16th European Championship in Forestry Skills

The astonishing municipality of Maienfeld in the Landquart Region in the Swiss canton of Graubünden has been the seat of the 16th European Forestry Skill Championship held from 25 to 28 May.

Mainfield is a tourist destination in the Alps, both because of the local wine and because it was the setting of the Heidi story (a cartoon TV serie).

Below, a photo of the three first classified teams and the competition results summary.



The “Colegiul Silvic Transilvania” in Nasaud was the seat of The Romania National Forestry Skills Championship held from 8 to 12 of May 2017.

Six forestry schools coming from different parts of Romania took part in this event.

The competition resulted very interesting and the teams were very eager to win.

The context consisted in two sections:

  • Forestry course with 16 tasks as:
    • the age of the tree,
    • the height of the tree above the ground,
    • basal area,
    • m²/ hectare,
    • slope of terrain in %,
    • mean diameter,
    • size of the area,
    • volume of the standing tree,
    • volume of the saw log,
    • total growing stock,
    • determining tree species,
    • determining kinds of wood with bark,
    • determining animals,
    • hunting,
    • diseases and pests,
    • first aid in the forest and adventure.


The forestry track had 3 km length in the Oriental Carpathians Mountains at 1200 m above sea level.

  • Next days was dedicated to performing the technical disciplines with chainsaw as:
    • tree felling,
    • fitting another chain,
    • bucking by combined cuts,
    • precision bucking
    • and the last and most spectacular was limbing.

The quality of competitors is increasing year by year but with a lot of training behind.

The winner was “Colegiul Silvic Transilvania”,  also winning the right to participate in the EUROPEA Forestry Championship held in Maienfeld, Switzerland two weeks later, from 25 to 28 May.

Below, you have links to EUROPEA – Romania website where you’ll find pictures about several moments of competition.



ANNIE organise an Aquaponics Training Course

From 7th till the 13th of May ANNIE organised an Aquaponics Training Course at CIFEA Molina de Segura, one of the partners.

LandingAquaculture provided the training. 4 Trainers

ANNIE – Aquaponics New Novelties In Education

KA2 – project 2016-1-NL01-KA202-023006

Aquaponics is a circular system where aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (plant breeding in water) come together.

The cycle starts with the feeding  of the fish to produce ammonia rich waste, which accumulates in the water. The effluent-rich water is essential for plant growth. So the waste water is pumped to the grow beds. The bacteria that is cultured in the grow beds helps to break down impurities and as a result, nitrogen remains, which is an essential nutrient for plants. The plant roots filters the water which now contains nutrients for the fishes, and is pumped back down to the fishes.

Aquaponics is sustainable. Because the food is grown locally and not from far flown. And without the use of pesticides and antibiotics, so it is even healthier and fresher. Aquaponics also supplies ten times more food per square meter, with a minimum of water consumption. This makes it ideal for urban areas and dry, nutrient-poor countries. Aquaponics can thus contribute to futurefood problems, the reduction of CO² emissions and 9/10 may reduce the use of precious drinking water for irrigation.

ANNIE is a transnational Network Project in KA2

Partners are:

From Spain:

  • CIFEA Molina de Segura
  • CIFEA Torre Pacheco
  • Servicio de Formación y Transferencia Technológica –Regional authority

From Romania:

  • Liceul Tehnolologic Agroindustrial ¨Tamási Áron¨
  • Colegiul Agricol ¨Dimitrie Petrescu¨

From Slovenia:

  • Grm Novo mesto – center biotehnike in turizma

From United Kingdom:

  • Askham Bryan College

From Portugal:

  • Escola Profissional de Agricultura e Desenvolvimento Rural de Marco de Canaveses

From Netherlands:

  • Wellantcollege
  • InHolland – Applied Sciences Agriculture


  • Youmanitas – Energy Farms Foundation
  • OECON Group – Consulting Firm

(ANNIE) Aquaponics New Novelties In Education for feeding tomorrow’s cities is a project in which all participating countries will begin sharing good practices and creating a network of educational institutions, rural and urban companies/farmers, regional governments and local authorities. The global urbanisation trend means new challenges for food production and processing, and the needs of citizens. Safe food and water, food quality and the origin of these products are of major importance.

The ANNIE network has as underlying goal: establishing aquaponics training centres in which diverse target groups will be trained at any European Qualification Framework (EQF) level. The target groups focused on are youth, unemployed youngsters (up to 27), disabled people disadvantaged in the labour market, lifelong learners (EQF 2), immigrants and career changers.

Working in aquaponics requires both high-tech skills and hands-on labour. The partners in this project are from different European areas and have various reasons for participating: Spain, Greece and Portugal because of the lack of fresh water; Romania, Portugal and Slovenia to develop their rural areas; and the UK and the Netherlands as knowledge-based economies with too much (dirty) water, which should be re-used more sustainably.

Education plays an important role in these new developments, teaching the workers of the future and making them aware of the future food problems. The main goal of this project is to create and expand a network of educational institutions and farmers interested in aquaponics production and local governments aware of the ecologic and economic advantages of aquaponics. There are also links to water technology and innovative, sustainable breeding techniques requiring new curricula. The ANNIE project intends to expand the network in which education, farmers (business) and governments work together to raise awareness of what to do about the enormous changes as a result of the water scarcity, technical revolutions and consumer requirements leading up to 2050.

International knowledge centres must be created by educational institutions; this project will investigate opportunities for aquaponics training centres where students of all ages acquire knowledge, skills and competences to set up an aquaponics business themselves to become providers of local, fresh and healthy food. Enterprise will be encouraged. Aquaponics allows people to start their own business with small investments. It is the food production technique for the future according to scholars, engendering all sorts of activities. Aquaponics creates jobs at all EQF levels and across sectors.

The food sector which aquaponics forms part of faces a tremendous challenge in feeding the world in the next 40 years, as more than 50% of the world population lives in urban areas. Aquaponics can cover part of the food supply on a small scale, close to consumers. Fresh food, fish and vegetables are available everywhere where an aquaponics system is working. For this new way of thinking about food production in an effective, but sustainable way, green education needs new curricula, which requires the market (business and local governments) becoming involved in changing the curricula. These network partners are very much aware of what needs to change to feed the next generation as well as is being done today. The ANNIE network can help to create an optional part of the green curricula or new courses for life-long learning programmes.

ANNIE outcomes will include:

  • all partners testing the dimensional cross-sector cooperation between triple helix partners in their own region;
  • all three sections of the triple helix being represented in every national network and all of them have contributed at least one good practice;
  • six good practices from the educational partner institutions implemented/used abroad;
  • six good practices of business partners monitored in the project;
  • two good practices of governmental partners (Rijnmond/Rotterdam and Murcia);
  • eight new relationships from the triple helix in the network;
  • four guest lecturers invited;
  • five field visits organised;
  • 30 student exchanges and work placements organised by the educational partners.

Table of contents for aquaponics workshops

Workshop structure: 

  • Mornings (08:30 –13:45): lectures covering the content of the aquaponics workshop
  • Afternoons (15:00-18:00): construction and assembly of two model aquaponic systems. The construction will include pipework preparation and assembly, connecting fish tanks, water filters and plant growing systems together and running the systems with water
  • Trainers are available every afternoon for questions and individual help

Workshop schedule: 

Day 1 (theory and system assembly)

  • Welcome
  • Official opening by Murcia authorities
  • Start workshops
  1. Introduction to AquaponicsState of the world fisheries and aquaculture
    1. History of aquaponic systems
    2. Aquaponic system principles
  2. Fish biology fundamentals
    1. Interactions with the aqueous medium
    2. Water quality requirements by fish
    3. Nutrition fundamentals
    4. Basic behaviour
    5. Main species
  1. Plant biology fundamentals
    1. Interactions with the aqueous medium
    2. Main species
    3. Environmental and nutritional requirements

Day 2 (theory and system assembly)

  1. Aquaponic/Hydroponic design fundamentals
    1. Design theory (fish tanks, plant growing systems and water filtration)
    2. Nutrient management
    3. Greenhouse engineering and climate control basics
    4. Introduction to construction materials

Day 3 – Field Trips (San Pedro – IMIDA research centre and boot trip to fish farms on the Mediterranean)

Day 4 (theory and system assembly)

  1. Understanding water transport systems, fluid mechanics and hydraulics
    1. How water moves through pipes and channels
    2. How water levels work in an aquaponic system
    3. Introduction to pumps and pumping systems
    4. Design guidelines for water transport
  1. Plant health and management
    1. Introduction to integrated pest management
    2. Pest and disease control
    3. Pest prevention strategies
    4. Pest monitoring methods

Visit Tilamur – European Project Aquaponics INAPRO at Lorqui

Day 5 (theory and system finishing)

  1. Fish health management
    1. Introduction to fish diseases in aquaculture
    2. Introduction to anamnesis and decision making when disease is present
    3. Biosecurity and disease control
    4. Common mistakes and pitfalls
  1. Aquaponic design Do’s and Don’ts
    1. Sound design guidelines
    2. Common mistakes
    3. Lessons learned from the industry
  1. Aquaponics business Do’s and Don’t
    1. Knowing your markets
    2. Analysing the capacity to fit in the market
    3. Alternative revenue sources
    4. Common mistakes and pitfalls

Commissioning of the two aquaponics models

Official closing of the training & showing the results

Issuing the certificates.

The training has been provided by LandingAquaculture NL.

Rob van der Ven, director and three trainers:

Carlos Espinal Venezuela

Gaspar Jersin Slovenia

Kevin Hartman Slovenia


Last 28 February and 1 March, two students of the Agriculture School of Tacoronte (Tenerife), participated in the “Concours Général Agricole” of the International Exhibition of Agriculture in Paris.

Mr. Adrían García and Mr. Víctor González, students of 2nd year of Farming Training, accompanied by their teacher Mr. Gerardo Rosa Gómez, participated representing Spain in the Young European Promise Contest in the category of Milk and Meat Cattle assessment.

Among the different activities that the students made, they showed to the rest of European Delegations the dairy products that the students had made, together with their classmates and guided by the teacher Ms. Merche Alonso Vega, during their training time at the school, such as a semi-mature chees, made of raw goat milk with paprika and toasted meal.

For further information:

Ms Mercedes Alonso (Teacher): maloveg@gobiernodecanarias.org

LOASA project takes next steps towards improved employability

New intellectual outputs delivered at second transnational meeting in Spain

The partners of Erasmus+ KA2 project LOASA (Learning Outcomes in Accordance with the Skills Agenda) recently held their second transnational project meeting at CIFEA de Molina de Segura in Murcia, Spain. During this meeting the project partners took some important steps towards improved quality and relevance of skills formation, and employability.

The LOASA partners jointly reviewed the units of learning outcomes that the educational partners had written, based on the framework that was established during a 5-day seminar in the Netherlands in November last year. Now adjustments can be made where needed before the pilot will start later this year.

The project partners also set quality criteria for the ways of assessing. They agreed on assessment methodologies so the learning outcomes can be recognized by the awarding body in the student’s home country.

Last but not least, the partners connected the New Skills Agenda for Europe to the units of learning outcomes. In 2016 the European Commission adopted the New Skills Agenda to boost employability, competitiveness and growth across the EU.

About the partners

LOASA is a partnership between the worlds of work and education that aims to bridge the skills gap in Europe by co-developing units of learning outcomes that are based on ECVET principles and align with the New Skills Agenda for Europe.

Representing the world of work (companies, branch organisations, cooperatives, etc) are:

  1. Centro Tecnológico Nacional de la Conserva y Alimentación (CTC), test and research centre in Spain,
  2. AB Kirketoft, landscaping and gardening company in Denmark,
  3. ProAgria association of agriculture and horticulture in Finland,
  4. Kauppi dairy farm in Finland,
  5. Van Senten Groenprojecten, landscaping and gardening company in the Netherlands.

The participating VET organizations, all members of the Europea network, are:

  1. Yrkesakademin – vocational vollege of Ostrobothnia in Finland,
  2. Sastamala Municipal Education and Training Consortium (SASKY) in Finland,
  3. Jordbrugets Uddannelsescenter Aarhus in Denmark,
  4. Centro Integrado de Formación y Experiencias Agrarias (CIFEA) in Spain,
  5. Wellantcollege in the Netherlands.

 Whom will benefit from LOASA?

By creating units of learning outcomes that are based on ECVET principles and align with the New Skills Agenda for Europe, the LOASA project serves three target groups:

  1. VET-students and employees on the lower and middle levels (roughly EQF levels 2, 3, and 4);
  2. Excelling students who seek additional challenge (in the context of fostering excellence on all EQF levels);
  3. Employers who need transparency of skills.

The aimed impact

Potential long term benefits of the LOASA project results include:

  1. a reduction of the skills gap on the labour market;
  2. increased employability of VET students and workers on lower and middle EQF levels;
  3. fostering excellence in vocational education and training;
  4. the exchange of knowledge between VET and industry (both sectoral and regional);
  5. a better understanding by VET students and teachers of the skills that businesses require;
  6. units of learning outcomes as a tool for human resource policy.

Additional info?

For more information, please contact
Mr. Jan Jeronimus, LOASA project manager