YLP Mediterranean

EFI Young Leadership Programme – Mediterranean 2023

Land abandonment and cultural landscapes

Young Leadership Programme 2023

The Mediterranean region is home to a unique and diverse set of ecosystems and cultural landscapes that have evolved over centuries of human use and management.

A multifunctional Mediterranean landscape mosaic is tightly linked to the socio-cultural significance of the landscapes to local communities and the values attached to them. However, these landscapes are currently facing a range of challenges such as declining biodiversity, increased fire risk, and cultural heritage loss, which are often linked to the abandonment of traditional agro-silvo-pastoral regime and urban migration. The Mediterranean Forest Research Agenda 2030 identifies land abandonment as one of the overarching challenges for the future of the region and emphasises the importance of research in this area.

The European Forest Institute’s Young Leadership Programme, Mediterranean 2023 (YLPMED 2023), organised in partnership with the Union for the Mediterranean, will provide an in-depth understanding of the complex interplay between land abandonment, Mediterranean forests, and cultural landscapes.

The programme will offer an overview of the key drivers and impacts of land abandonment on Mediterranean forest and cultural landscapes and explore the potential opportunities for sustainable entrepreneurship and biodiversity conservation. Participants will learn about the role of traditional ecological knowledge and the potential for innovation and entrepreneurship in promoting sustainable land use practices. The programme will also examine the relationship between fire risk in the Mediterranean region and discuss the role of forest management practices in mitigating the risk of wildfires.

But being a leader requires much more than technical knowledge. That's why the Young Leadership Programme is an exciting opportunity for aspiring leaders to develop their soft skills and explore career options in the field of forestry. The programme focuses on developing essential skills for success in any career, such as effective communication, time management, public speaking, and networking, as well as including elements to help stand out from the crowd, such as storytelling and photography. These skills are crucial for building strong professional networks, inspiring others, and achieving personal and professional goals. The programme also gives participants the chance to explore forestry career options, learning about the various roles and opportunities available in this vital field.

EFI’s Young Leadership Programme was established in 2014 and the first Mediterranean edition took place in 2018. Watch this video to discover why participants were eager to join the 2020 edition!


YLP-MED testimonials


YLPMED 2023 will take place in the week beginning 2 October at the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site in Barcelona, Spain, where the EFI Mediterranean Facility has its offices.

Join YLPMED 2023 for 

  • A comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with land abandonment and forests in the Mediterranean region.
  • The scientific knowledge and soft skills necessary to become an effective and influential leader in this field.

Read all the details on the selection process and apply by 16 April 2023!