Experts Meeting to prepare a position paper on Mediterranean Forests in the context of the Union for the Mediterranean

Within the context of the Enlarged Executive Committee of Silva Mediterranea, during the first Mediterranean Forest Week, an experts’ meeting was held for the preparation of a position paper to ensure that Mediterranean forests are put on the agenda of the Union for the Mediterranean.

This meeting gathered a panel of experts, representatives of member countries of the Silva Mediterranea Committee, research organizations and networks, landowner associations and non-governmental organizations active in the Mediterranean. As a result, a position paper entitled “Contribution of forests and other wooded lands to food security in the Mediterranean” was prepared for adoption and inclusion as part of the declaration of Ministers of Agriculture at the “Ministerial Conference of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) on Food security, Agriculture and Rural Development” taking place from 15-16 June 2010, in Cairo, Egypt.

Experts highlighted the importance of Mediterranean forests and other wooded lands and their significant contribution to poverty alleviation and food security as well as the increasing human pressures exacerbated by climate change driving their degradation and loss. The paper stressed the need for greater investment in avoiding deforestation and in sustainable forest management in the Mediterranean and recommended the following as urgent actions to be undertaken:

  •  developing an integrated strategy for the sustainable management of Mediterranean forests and other wooded lands to ensure the provision of goods and environmental services relevant to food security,
  •  implementing the Mediterranean Forest Research Agenda 2010-2020 (MFRA) by developing a European Research Area (ERA)-NET scheme,
  • organising a high-level Mediterranean conference with all relevant stakeholders in 2012 to develop a shared vision on this regional integrated strategy.

The Silva Mediterranea Enlarged Executive Committee approved the position paper and agreed to submit it for endorsement to the 35th session of the FAO European Forestry Commission to be held on 27-30 April in Lisbon, Portugal, for onward submission to the Ministers of Agriculture for adoption at the “Ministerial Conference of the Union for the Mediterranean on Food security, Agriculture and Rural Development”.

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