EFIMED Annual Meeting

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The EFIMED Annual Meeting was the inaugural event to take place at Sant Pau following the renovations which have created a state-of-the-art venue whilst preserving the beautiful Art Nouveau character of the original buildings.

The Chair of the EFI Board, Jørgen Bo Larsen, presided over the opening session which was attended by over 100 leading researchers, practitioners and policy makers in Mediterranean forestry, as well as dignitaries from the city of Barcelona and the Sant Pau i Santa Creu Private Hospital Foundation.
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Opening addresses were given by representatives from three entities which have played a major role in realising the transformation of the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site: Juan Maria Vazquez from the Spanish Government’s Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO), Jordi Bachs, Managing Director of the Santa Creu i Sant Pau Private Hospital Foundation. and Joana Ortega, Vice-president of Catalonia.

EFIMED AM2013_175.jpg : 97.9248046875KbFollowing the opening, EFIMED’s new Head of Office, Inazio Martínez de Arano, shared his hopes and expectations for EFIMED’s future, identifying some of the challenges that lie ahead. Building on the work of the past, it will be important to implement, evaluate and develop the Mediterranean Research Agenda and to improve forest-related policies and management with a trans-disciplinary cross-sectoral approach.  He is keen to increase the impact of EFIMED’s work through exploring synergies  with the offices and organisms that are already, or will soon be, based in Sant Pau and with network partners.

After the successful workshop in Tunis last year, at which participants played no small role in defining the strategic themes for the FORESTERRA ERA-net, the FORESTERRA Workshop this year brought members up to date with progress on the forthcoming call  and widened perspectives by welcoming presentations from other Mediterranean Climate Areas and from other ERA-Net initiatives. The four FORESTERRA strategic themes were the basis for the first ever EFIMED Market Place in which members from around the network were given a brief platform to describe their research, organisation or project in the light of one of the themes. Some new projects were presented by members looking for partners and opportunities to form new consortia were explored.

EFIMED AM5_175.jpg : 77.75KbThe day concluded with project presentations on the theme of non-wood forest products as two major pan-European initiatives in this field kicked off during the past year. Robert Mavsar presented the StarTree project, which aims to show how Multi-Purpose Trees (MPT) and Non Wood Forest Products (NWFP) can be used to strengthen and diversify economic activities in rural areas. With 24 partners across 14 European countries, StarTree is an ambitious 4-year EU-funded project, coordinated by EFI. Davide Pettenella presented the COST Action FP1203: European non-wood forest products(NWFP) network which aims to build a broad multidisciplinary network of European NWFPs researchers and managers in order to understand the value chain of NWFP. The COST action consists of a matrix of 4 working groups on mushrooms, tree products, understorey plants and animal products with 5 Task Forces on identification, modelling, management, economics & marketing, and dissemination. It involves 27 EU countries + 5 cost countries.

Photos: Robert Ramos/Fundació Privada Hospital de Sant Pau (1,2 &3); Elena Gorriz (4)

Presentations will soon be available via the EFIMED website

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