Looking back and forth to Mediterranean Forests

Timely published to enrich the knowledge available to fight fires and climate change challenges after an extremely hot summer, the proceedings of the Seventh Mediterranean Forest Week “Forest and Ecosystem Restoration for the next Mediterranean Generations” held from 21 to 25 March 2022 in Antalya, Türkiye are now available, featuring the contribution of our European Topic Centre on Spatial Analysis and Synthesis  (ETC-UMA) team and collaborators.

The use of new technologies and open data to better support restoration and sustainable management of forests was the topic of discussion of the ETC-UMA contribution and its collaborators to the Mediterranean Forest week (MFW). Gathering more than 150 public and private sector representatives, national and local governments, technical and scientific organizations, forestry experts and managers, environmental organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), young professionals, media, scientists and academics, and stakeholders from forest-related sectors coming from 14 countries, the aim was to build a shared vision for the Mediterranean forests towards new innovative partnership solutions.  Virgina García, ETC-UMA expert attending the event, noted: “As expert in remote sensing data, the Mediterranean Forest Week made me realize how important it is to bring together scientists and policy makers to understand our challenges”.

Building on these, as part of the Enbic2Lab1 project funded by a LifeWatch ERIC programme, the ETC-UMA, the Department of Supercomputation and Bioinformatics at the University of Malaga (Khaos), the Medforval network, the European Environment Agency (EEA) and FAO’s Silva Mediterranea together with other Mediterranean scientists and institutions keep working on a map of Mediterranean forest types to overcome the limitations and challenges associated to the harmonization and optimization of data from forest inventories and existing maps, supported by remote sensing and satellite data. The aim is to obtain a homogeneous and equally accurate map for all the countries within the region, spatially and temporally, to allow a comparative evaluation of forests. This is made possible by using the same type of data (satellite data) for the entire region and a common methodology (machine learning) to analyse the data. The study covers the forests of the whole Mediterranean ecoregion as identified by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF, 2020) using the globally recognized and harmonized definition of forests by FAO (2018), and which grow in the Mediterranean Basin.

Following the Mediterranean Forest Week, the international workshop entitled “A knowledge baseline on Mediterranean forests supported by innovation” was held on 2 June 2023, hosted by the University of Malaga in Spain and co-organized with EEA and a network of Mediterranean collaborators, including FAO Silva Mediterranea. The report of this workshop can be accessed here, showcasing advancements since 2022 and recommendations for future actions, including a proposed joint side event during the coming UNEP MAP Meeting of the Contracting Parties (COP 23) next December in Slovenia.


More info: Virginia García

Download the 2022 Mediterranean Forest Week proceedings: FAO, MOAF, BTU, OGM & AIFM. 2023. Seventh Mediterranean Forest Week Proceedings – Antalya, Türkiye, 21–25 March 2022. Rome.

Download the 2023 workshop report: A knowledge baseline on Mediterranean forests supported by innovation

Booklet of Mediterranean speakers at the International Workshop – Malaga, 2-3 June 2023

More about forests: www.etc.uma.es/forests/