The twenty-fourth session of Silva Mediterranea
The twenty-fourth session of the Mediterranean Committee on Forestry Questions – Silva Mediterranea – took place in Antalya, Turkey from 21 to 25 March 2022, as part of the Seventh Mediterranean Forest Week.
Discussions on the first day revolved around current and future Silva Mediterranea activities, pinpointing the 2022–2024 programmes and workplans of its five working groups (WGs), as follows:
1. The WG on forest fires led by Spain
2. The WG on cork oak and non-timber forest products led by Portugal
3. The WG on forest genetic resources led by Italy
4. The WG on urban and peri-urban forestry led by Spain
5. The WG on desertification and restoration in Mediterranean drylands led by Turkey
The second day focused on the implementation and progress of the Agadir Commitment five years after its adoption. The ten countries that endorsed it committed to the goal of restoring 8 million hectares of degraded lands between them by 2030. The participants agreed on launching and contributing to a survey to complement the preliminary research assessing the progress made, which should be finalized by the end of 2022.
The focus of the third day was on the alignment of Silva Mediterranea with the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Due to the significant advancements achieved in restoration in the geographic area, the Mediterranean region has the potential to become a World Restoration Flagship and thus provide inspiration to other countries and regions for scaling up successful restoration efforts, and to attract global attention and investments. The focus of this application is regional and national, with four countries (Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey) providing leading examples.
During the last day of the session, discussions focused on upcoming research and publications. A special edition of Unasylva, a journal published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will be dedicated to Silva Mediterranea. This issue will report on the activities of the last ten years of the Silva Mediterranea secretariat and committee. It is expected to be launched during the Eighth Mediterranean Forest Week, planned for early 2024.
Additionally, the next edition of the State of Mediterranean Forests is expected to be published in 2023, as the previous one dates from 2018. This issue will address key topics that Silva Mediterranea member countries consider essential.
A key decision of the closing session was the appointment of the new Chair of the Silva Mediterranea committee, Ümit Turhan from the General Directorate of Forestry (OGM) of Turkey, succeeding Chadi Mohanna, Director of Rural Development and Natural Resources at the Ministry of Agriculture, Lebanon.
All these decisions shape the next two years of Silva Mediterranea. The Eighth Mediterranean Forest Week will be hosted by Tunisia, an offer that was put forward by Mohamed Boufaroua, Director General of Forestry at the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Maritime Fishing of Tunisia, and which was accepted by the committee members.
Lucia Rivera Lima (FAO), Giovanni Di Matteo (FAO)