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History and mission
In order to foster reflection and sharing of experiences about the multiple issues related to the sustainable management of Mediterranean forests, the FAO Committee Silva Mediterranea has established thematic working groups which gather experts from interested countries. The Working Group n°3 (WG3) “Mediterranean forests and sustainable development” was set up following the 19th session of Silva Mediterranea Committee in 2002, and Plan Bleu has been in charge of coordinating it for the period 2003-2006.
During this first phase, the group’s activities have enabled to:
Highlight a shared vision on Mediterranean forests
Increase exchanges of experiences, for which there is a strong demand
Analyse territorial approaches through case studies (6 areas in Albania, Alberia, France, Italy, Morocco and Turkey)
Organize a regional forum on “Forestry sector and sustainable development in the Mediterranean: challenges, policies and governance” in Rabat (Morocco) in 2005, with the support of AIFM ; the 6 case studies were presented and discussed at this occasion
Relaunch the dynamics of the Silva Mediterranea Committee
The results of this first period of activities have stressed the need to make further efforts on the following aspects:
Analysis of territorial approaches through case studies
Exchanges about obstacles and levers to improve Mediterranean forest management
Communication on WG3 activities
Institutional and financial supports
Based on the recommendations of the Rabat Regional forum, and following the decision by the Silva Mediterranea Committee, at its 2008 session, to revitalize its existing working groups, a 4-year work plan was adopted in 2009 for the working group n°3, with the following four priorities:
Continue and reinforce the exchanges and promotion of experiences about sustainable management and governance of forest areas and resources
Facilitate the development and implementation of national forest strategies that contribute to sustainable development
Promote the development of projects for sustainable and integrated management in agricultural, forest and pasture lands
Communicate on the activities of the WG3 and promote Mediterranean forests at the international level
The running of the group for the period 2009-2013 has been entrusted to Plan Bleu and AIFM. In the framework of the recent Collaborative Partnership on Mediterranean Forests (CPMF) and the preparation of the second Mediterranean Forest Week, FAO, AIFM and Plan Bleu have suggested to update WG3’s work programme and relaunch its activities.
The WG3 “Mediterranean forests and sustainable development” met during the second Mediterranean Forest Week in April 2011 in Avignon (France), in order to relaunch its activities and adopt collectively an operational plan for the next two years. Around fifteen representatives from interested countries and organizations discussed about the objectives and priorities of the group, as well as its working modalities and means for implementing the selected activities.
Considering the available and potential means, the group decided to focus on contributing to the three following activities for the period 2011-2012:
The preparation of the upcoming Report on the state of Mediterranean forests (strong interest as data on Mediterranean forest areas is lacking)
The preparation of the 3rd Mediterranean Forest Week, which will focus on desertification issues: exchanges of experiences and development of new pilot activities on integrated management to combat desertification, in view of organizing sharing sessions on the model of the “Forests, societies and territories” sessions held during the 2nd Mediterranean Forest Week as well as workshops to share and value experiences,
A study on the economic valuation of services rendered by Mediterranean wooded ecosystems (strong argument with decision-makers)
These activities will be mainly implemented in the framework of the regional cooperation project “Optimizing the production of goods and services by Mediterranean forest ecosystems in the context of climate change” funded by FFEM ((French GEF) and coordinated by the secretariat of the FAO Committee Silva Mediterranea and Plan Bleu.
The WG3 has a role of guidance, monitoring and evaluation of this programme of activities. Its members could also contribute to the implementation of activities by:
Supporting the collection of data, information and good practices in Mediterranean countries,
Helping to identify experts in countries,
Disseminating information, results of studies, etc. in relevant structures in the countries,
Contributing directly to certain activities.
The composition of the working group will adapt to the different activities and involve interested and relevant experts for the various issues (national representatives*, members of Mediterranean networks active in the forest sector, environmental associations, representatives from local authorities, funders, scientists, etc.). Working subgroups could be formed to provide guidance on specific activities, and would gather WG3 members as well as external experts.
* The following countries have nominated a representative for the Silva Mediterranea WG3: Algeria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Spain, France, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Portugal, Tunisia, Turkey
FGEF project (work in progress) “Optimizing the production of goods and services by Mediterranean woodland ecosystems in the context of global change: What REDD+ for Mediterranean forests?”
The 2012-2013 first phase of the project funded by the French Global Environment Facility (FGEF) project complements the GIZ’s project. It should enable the development of pilot projects in six target countries and to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experience between the banks on the subject of the adaptation of Mediterranean forests to climate change.
The instrument REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) consider such efforts in the governance process. This project will provide an opportunity to allow the implementation of actions in the work programme of the Working Group No. 3 of the Silva Mediterranea Committee and develop synergies with the pilot actions and the FOR CLIMADAPT partnership.
The second phase of the project is currently being evaluated.
Both projects will be simultaneous coordinated and one of the AIFM’s roles will specifically contribute to their “cross-fertilization” and the enhancement of the cooperation project achievements which the AIFM is associated (QUALIGOUV, FOR CLIMADAPT, MODEL FOREST, PROFORBIOMED...).
Presentation of REDD+
Presentation of the FFEM project
Project note (in French)
Feasibility study by the ONFI