Sustaining the Ancient Olive Community: Strategies for Mediterranean Sustainable Development

Nicholas Christos Zaferatos


This article presents the findings from a six month investigation conducted by a network of six non-government organizations (NGOs) from five European-Mediterranean nations, five local agricultural communities, represented by the NGOs, and three academic institutions. The aim of the investigation was to identify strategies for reversing rural marginalization in Mediterranean communities by establishing sustainable forms of community development by cooperating in the production and trade of olive oil. The network was funded by a grant from the Anna Lindh Foundation for Dialogue Between Cultures. The intent of which was to bring together knowledgeable community organizations, practitioners, and experts in order to address systemic problems that threaten the survival of rural agricultural communities. Regional economic cooperation was found to be an effective strategy for the long term revitalization of rural communities that have been disadvantaged by the effects of globalization.  The investigation resulted in an approach to economic development that fosters sustainable development and cooperation among rural communities of the Mediterranean region. 

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Journal of Sustainable Development   ISSN 1913-9063 (Print)   ISSN 1913-9071 (Online) Email:

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