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Closing remarks

Fritz Shumacher has argued that land management should define health, beauty and permanence as its three main goals. Unfortunately, up to recent, the only goal accepted by development experts was productivity, while the negative consequences that this exclusive concentration had on ecological and social stability was neglected. Even more, there was no consideration of the fact that management practices, which target the three prime goals, can eventually result to productivity. Managing woodlands for NTFPs can contribute to the maintenance of the health, beauty and permanence of Mediterranean landscapes. To do so, investments on land need to locate and capitalise on existing knowledge of multi-management of forests. Any aid given for the introduction of new economic activities should follow a piecemeal approach and be based on the existing potential of Mediterranean woodland resources. This applies equally to the double experience of Mediterranean countries. In the north, where abandonment lead to the decline of original management methods and left only migration as the option for rural populations, reconsidering the values of NTFPs could create small poles of attractions in the countryside. But this could not be more urgent than in the south, where intensification of management has violated balances and has given reasons to experts to push for the adoption of imported land management methods based on mono-specific cultures, which supposedly could lead to the solution of existing problems. The time is now to act and establish small to medium scale operations, which would organise forest management for NTFPs, address ecological and social needs of rural populations and preserve the centuries-old rich natural and cultural landscape.


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