8th Mediterranean Forest Week

Mediterranean forests are part of multifaceted landscapes strongly marked by centuries of human intervention, providing valuable ecosystem services.

Despite the continuous increase in forest cover over the past decades, mainly due to land use changes, the region faces challenges, including 80 million hectares of degraded land and 400,000 hectares burnt every year by wildfire. Climate change threatens 16% of animal and plant species in Mediterranean forests, while severity and length of droughts shrinks the distribution ranges of the most important tree species of the Mediterranean.

Focus on restoration

Forest restoration has become a major tool for restoring degraded landscapes in many regions, including the Mediterranean area, where it is of increasing interest, and several successful projects have been initiated. Restoration projects and nature conservation efforts should carefully balance the benefits of different habitat types for the region’s sustainable development with its three dimensions: social, economic and environmental.

Regional action, global impact

The 8MFW aims to highlight and propose efforts in the region that fall under the ongoing global commitments and initiatives on restoration, such as the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and the Bonn Challenge, as well as on the promotion of biodiversity, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

The 8MFW aims to cover the key issues affecting Mediterranean forests and the main areas of work for present and future collaborations. Such areas build on the work that is being done by leading institutions in the region and governments – as well as on the most recent publication of the State of Mediterranean Forests (2024) and the Mediterranean Research Agenda.

Collaboration across the region

The topics will be approached by different stakeholders and under different lenses, promoting a multidisciplinary approach and ensuring collaboration and exchanges of knowledge. The overall exchanges will provide key outputs to feed a collaborative roadmap focusing on clear goals working for sustainable and resilient Mediterranean forests.

Topics

The 8MFW will cover various topics and areas of work through plenary sessions, debates, and discussions. These topics include:

  • Successful landscape approaches in forest restoration and management initiatives for resilience, biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.
  • Sustainable forest management for adaptation to climate change.
  • Broader stakeholder engagement in the integrated management of Mediterranean forests, with a focus on youth.
  • The linkage between forest and landscape restoration and water resource management to safeguard water security while restoring degraded landscapes.
  • Producing actionable recommendations, a strategic roadmap and a visionary Statement for the future of Mediterranean forests.