Silva Mediterranea

Over 90 years of Mediterranean forest management

International Association for Mediterranean Forests (AIFM) and its 14 partners were pleased to announce the official launch of the Interreg MED INHERIT project in the 30th Silva Mediterranea Newsletter.

As a reminder, this project, financed by the Interreg MED European Program, aims to enhance the development of policies and coordination of strategies between territories about advancing a sustainable coastal and maritime tourism in the Mediterranean area. This approach will be positive both for natural habitats and for tourism, as it will:

  • protect and enhance the quality of the natural heritage, thereby augmenting attractiveness for tourists;
  • leverage visibility, thereby enhancing the value of tourism offering;
  • sustain natural heritage, thereby increasing the long-term value of tourism.

The INHERIT project identified protection measures adapted to Mediterranean specificities to protect the natural heritage against the negative effects of mass tourism. These key measures will be tested and deployed across partner territories. The project is currently identifying natural heritage sites that are threatened by negative effect of tourism development, called INHERITURA pilot sites, where those bottom-up protection measures will be applied to alleviate the effects of seasonality and locality peaks.

 Side event during 6MFW

A side event on “Preservation and valorisation of forests from mass-tourism” was organized by AIFM on April 2nd, 2019 during the Sixth Mediterranean Forest Week. The three speakers from the INHERIT partners project provided us with great analysis:

  • Mrs Nelly Bourlion, Forest ecosystem and biodiversity program officer, UNEP/MAP Plan Bleu;
  • Mr Consuelo Rosauro, General directorate of natural environment, Region of Murcia;
  • Mrs Ionna Augustides, former Coordinator, AIFM.

This event informed the participants that even though tourism is considered as a pillar of Mediterranean economies - especially with employment opportunities (11.5% of the total number of jobs in 2014) and economic growth (11.3% of the region's GDP); this importance is accompanied by ecosystem degradation and increasing risk of losing cultural and natural heritage (27% of all UNESCO World Heritage sites are located in Mediterranean countries). Three main negative impacts (UNEP, 2001) were cited: depletion of natural resources (water, land degradation, energy, food), pollution (air pollution and noise, solid waste and littering, sewage, aesthetic pollution) and physical impacts (construction activities and development of infrastructure, deforestation, marina development, extensive paving of shorelines, trampling, anchoring, alteration of ecosystems by activities).

Where are we at?

The INHERIT fourth project meeting held in Montpellier, France, on 11st-12nd September 2019, ended the studying and data collection phase.

Project partners discussed the progress so far on the testing phase. This bundle of activities aims to provide the testing ground, through representative pilot actions, for the lessons learnt in the studying phase. Stakeholders are being approached to involve them in this testing phase. These actors can indicatively include:

  • Environmental authorities or organizations’ representatives;
  • Public authorities’ representatives;
  • ICZM regional delegates or coastal planning authorities;
  • Tourism service operators operating in the area or interested in developing activities of the envisaged characteristics;
  • Civil society representatives;
  • Other sectoral representatives operating in the vicinity.

Project partners will be able to implement pilot actions in own territories, document the results, and validate which practices work best in the Mediterranean. In addition, a more ambitious objective is, depending on pilot results, to lead to the formation of the first INHERITURA sites.

For any questions, remarks or interest on the INHERIT project, please feel free to contact Anaïs Loudières, AIFM Coordinator:

Marseille, 19/09/2019.

last updated:  Monday, October 14, 2019