YLPMED 2023: a boost for future Mediterranean leadership!

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YLPMED 2023 Group Photo on 2 October.

The Young Leadership Programme – Mediterranean (YLPMED) 2023 provided 20 young professionals with new scientific knowledge and communication skills that can help them become leaders for the future of the Mediterranean.

Dynamic sessions, though-provoking exchanges, and practical skills training were the main highlights of the EFI Young Leadership Programme – Mediterranean (YLPMED) 2023, which focused on land abandonment, forests, and cultural landscapes. This edition welcomed twenty young leaders from eleven Mediterranean countries to the European Forest Institute (EFI) Mediterranean Facility offices at the Sant Pau Art Nouveau site in Barcelona  on 2 – 6 October.

The Young Leadership Programme, established by EFI in 2014, has had Mediterranean editions since 2018. The YLPMED 2023 was organised in partnership with the Union for Mediterranean and with the collaboration of key partners who contributed to the programme set up and participants’ selection: FAO Silva Mediterranea; PRIMA; CIHEAM; CREAF; and CTFC

The opening session on 2 October allowed the young leaders to meet with representatives of the organising institutions and hear inspiring words from Enric Vadell Guiral, (Generalitat of Catalunya), Armela Dino (Ministry of Science and Innovation of Spain), Elsa Enríquez Alcalde (Ministry for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge of Spain), and Almotaz Abadi (Union for the Mediterranean) who joined the head of EFIMED, Michele Bozzano, in welcoming the participants.

Over the following week, the programme offered participants the possibility to increase their scientific knowledge and to develop transversal competences useful for their future career. Scientific sessions featured many high-level speakers who shed light on different aspects of land abandonment in Mediterranean mosaic landscapes. During daily soft skill sessions, participants had the opportunity to work with storytelling experts to develop oral communication, photography and video making skills, an initiative supported by the National Geographic Society project “Entangled destiny: the connection between trees and people in the Mediterranean”.

The young leaders also met with local actors living and working in the Monserrat Rural Park, as part of the field visit on Wednesday 4 October, organised in collaboration with the Diputació de Barcelona BCN Smart Rural programme. Using the information and visual material collected during the visit, participants prepared group projects to illustrate – through words, photos, and videos – the experience of those who live the challenges of land abandonment on a daily basis.

YLPMED 2023 Group Photo during the field visit on 4 October.
During the field visit, the YLPMED 2023 participants listened to the stories of local actors from the rural areas in the province of Barcelona.

YLPMED 2023 proved to be a success in bringing together young minds from various countries and fields of expertise with inspirational experts, fostering the development of new scientific knowledge and communication skills which will help them to rise to the challenges and play a leading role in the future of Mediterranean forests.

Have a look at the YLPMED 2023’s photo gallery!

Young Leadership Programme 2023 - Mediterranean