38 participants from the Balkans (i.e. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro), Maghreb (i.e. Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia) and Turkey from the Middle-East (as Lebanon and Syria could not attend), and from other institutions with experience in SARD-M policy issues, such as ICARDA, participated in the regional workshop organised by CIHEAM-IAM Bari in collaboration with the FAO Livelihood Support Programme and SARD-M Project, and IRESA (Institution de la Recherche et de l’Enseignement Supérieur Agricoles) from Tunisia.
A balanced participation was ensured among governments and international organisations, research institutions and various civil society groups. The process of the workshop was mainly based on open and free discussions, taking into account case studies from all regions.
The participants demonstrated a high level of interest in and commitment to the workshop process, and contributed to identifying:
- lessons learned, grouped into the following categories and items: policies (multi-sectoral and integrated policies, mountain sensitive policies, access to resources, territorial planning, empowerment of stakeholders, decentralisation), institutions (coordination among agencies, institutional capacity), processes (regional networking, participation, knowledge inventory, capacity building, financial mechanisms);
- recommendations related to policies, institutions and processes, to be sorted;
- possible follow-up activities, for the Mediterranean region as a whole and at a sub-regional level for the Balkans and Maghreb, which need to be prioritised, such as:
• exchanges of information and lessons learned;
• development of a database on projects in mountains, experts, case studies;
• organisation of a workshop for policy decision makers on SARD-M issues;
• strengthening capacity of local stakeholders;
• implementation of SARD-M policy assessments in the Balkans;
• policy forum for the Atlas Mountains and/or set up of an Atlas Mountains Group/Convention.
The workshop has initiated a Mediterranean SARD-M network and dynamic that IAM Bari and SARD-M Project will support in the coming months to make it sustainable.