6th Meeting of the Enlarged EC of Silva Mediterranea

  • October 04, 2016

The Sixth Meeting of the Enlarged Executive Committee of Silva Mediterranea took place at the FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy on Friday April 8, 2016. Following the decisions of the 2013 Evaluation of Silva Mediterranea, the meeting aimed at initiating the definition of a specific strategy for Silva Mediterranea and at ensuring consistency between the activities of the working groups of Silva Mediterranea and this strategy. This meeting also intended to establish synergies between the working groups and reinforce the mobilization of FAO Officers for the benefit of the activities of the groups. 

About 20 people attended the Enlarged Executive Committee of Silva Mediterranea: the Secretariat of Silva Mediterranea and the coordinators of the working groups. The coordinator of each working group presented results of their activities developed during these past years and the work plan for the period 2016 - 2017. In their presentations, they also identified their priorities and link with the Strategic Framework on Mediterranean Forests (SFMF), the foundation to elaborate the first draft of the strategy for Silva Mediterranea.

Following the recommendations of the 2013 evaluation of Silva Mediterranea, Silva Mediterranea’s strategy will identify topics where the working groups can have a specific added value, avoiding to overlap on topics that are already addressed more efficiently by other institutions or partners.

The different working groups of Silva Mediterranea were requested by the Committee to ll an analysis grid for examining the past and future coverages of challenges. Using a score from 0 (not relevant) to 3 (very relevant) the results of this survey will also create the basis for elaborating the strategy.

The Executive Committee underlined that building a strategy for Silva Mediterranea is essential to clarify Silva Mediterranea’s geographical scope. Balkan countries like Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia (FYROM) are currently not part of the Committee Silva Mediterranea even though they have Mediterranean forests and often already collaborate with some of the working groups.

Moreover, the purpose and goals of the different working groups should be better communicated to the partners of Silva Mediterranea and must be included in the strategy. The working plans of the working groups and the strategy of Silva Mediterranea should be also accompanied by a monitoring tool. This monitoring tool has to be continuously filled by the Silva Mediterranea Secretariat with information and feedback provided by the working group coordinators.

This exercise should reinforce the collaboration between the working groups. Regular meetings (e.g. once a year) of the Executive Committee would be needed to assess the progress in the action plans of the working groups.

Finally, The Executive Committee underlined that the strategy of Silva Mediterranea should also include a communication strategy. More coherence across the different working groups regarding communication could be achieved by:

  • Homogenizing the content and template of the web pages of the different working groups on the Silva Mediterranea website;

  • Clarify in the web pages the teams that are coordinating the different working groups; 

     •  Starting a Silva Mediterranea publication series for policy briefs/opinion papers. The first issue of this series could be the policy brief on urban and periurban forestry in the Mediterranean region to be prepared by WG7.

A draft strategy of Silva Mediterranea will be presented on July 22, 2016, at the Extraordinary Session of the Committee during the Committee on Forestry (COFO) to be held at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. While the final strategy is expected to be presented on March 22, 2017 during the V MFW at the 22nd session of the Committee. The main recommendations of the Executive Committee meeting were:

  • All the working groups of Silva Mediterranea should identify a network of national focal points in the member states of Silva Mediterranea. These focal points should combine people from administrations and from research or from technical institutions. This network has to be updated annually;

  • Get guidance from the Committee on the geographical scope of Silva Mediterranea, so that the working plans of the working groups can be adjusted to the geographical coverage of Silva Mediterranea. Additional Mediterranean countries could be more involved in Silva Mediterranea, at least as observers;

  • Include a description of the different working groups (objectives, action plan) in the strategy of Silva Mediterranea e.g. as sheets in a folder;

  • The strategy of Silva Mediterranea should be accompanied by a monitoring tool led by the Secretariat or an interface group. 


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