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State of Mediterranean Forests 2018


This report was released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Plan Bleu, Regional Activity Center of UN Environment/Mediterranean Action Plan in November 2018. The report highlights the contribution of Mediterranean forests and trees to tackling global challenges like climate change and population growth, and achieving global commitments, such as SDG 1 (no poverty), SDG 2 (zero hunger), SDG 3 (good health and well-being), SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) and SDG 13 (climate action).

This second edition of the ‘State of the Mediterranean Forests’ analyzes the Mediterranean region, which encompasses 31 countries and a range of environmental, economic, political and social contexts. The region includes more than 25 million hectares of forests and approximately 50 million hectares of other wooded lands that are often interconnected with agricultural and urban and rural areas. The report underscores the role of trees outside forests in the Mediterranean context, noting that these trees are under jeopardy from climate change and population increase and other subsidiary drivers of forest degradation.

To address forest degradation and its drivers, the report outlines options to create the conditions necessary to replicate and scale up forest-based solutions across the region, including approaches such as forest and landscape restoration, biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, adaptation of forests and adaptation using forests.

The report urges Countries to scale up the restoration of forests and landscapes. In particular, it recommends:

  • Thinning and planting mixed tree species to reduce droughts’ impacts
  • New firefighting policies that look beyond suppressing fires and include preventative vegetation management, preparedness and restoration activities
  • A regional forest strategy and common policies
  • Strengthening forest value chains
  • Mediterranean forests are already part of the green economy, but their contributions could be maximized if green economy-related strategies place greater focus on forests
  • Increasing forests, parks, and vegetable gardens in urban areas
  • Creating stronger private-public partnerships for forest management
  • Applying FAO’s guidelines on restoring degraded forests and landscapes

The report recommends, inter alia: recognizing the economic value of goods and services provided by forests; changing the way society views forests in the economy; putting in place more participatory approaches and improved governance; and creating financial incentives and tools. The report concludes by emphasizing the importance of strong and active regional cooperation in promoting integrated and sustainable management of Mediterranean forests in recognition of their environmental, social and economic value.

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Published in Climate-ADAPT Mar 08 2019   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Mar 04 2020

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