Where nature conservation and rich diversity come together in sustainable harmony – VERA kick-off


The first joint activity of the VERA project with Italian partners was organized from October 24 to 25 in Italy. Partners Municipality of Larino, Associations Permakultura DalmacijaAssociation for nature, environment and sustainable development – Sunce and I giardini di Pomona, from Italy and Croatia, came together in Ostuni for the kick-off meeting. After getting to know the partners, we jointly agreed on upcoming activities as part of the following:

  • WP1 Cross-border exchange and training on sustainable agricultural models and practices
  • WP2 Pilot activities for the involvement of the local community in the preservation of agricultural biodiversity

We will be joined by teachers and students of Braća Radić Secondary School, Kaštel Štafilić and Ostrog Primary School, Kaštel Lukšić. Two representatives participated with us in the first activity in Italy.

We devoted the second day to visiting the botanical garden I giardini di Pomona, which was founded by Paolo Belloni back in 1994. The garden is in Cisternino, on 10 hectares of organic land management, where nature conservation and rich diversity come together in sustainable harmony. There are more than a thousand varieties of trees in the garden, including historic varieties and rare plants.

The main collection is dedicated to figs and has over 600 of them, Afghan figs, Bosnian, French, Portuguese, Italian, etc. As such, it is one of the most important collections in Europe and the Mediterranean, in terms of quality and variety. Thanks to this project, the collection will be supplemented with Croatian specimens.

The VERA project was financed as part of Interreg Italy-Croatia 2021/2027 (PRIORIT AXIS 2 – Green and resilient shared environment).