DigiMedFor aims to transform the Mediterranean forestry sector through digital innovation and sustainability

DigiMedFor focuses on the competitiveness of forestry wood in the Mediterranean basin. Image: Public domain.
DigiMedFor focuses on the competitiveness of forestry wood in the Mediterranean basin. Image: Public domain.

Research projects often present exciting and encouraging challenges, and this is the case of the methodology application and digitization project DigiMedFor. Its objective is to increase the competitiveness of the forest timber supply chain in the Mediterranean basin, thanks to a deep transformation of its technological reality. This involves implementing advanced and innovative digital solutions. This improves the management of multiple forest ecosystem services (benefits provided by nature) such as carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, and water cicle regulation, while facilitating the traceability of the origin of timber from the forest to the end user. I

DigiMedFor is committed to the technological renewal of the forestry sector in the Mediterranean area, with tools for in situ wood assessment, data traceability and digitisation of ecosystem services.

The digital innovation underpinning DigiMedFor includes geospatial analysis, artificial intelligence and digital twin modelling, in pursuit of a sustainable future for Mediterranean forests. The project responds to both the EU Forestry Strategy and the EU Digital Strategy.

Transfer in the foregroud

CREAF is involved in this project, which is led by several colleagues from the Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, with the active participation of Enrique Doblas, researcher and head of technology and knowledge transfer, and Burcu Berk, technical officer of DigiMedFor at CREAF. Enrique Doblas explains that DigiMedFor constitutes “a significant and essential advance in technological innovation in the Mediterranean forestry sector, as well as placing special emphasis on knowledge transfer”. Doblas highlights the commitment to the technological renewal of the sector, thanks, for example, to tools for assessing wood in situ, data traceability and the digitisation of ecosystem services.

For her part, Burcu Berk highlights digital innovation and sustainability as strengths of the project, and emphasises its cross-cutting and innovative approach: “working with digital tools contributes to the transparency of the process and to strengthening the resilience of Mediterranean forests”.

"Working with technologies such as digital twin modelling contributes to the transparency of the process and to enhancing the resilience of Mediterranean forests", Burcu Berk.

The organisations and professionals involved in DigiMedFor cover the entire value chain, from research to operations. The collaborative approach aims to ensure knowledge management and the transfer of technology and best practices between representatives of the forest industry, science, business, forest ownership associations, as well as management entities, among others. Digital innovation ultimately aims to strengthen the long-term sustainability and competitiveness of the Mediterranean forestry sector.

25 million hectares of forest

The Mediterranean region includes more than 25 million hectares of forests and approximately 50 million hectares of other wooded territories. Climate changes and the effect of socio-economic activity in this region point to serious consequences for forests, which would entail the loss of various ecosystem services with economic, environmental and social effects.

The low competitiveness of the forest timber supply chain in the countries of the European Mediterranean basin (EUMED) is currently amplified by limited access to new digital technologies by the people in charge of forest management companies. This limitation means that the timber industry in the Mediterranean area will experience a growth and evolution in the coming decades below what is desirable and feasible. For this reason, DigiMedFor aims to digitise the sector, with a multi-faceted approach aimed at different professionals and fields.

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