FORESTERRA strategy discussions in Rome

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Held at the Climate and Meterological Agriculture Research Unit (CRACMA) in the heart of Rome, 30 participants attended the meeting, including leaders from each of the FORESTERRA Work Packages (WP). 

Over the summer and autumn a mapping exercise has taken place on existing forest research frameworks and funding in Mediterranean countries in Europe and Northern Africa. The exercise, which is still ongoing, will be widened to include responses from other Mediterranean Climate Areas, including Australia, California, Chile and South Africa. A poster on each country demonstrated results collated so far.

The Spreading Excellence WP leader reported on the FORESTERRA website and shared the official project brochure and poster, both available to be downloaded from the FORESTERRA website. They are also working on the project newsletter which will be launched soon and will also be available on the web.

Photo: Sarah Adams

A significant portion of the meeting was reserved for the final discussions on the FORESTERRA Strategic Research Themes, which were elaborated over the course of 2012, the fruit of a long and inclusive consultation process. EFIMED launched the call for ideas at the beginning of the year, as a bottom-up exercise which received a total of 28 research project ideas, and in which 150 forest research organisations from 26 different countries participated.

Based on this consultation, EFIMED Scientific Advisory Group devised four main multi-disciplinary and cross-cutting research themes that could address the most important gaps in knowledge and scientific challenges identified in the call for ideas. These were brought for detailed discussions and further elaboration to the Scientific Workshop organised in Tunis in June, attended by over 90 participants. After the workshop, a draft document was produced, based on the working group discussions; this was disseminated to EFIMED’s network of over 800 stakeholders for additional comments which were incorporated into the final version of the Strategic Research Themes. This document will be approved in the coming weeks, after comments and suggestions for fine-tuning from the SC and SAG have been taken into account.

tree rome_200.jpg : 58.708984375KbThe four Research Themes and the results of the mapping exercise will be used to develop the FORESTERRA Strategic Plan, which will be the basis for the call for research proposals for transnational funding planned for 2014.

Other WPs are still in the early stages of their project lifespan, including Funding of Joint Transnational Research and Scientific Cooperation with other Mediterranean Climate Areas. Planned action and ideas for the development of these activities were discussed with participants.

The second day of the meeting was held at Castelporziano Presidential Estate and Natural Reserve which included an in-field discussion of management and conservation of Mediterranean coastal forests, the first SAG Meeting and SC Next Steps. Plans for 2013 include a Management Committee Meeting to be held in Paris in May and a Steering Committee Meeting during the EFIMED Annual Conference in Barcelona in September. The Research Call will be launched in 2014.

Photo: Sarah Adams

More information: Victoria Sanz name.surname(at)efi.int

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