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Working Group No.3 of the Silva Mediterranea Committee


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







  • AIFM

  • Plan Bleu