The European Forest Action Plan and national forest plans stress the need to quantify the total value of forests in order to put in place compensatory mechanisms for non-marketed goods and services, and emphasize the importance of cooperation between public authorities.

Non-marketed forest products and services play an important role in Mediterranean rural economies by supporting jobs creation and growth generation in increasingly depressed sectors. Systems of payment for environmental services (PES or MBI) indeed constitute an effective answer to the new challenges of globalisation, loss of economic profitability and negative impacts of climate change.

Knowledge is here at scientific level but it is yet to be integrated at administrative and normative levels. Some public authorities in the Mediterranean basin have started taking steps in this direction and this project intends to facilitate and extend this movement.

This requires a big effort of communication, from forest administrations and actors towards legislators and towards the general public, as the idea of infinite and free natural resources is still deeply rooted in our societies.

SylvaMED intends to demonstrate that PES and MBI systems are feasible and sustainable both environmentally and economically in our mediterranean rural communities, providing for both long-term conservation of natural resources and additional income for local populations.

It has been conceived as a dialogue forum for administrations, forest managers and owners, and scientists, in order to face the Mediterranean forestry challenge, with the express support of the Conference of European Forest Owners, the French Office National des Forêts, and the Mediterranean Association of Foresters.

Geographic coverage

SylvaMED partnership covers all forested zones of major importance in the northern Mediterranean basin, each associated with a specific problematic: water protection and conservation in France, non-wood forest products in Catalonia, the Liguria region and its natural parks, the Slovenian cost, northern limit of the Mediterranean ecosystems and biodiversity, and Greece, where forest play a crucial role in soil and cities protection.

Partners are the competent administrations at regional level in charge of private and public forests, and two forestry research institutes, all of them connected to the European level through the European Forest Institute.

Main technical activities

The main technical activities revolve around the 4 work packages:

1. State of the art: innovative tools for public administrations in the water, social uses, non wood forest products and services, normative and legal frameworks and total economic value of forests areas.

2. From theory to practice: network of local implementations:

Setting-up a network of experimental and promotional sites, local tests of conservatory ant compensatory measures, validate existing PES models and propose adaptations and improvements suited to local contexts, animation, field actions to raise awareness and disseminate transferability and practicability of the models and technical dissemination seminars.

3. Innovation and evolution of public policies:

Public-Private round-tables, situation analysis of the forest stakeholders in front of tomorrows challenges, propositions and redaction of compensatory measures and systems and new proposals to integrate in legal and normative frameworks the results of the project.

4. Communication and Dissemination:

Communication plan, Green book on Mediterranean forest environmental public goods, awareness-raising actions all project long, dissemination actions and conferences.

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