Forest research in the Mediterranean region is handicapped by its fragmentation, its limited means, and occasional outdating and isolation. In addition, the low benefits that Mediterranean forests provide to forest-based industries - compared to other European forests - make it difficult to attract interest and funds from the private sector. For this reason, new ways to overcome this situation must implemented through: research partnerships, networking, capacity building, higher education programmes, knowledge transfer and long-life learning. In this context, research cooperation with other Mediterranean Climate Regions (MCR) should be enhanced to share knowledge in order to address common scientific challenges and needs.
The present document presents a common vision on the challenges of Mediterranean forests as well as a Mediterranean Forest Research Agenda (MFRA) that describes the main research priorities for forestry in the region during 2010–2020. This document has been coordinated by the Mediterranean Regional Office of the European Forest Institute (EFIMED) within the framework of the European Forest-Based Sector Technology Platform (FTP) Strategic Research Agenda. The consultation process has involved a large number of institutions (research and academic, forest owners, NGOs, and international organisations such as FAO and CIHEAM) in 15 Mediterranean countries.
The Mediterranean Forest Research Agenda 2010-2020 is structured around four strategic research priorities – selected on the basis of their intrinsic importance and significance for policy decision-making – to provide a scientific framework with which to meet the important challenges ahead. The implementation of MFRA will allow the creation of a Mediterranean forestry knowledge triangle of research, education and innovation as well as a geographic triangle with its vertices in Mediterranean Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Both concepts will play a key role in a knowledge-based sustainable Mediterranean society.
EFIMED. 2009. Mediterranean Forest Research Agenda 2010 – 2020