Committee on Mediterranean Forestry Questions-Silva Mediterranea
Over 90 years of Mediterranean forest management
Dear friends and colleagues,
I would like to start by thanking Silva Mediterranea’s member countries for giving me their valuable confidence in electing me as chairman during the 23rd session that was held in Lebanon, last April, during the 6th Mediterranean Forest Week. This is an honor for Lebanon, for the Ministry of Agriculture, and for me personally.
My deepest thanks go to the secretariat of Silva Mediterranea, supported by France for the last few years, whose efforts gave back “life” to the nearly centenary committee and who managed to activate working groups. I was also very glad to know that Italy will perpetuate this support for the coming years.
Furthermore, a warm thank you goes to my predecessor and dear friend Jose Manuel Jaquotot Saenz de Miera, whose long professional experience was of great importance to the service of Silva Mediterranea. His support will always be a key of success for the committee and for me during the next two years.
Many challenges are ahead of us to maintain and develop the Mediterranean Forests, climate change being on top of the list of those challenges. The 6th Mediterranean Forest Week (6th MFW) clearly highlighted the problems that surround the Mediterranean Forests, but also showed signs of optimism if our efforts are united. The Brummana declaration called for “the political and administrative authorities at national and local levels to reinforce sustainable forest management and the integration of forest ecosystems restoration into the Nationally Determined Contributions of Mediterranean countries as part of their commitment under the Paris Agreement”.
The role of Silva Mediterranea is crucial in implementing this declaration. The working groups need to be more active and the involvement of all member countries has to be increased. We have to focus on the importance of the Mediterranean Forests and their sensitive role with regards to the development of local communities.
Unfortunately, some of the member countries are undergoing geopolitical conflicts, leading to massive population displacements, and resulting in an escalating pressure on natural resources in general and even more so on forest ecosystems.
Silva Mediterranea must be a platform of exchange and communication between policy makers, scientists, and forest users. It should also be the voice of the Mediterranean Forests within the international scene, so that member countries may manage to benefit from massive funding programs that are usually very hard to alleviate.
At the end, I would like to ask for the support of all in order to keep the momentum that was given to Silva Mediterranea during the last few years and to upscale it for the benefit of the Mediterranean forests.
From my side I will do my best to put all my energy and the available resources at the service of the committee. I thank you in advance for your support in the coming two years.
Chadi Mohanna - Ministry of Agriculture, Lebanon