The development and extension of sustainable “Mediterranean forest” management is set to be the focus of a new collaboration between PEFC, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, and MENFRI, the Mediterranean Network of Forestry Research and Innovation.
At last year’s PEFC Forest Certification Week held in Paris, France, representatives from PEFC International, PEFC France, PEFC Italy, PEFC Portugal and PEFC Spainmet with MENFRI Coordinator Enrique Doblas to discuss sustainable forest management’s potential within the Mediterranean Basin, alongside collaboration opportunities and the possibility of developing certification throughout the Basin region.
“MENFRI promises to be a great opportunity to move sustainable forest management beyond geographical and thematical borders, as well as to bring together a wide range of stakeholders willing to address and move forward on the subject,” said Remi Sournia, Projects & Development Officer at PEFC International following the meeting.
Initially the project partners will work to increase awareness in sustainable forest management and forest certification in the countries of the region which do not yet have a national forest certification system, such as Algeria, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Tunisia and Turkey, through a series of outreach activities, including training and pilot projects.
“Regional certification is a long-term process,” said Enrique Doblas, MENFRI’s coordinator. “But MENFRI is well placed to act as a link between PEFC and Maghreb countries to begin with national certification schemes, exchange knowledge, provide training on the subject, and facilitate several initial pilot cases.”
“At the end”, he concluded, “our work is to provide innovative solutions from research to markets engaging public and private actors, and we are going in the right direction.”
MENFRI is an EU funded research project aiming at fostering international cooperation amongst the Mediterranean region in the field of forestry. By setting up a discussion platform, MENFRI aims at exchanging best practices, contacts and knowledge, and at promoting the Mediterranean forestry as an innovative and job creating sector able to face global changes.