After the success of the first two Mediterranean Forest Weeks, in 2010 in Antalya (Turkey) and in 2011 in Avignon (France), the Algerian authorities welcome this third edition in Tlemcen from 17-21 March 2013 on the following issue: "Mediterranean forests for sustainable development of territories: what strategies of mitigation and adaptation to global change?"
In preparation for the third Mediterranean Forest Week, the Strategic Framework on Mediterranean Forests (SFMF) has been released. The SFMF provides policy options and recommendations for integrated forest and woodland management in Mediterranean forests, building on the multiple social, economic and environmental services provided by such ecosystems. This Strategic framework is intended to help countries address challenges to sustainable forest management in the Mediterranean, including poor land management, overuse and overexploitation, climate change, socioeconomic pressures and urbanization.
IUCN has been participating in the preparation of this strategy and supporting the process.
The State of Mediterranean Forests
The Mediterranean forests are expected to be hard hit by climate change and are under severe pressure from population growth, according to the first FAO report on The State of Mediterranean Forests, also published during this week.
The report stresses that the value of Mediterranean forests and their vital role in climate change adaptation and mitigation should be recognized at local, regional and national levels. It calls upon governments and foresters to promote the use of wood and non-wood forest products such as cork for long-term carbon storage, and to reinforce the investment potential of smallholders working in wood and non-wood, forest-based industries (pine nuts, esparto grass, mushrooms, honey, etc.). The report was developed by more than 20 scientific and technical institutions and non-governmental organizations and nearly 50 authors and other contributors coordinated by FAO and Plan Bleu. FAO intends to publish this report every five years.
Mediterranean forests are a significant carbon sink. In 2010 they stocked almost 5 billion tons of carbon, which represent 1.6 percent of the global forest carbon stock. They also provide valuable ecosystem services such as water and climate regulation, the provision of wood and non-wood products, and biodiversity conservation.
The Mediterranean Forest Week has been conceived as a common regional platform for cooperation on Mediterranean forests, aiming at improving the dialogue between the Mediterranean forest research community, policy-makers and the relevant stakeholders as well as at communicating to the international community and the society at large the relevance and challenges affecting Mediterranean forests.This event is supported by the Algerian Government, FAO, the French Ministry of Agriculture, the Committee on Mediterranean Forestry Questions–Silva Mediterranea and its Turkish Presidency, the German International Cooperation (GIZ), Plan Bleu, the Mediterranean Model Forests Network (MMFN), the European Forest Institute-Mediterranean office (EFIMED), the International Association for Mediterranean Forests (AIFM) and the Forest Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTFC).