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New EFI policy brief looks at recent steps towards a Mediterranean forest research area

01.10.2012


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Mediterranean forests are a key socio-ecological system, playing a crucial role in a transition towards a green bio-economy in the region. In an area with difficult socio-economic conditions, forests are vital for ensuring the economic viability and resilience of rural communities. However, their future is seriously threatened by climate and land use changes, particularly in southern Mediterranean countries like Tunisia and Morocco, where these changes are more rapid and intense. National forest programmes are being developed. However, while forest research in North Africa has improved in recent years, it still suffers from fragmentation, and lack of large-scale infrastructures or long-term experiments with proper long-term funding. Poor coordination among southern Mediterranean countries also hinders the efficient sharing of knowledge.

The newly published EFI Policy Brief “AGORA Making the Difference: Towards a Mediterranean Forest Research Area” looks at the work of AGORA – Advancing Capacities in Mediterranean Forestry Research– a European project financed by the EU 7th Framework Programme. AGORA provided a focused, innovative and ambitious response to the problem by implementing research partnerships, networking, capacity building and knowledge transfer in two North African countries, Tunisia and Morocco.

The policy brief sets out the lessons learned, and provides recommendations for future policy development.

EFI Policy Brief 8, 2012. AGORA Making the Difference: Towards a Mediterranean Forest Research Area by Marc Palahí, Davide Pettenella, José G. Borges, Fouad Mounir, Hamed Daly, François Lefèvre and Emin Baskent is available as a pdf file here.