Taking place during the II Mediterranean Forest Innovation and Development Week from May 12th to 14th, this event brought together more than 60 representatives, willing to find their match for future collaborations in forestry research, innovation and business activities.
“Engineers and policymakers have to stop talking and start acting” stressed Mr. Chokri Taboubi, president of the GDA Oued El Maaden. Gathering around 100 local families, his association of farmers and foresters sustainably exploits Mediterranean forest products in order to ensure income for the local inhabitants. To provide innovative ideas and solutions for the forestry sector, actors from different backgrounds attended the brokerage event. The research community, governments, NGOs and the industry, all took part in this networking event.
Forest degradation costs more than 50 million euros per year to Tunisia, a pattern that could only be stopped under a multi-actor approach. “Our project identified the main actors of the Mediterranean forestry sector as well as the main challenges faced by the foresters, researchers and policymakers” explained Enrique Doblas, CREAF researcher and MENFRI coordinator. “Our role is therefore to gather all these actors in one room and allow them to discuss project ideas that could improve the situation locally”.
This event was the first step of the MENFRI cluster activity. The team is currently developing an online matchmaking tool which will facilitate to find the right partner for the right action. In other words, to support forestry as an innovative, sustainable and job making sector.