Committee on Mediterranean Forestry Questions-Silva Mediterranea
Over 90 years of Mediterranean forest management
The 2019 Assembly of the Mediterranean Model Forest Network took place between April 1st and 4th, 2019 in Brummana (Lebanon) in the framework of the 6th Mediterranean Forest Week, with the following title: “Forest-based solutions: Model Forest impacts in the Mediterranean and beyond”.
The Mediterranean Model Forest Network (MMFN) was officially launched in 2008, as a subset of the International Model Forest Network. It currently includes regions and countries from all sides of the Mediterranean basin and the following Model Forest Associations: Yalova and Buçak (Turkey); Ifrane (Morocco); Tlemcen (Algeria); Florentine Mountains (Tuscany, Italy), Mirna River (Istria, Croatia), Provence (Var, France), the candidate Palencia (Castilla y Leon, Spain) and the new initiative from Aterno Valley ( Abruzzo, Italy).
This Med Forum has been cofounded by the Canadian Forest Service and organized by the Cesefor Foundation. The meeting drew together the Model Forest representatives and supporters from across the Mediterranean and beyond (at the meeting some representatives from the Baltic and Canadian Networks were present as well). In particular, the Model Forest Associations’ current status of affairs has been reviewed and all the representatives shared recent good practices, innovations and experiences as a way of supporting sustainable forest management in the Mediterranean.
The rest of the technical sessions were dedicated to sharing experiences, innovative approaches and best-practices for accelerated learning and sustainable landscape management. Additionally, a business to business session took place, during which the identification of new bilateral cooperation opportunities between Model Forests were discovered. For example, the natural resin extraction has been recognized as a thematic with great potential. Cesefor showed how this specific market has been relaunched and regulated in Spain and how beneficial this addition can be to the South Mediterranean. Particularly with reference to Algeria and Turkey. From Algeria, the enhancement of the market surrounding essential oils has been indicated as a thematic of interest. From Croatia and Tuscany, the promotion of the mushrooms and truffles production and the ecotourism related to the knowledge and use of these Non-Wood Forest Products will be subject for new cooperation projects. The Mirna River Model Forest highlighted the importance of forest pedagogy as well, and wished to cooperate with the rest of the Model Forests for the promotion of the training of children, for a better knowledge of the forest and for a better understanding and fulfillment of its values.
A new solid connection has been established with the Slow Food International Association and some possibilities of cooperation between the Networks have been envisioned. Slow Food is an international eco-gastronomic, member-supported, non-profit organization. It is also a grassroots network whose supporters are linking the pleasure of good food with a commitment to their community and the environment.
During the ordinary Assembly, the Board of Directors of the MMFN, discussed the rotation of the Network’s Secretariat that, as expected, passed from Spain to Italy. Alvaro Picardo, from the Region Castile and León, confirmed his approval in this change of command and consequent new political responsibility of the Network. On behalf of the IMFN Secretariat, Mark Johnston (in the picture), conducted a ceremony for the formal investiture of the new people in charge: Elisabetta Gravano from Tuscany and Toni Ventre from the Union of Municipalities Valdarno and Valdisieve. Throughout their speech, they both reiterated their satisfaction and pride of becoming responsible for the Network, holding best wishes for the future.
Riccardo Castellini - Cesefor