EFIMED week 2012 – celebrating 5 years of research networking

Forest researchers, ministry’s representatives and practitioners from across the globe converged on Tunis, Tunisia’s ancient capital of minarets and monuments, for EFIMED week 2012147 participants from 17 countries attended the 3-day event held from 12-14 June at the Golden Tulip El Mechtel including overseas guests from Australia and USA.

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Photo: Sarah Adams

The event incorporated the final conference of the European Commission (EC)-funded AGORA project, EFIMED’s Annual Meeting, strategic discussion on the FORESTERRA project and the EFIMED Scientific SeminarWomen Making a Difference: Women in science and innovation working towards sustainable natural resources management and governance in the Mediterranean region’.

The strategic value of collaboration and networking for improved forest research and policy development was clearly in evidence over the course of the conference and a fitting celebration of EFIMED’s five years of research networking.

Certainly EFIMED has come a long way since its inception, borne about by a need to address the fragmented forest research framework in the light of increasingly complex problems for Mediterranean forests due to climate, land-use and socio-economic change.

To this MFRA.jpg : 165.7001953125Kbend, the last five years have seen networking events and collaboration throughout the Mediterranean basin, international publications, the initiation of an International Masters Programme, the Erasmus Mundus Masters Course MEDFOR and the creation of various international projects to catalyse innovative approaches, coordinate research,  build capacity and to enhance  cooperation with other Mediterranean climate areas and disciplines. 

Through establishing a Mediterranean Forest Research Agenda, Mediterranean forest researchers have come together to commit to fostering innovation, to the circulation of knowledge and to nurturing an interdisciplinary dialogue where the interdependence of understanding, managing and governing the relationship between forest ecosystems, forest goods and services and forest management and policies is seen to be intrinsic and vital.

EFIMED week 2012 was a synthesis of these ideas and actions with a young generation of foresters from North Africa and across Europe integrating and innovating with senior researchers and policy-makers and joined by leading professors from Australia and the USA, who shared insights into their own Mediterranean climate areas.

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Photo: Sarah Adams

If developments  over the last 5 years can be viewed as an indicator for future progress, expectations are high for when we look back over a decade of Mediterranean forest research networking.

More information: Marc Palahí, name.surname@efi.int

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