered key drivers of social and economical development and wealth. The main tool by which Member States implement their policies for agricultural development is the well known Rural Development Plan (RDP), one of the two pillars on which the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) rests. Through the CAP, Europe is increasingly recognising the value of farming for the conservation of agricultural biodiversity and the provision of ecological services in farmland, including some of paramount global importance, like the mitigation of climate change.
Furthermore, Europe was one of the most active players in negotiations on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (IT PGRFA), trying to bridge the gap between the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries and developing nations. Biodiversity is a cornerstone implemented by the European Union in all its policies, since it is one of the key assets for sustainable development.
In the light of the aforementioned framework, a newly project under Horizon 2020, CAPSELLA (Collective Awareness PlatformS for Environmentally-sound Land management based on data technoLogies and Agrobiodiversity) has been funded and took its first steps on 1 January 2016. Just like the tiny yet sturdy little plant it takes the name from, the CAPSELLA project will deepen the roots of sustainability in agri-food systems by harnessing scientific and local knowledge, people’s energy, motivation and innovation skills around the theme of agro-biodiversity by making use of novel, improved and demand-driven ICT solutions.
CAPSELLA will focus on two complementary domains: agro-biodiversity and the food supply chain. It will use participatory bottom up data collection and top down data integration to develop solutions for these domains. The project will build from scratch open data repositories concerning regional agro-biodiversity, and will build upon and enhance existing data sets on the agro-biodiversity and food domains. Based on these, the project will develop a number of community-driven data powered ICT solutions, which will be tested by the communities engaged in the project and will result in a number of pilots.