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AGORA builds capacities in forestry in Morocco and Tunisia

AGORA project brings together scientists and policy-makers to build new forest research capacities in Tunisia and Morocco based on effective transfer of scientific knowledge from Portugal, Italy, Spain, France and Turkey. As a result, forestry and forest research in Tunisia and Morocco will be reinforced, becoming more ready to face the challenges stemming from the climate change, population growth and loss of forest land in the non-European Mediterranean countries.

This situation calls for a coordinated approach throughout the Mediterranean basin to develop reliable information and tools based on sound science, in order to improve forest management and policy-making. The sustainable management of Mediterranean forests should consider the three dimensions: environmental, economic and social as well as their spatial and temporal evolutions related to land-use and climate changes. Consequently, the AGORA project concentrates on three main topics which are both scientifically crucial and highly relevant for policy-making:

1. Understanding the role of genetic diversity in the adaptive response of forest tree species;

2. Valuing forest goods and services, designing financing mechanisms and income generation strategies to ensure their sustainable provision;

3. Developing participatory tools for optimising and adapting forest management in a context of multiple-use-landscapes and changes in land-use and climate.

Forest managers and policy makers in Tunisia and Morocco will have a key role in voicing their needs and challenges they face. Once concrete issues are identified, training and exchange of knowledge on the issue will take place. One of the very concrete measures of capacity building in AGORA is a mobility programme which allows exchange of scientists between twin institutions in Morocco and Tunisia and the European partners.

AGORA project which was kicked-off in Barcelona in mid-February is an EU Capacities Programme project coordinated by the EFI Mediterranean Regional Office, EFIMED. The project lasts for three years and it involves seven organisations. The kick-off meeting was attended by thirty participants.



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