The Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism

Enhancing effective communication on Mediterranean forest issues – a Silva Mediterranea virtual meeting

Year published: 24/07/2023

The Secretariat of the Committee of Mediterranean Forestry Questions - Silva Mediterranea of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) held a virtual meeting on 21 June 2023 with key partners and State Members to launch its new website and new knowledge sharing tools, as well as to present the quarterly report of the Mediterranean Youth Task Force (MYTF). 

As a statutory body of FAO, Silva Mediterranea’s role is to insert Mediterranean forest questions into a participatory process, acting as a catalyst for their management and proposing related calls for action. Its new website, available in English, Spanish and French, represents a platform of reference for forestry issues in the region, not only to communicate the work of the Committee and the Secretariat, but also of its five Working Groups, the MYTF, its partners and member countries. 

The Mediterranean Forest Network, a new online community of practice (CoP), was launched at this virtual meeting along with the Silva Mediterranea website. With over 600 members from the region already, this CoP allows all stakeholders involved in Mediterranean forest issues to interact and exchange knowledge. It also includes a virtual library and calendar that allow members to update with their contributions. The Network is open for new stakeholders to join, share updates and spark conversations. 

The Mediterranean Youth Task Force, which is the youth branch of Silva Mediterranea, was launched in mid-2022 after the Youth Dialogue that took place during the Seventh Mediterranean Forest Week (7MFW) in March 2022 in Antalya, Türkiye, and the Youth Statement that was thus produced by youth of the region. In January 2023, the MYTF elected its first Direction Board, which has been leading the way forward through its adopted strategy and several events. During the virtual meeting on 21 June 2023, the MYTF Board presented its strategy for 2023 as well as its first quarterly report, highlighting its past and planned activities such as an upcoming side event of the World Food Forum Flagship event in October 2023, co-organized with the International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA). As a network and self-led group of engaged young people up to 35 years old who have active roles in the forest sector of the Mediterranean region, the MYTF is open for new members to join here

At the virtual meeting, the Silva Mediterranea Secretariat presented its planned activities for 2023 and 2024. Among these activities are the planning of the Eighth Mediterranean Forest Week and the Twenty-fifth Session of the Committee of Silva Mediterranea, the launch of the new editions of the Unasylva journal focusing on restoration in the Mediterranean region and of the “State of Mediterranean Forests” to be launched in 2024. 

The second half of the virtual meeting engaged participants in an interactive poll focused on communication. The goal was to better understand stakeholders of Silva Mediterranea’s needs, interests and preferences – in terms of knowledge sharing and communication – in order to consider these aspects in its new knowledge management strategy. 

Overall, the virtual meeting gathered key stakeholders involved in the Mediterranean forest sector, ranging from technical, governmental and academic backgrounds. Partner international organizations, such as the European Forest Institute Mediterranean Facility (EFIMED), the International Association for Mediterranean Forests (AIFM), the Mediterranean Model Forest Network and the World Wild Fund for Nature (WFF) were present. The participation of partners and stakeholders is integral to promote interaction and exchanges on forest issues in the Mediterranean region.

Lucía Rivera Lima (FAO)