Background documentation from the Collaborative Partnership on Mediterranean Forests (CPMF)
The Declaration of Tlemcen (adopted by the High level segment of the third Mediterranean Forest Week) is a commitment of policy makers for implementing actions and measures in order to achieve the proposed objectives of the "Strategic Framework on Mediterranean Forests", namely:
- Developing and promoting goods and services provided by forest ecosystems and other wooded lands in the Mediterranean
- Promoting resilience of forest ecosystems and other wooded lands in the Mediterranean to face global changes
- Enhancing capacity of stakeholders and the resources mobilization necessary for the sustainable management of forest ecosystems and other wooded lands in the Mediterranean
State of Mediterranean Forests 2013
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released the "State of Mediterranean Forests 2013" during the Third Mediterranean Forest Week, held in Tlemcen, Algeria from 17-21 March 2013. This report details the social and environmental changes affecting forests in the Mediterranean region, as well as the contributions that forests make to agriculture, water, energy, tourism and other economic sectors. It pays special attention to the vulnerability of Mediterranean forests to global changes such as climate change, as well as to changes in regional demographics and lifestyles. Themes addressed regarding forests and climate change include: biodiversity and genetic resources; adaptive management and restoration; forest fire prevention; and insect pests, diseases and other disturbances.
The report also reviews the goods and services provided by forests including: wood and non-wood forest products; environmental services; and social services.
The report also notes the urgent need for better information and tools to monitor forest changes and communicate towards stakeholders across the region. In recognition of this gap, the FAO will issue follow-up reports on the state of Mediterranean forests every five years.
Strategic Framework on Mediterranean Forests
The Strategic Framework on Mediterranean Forests (SFMF), that has been launched during Third Mediterranean Forest Week, contains policy orientations for integrated management of forest ecosystems in Mediterranean landscapes.
Forests and other wooded lands are highly integrated into Mediterranean landscapes. Through millennia, Mediterranean civilizations have been using multiple social, economic and environmental goods and services provided by these ecosystems. As a consequence the present landscapes are the result of a long-term interaction between populations and forest ecosystems. These multiples goods and services provided by forest ecosystems contribute directly to food security of rural population in the Mediterranean.
Important disparities between northern and southern rims of the Mediterranean are the result of both different degree of urbanization, industrialization and globalization of trade and tourism, and distinct population growth rates. As a consequence of socio-economic processes, forest landscapes and uses have suffered strong alterations and pressures (rural abandonment, aging of rural populations, intensification of production systems, etc.) causing drastic changes in vegetation structure and modifying the role of the primary sector in national economies.
In the North, where forestland is mostly privately-owned, vegetation has expanded due to land abandonment and its natural dynamics. The lack of management has increased the risk of wildfires. The anarchic urban development has also damaged several forest ecosystems. In the South, where forests are mostly publicly owned, human pressure on forest resources caused by dense and poor rural forest-dependent populations is very high. Overgrazing and overexploitation of forest products like wood fuel are the most frequent pressures causing degradation, or even desertification, in the Mediterranean region. Several eastern countries are in transition between these two extreme situations due to a strong economic growth in the past ten years (e.g. Turkey, Albania and Croatia).
This pressure on Mediterranean forests is now exacerbated by climate change and socioeconomic crisis.
An improved regional cooperation (North-South and South-South) is key to cope with these new challenges.
Strategic lines of the SFMF
Background documentation from the European Union
Environment Action Programme
New EU forest strategy
On September 20th, 2013 the Commission adopted a new EU Forest Strategy which responds to the new challenges facing forests and the forest sector.
The new Strategy gives a new framework in response to the increasing demands put on forests and to significant societal and political changes that have affected forests over the last 15 years.
It was developed by the Commission in close cooperation with Member States and stakeholders over the past two years and has been submitted to the European Parliament and the Council.