Second Mediterranean Forest Week (II MFW) - Avignon, France 2011
Mediterranean forests and woodlands, which cover 73m ha, or about 9% of the Mediterranean region’s land area, require special attention because:
- They constitute a unique world natural heritage in terms of biological diversity, hosting around 25.000 species of vascular plants, (50% are endemic species) and a high degree of tree richness and endemism (290 indigenous tree species with 201 endemics) with extraordinary genetic diversity.
- Their conservation and appropriate management have crucial impacts on the sustainability of the region’s most strategic resource: water. Currently, 60% of the water-poor-countries (with < 1,000 m3 capita-1 year-1) of the world are in the Mediterranean region and it is expected that by 2050, 290 million people will face water shortages (with < 500 m3 capita-1 year-1).
- They provide highly appreciated and unique non-wood products and non-market services that with appropriate territorial approaches, forest management models and innovation frameworks have the potential to generate innovative, high-added value and eco-friendly goods, thus being a key pillar in a Mediterranean knowledgebased bio-economy.
However, Mediterranean forests and the important goods and services they provide are seriously threatened by drastic and rapid climate and land use changes:
- Climate change: The global temperature increase from 1850-1899 to 2001-2005 is about 0.76 ° C; while, in many Mediterranean countries the temperature has increased by almost 2 ° C from 1971 to 2000. Many parts of the Mediterranean region have already experienced a reduction in rainfall of up to 20%.
- Land-use changes: Increased areas of unmanaged forest in the north and overexploitation in the south will increase the level of biotic (pests and diseases) and abiotic (fires, droughts, etc.) risks reducing the possibilities for adaptation to climate change.
This complex context requires new scientific knowledge as well as an efficient science-policy dialogue and closed cooperation among relevant stakeholders in order to develop forest management models and policy frameworks adapted to such changing conditions.
In this context, EFIMED, FAO and Silva Mediterranea, and several organizations aiming to promote the coordination and cooperation on Mediterranean forests and forestry in the Region (AIFM, ARCMED, USSE, GIZ, Plan Bleu, MMFN, INRA, CTFC and COFOR-International) with the support of the MAAPRAT, the Regional government of PACA and the Department of Vaucluse wish to provide a platform, through the organization of the II Mediterranean Forest Week where relevant Mediterranean forests and forestry challenges are discussed and addressed in a concerted manner.
Agenda of the II MFW (12/31/2010)
Coinciding with the UN Year of Forests, the Second Mediterranean Forest Week was held in Avignon on 5 - 8 April (See final agenda of the II MFW).
Sessions and meetings of this event have discussed:
Forest governance in the Mediterranean region;
Water and forests interactions;
EFIMED annual meeting and Sylvamed project;
ARCMED General Assembly;
AIFM General Assembly;
Silva Mediterranea Enlarged Executive Committee;
EFIMED Seminar on Biodiversity of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems: changing the paradigm of conservation;
The profitability (social and private) of Mediterranean forests;
Capitalising on the past and existing Mediterranean forestry projects;
Besides Silva Mediterranea, the Second Mediterranean Forest Week was organised by EFIMED (Secretariat), AIFM, ARCMED, the Mediterranean Forest Model Network (MFMN), COFOR-International with the support of INRA and the Ministry of Agriculture of France.