Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 2 - MENFRI (Mediterranean Network of Forestry Research and Innovation (MENFRI))

Project Context and Objectives:
Climate change is affecting the entire Mediterranean Basin but different land use changes result in different consequences all over the Region. In European countries, land abandonment results in new but not managed forests, prone to fire and infestation due to increasing temperatures and drought. Meanwhile, in North Africa, forest intensification combined to a hotter and dryer climate provokes desertification.
From the MENFRI project we think that there is a common solution to both problems: to promote forest conservation through forest use. Moreover, that this objective could be achieved only by sharing knowledge between north and south Mediterranean. Traditional uses of forests from the Maghreb are sources of eco-innovation, which could promote the management of European new forests. Meanwhile, land use practices from south European countries could decrease forest intensification for a more sustainable forest use.
MENFRI aims to set the basis for this innovative Mediterranean forest management by three principal actions:
First, by gathering experts in business development, forest researchers and managers, policy makers and forest users (from owners to population) in order to understand the principal problems in the sector and to look for practical solutions.
Second, by provoking the interchange of knowledge from both sides of the Mediterranean through formative courses on business creation, SIG techniques, forest certification, associational management and EU projects.
And third, by the creation of a Mediterranean Network of Forest Research & Innovation, where all kind of forestry related actors could find each other to create innovative opportunities for the entire Region.
MENFRI, as a consortium representing all these stakeholders (CREAF-science, Alienor.EU-politics, INRGREF-management, WG-business, CFC-owners, UH2MC-populations), should become the first step in the consolidation of Mediterranean forest management as a sustainable, eco-innovative and job creating business.

Project Results:
The Spatial Resources Assessment (SRA) was the first step carried out, by compelling an informative list of the available spatial information and resources related to forestry in the participant Mediterranean countries. The following drafting of the report on the results and main conclusions obtained, the Spatial Analysis Gaps in Knowledge (SAGK), included an assessment of the principal unsatisfied needs of the sector. After that, the Available Spatial Information toolkit was released, including a friendly-user version of the SRA and the SAGK designed to be used together for research development and business innovation purposes.
The Traditional Management Assessment resulted in a detailed description of success stories related to forestry in Morocco, Tunisia and Spain. For the Traditional Management Gaps in Knowledge (TMGK), several examples were added to draft the assessment of the principal problems and opportunities in the sector. In order to release the Traditional Management Compilation toolkit, the complete list of success stories and the TMGK were designed to be used together for scientists, stakeholders and forestry industries.
The Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) was created. A questionnaire was sent to each nominated member in order to collect all inputs. The first SAG meeting was in Morocco (26/5/2014) with representatives from Silva Mediterranea, the European Commission, the Tunisian Government, the MoCo and the European Parliament, scientists and entrepreneurs. The second SAG meeting was in Italy (17/11/2014) with representatives from FAO, the European Commission, scientists, entrepreneurs, associations and NGOs. The third SAG meeting was in Spain (22/6/2015) with representatives from PEFC, the EU Delegation in Morocco and the Tunisian Government, scientists. NGOs and entrepreneurs. After that, the Mediterranean Forestry Assessment (MFA) compiled the main conclusions obtained during the different SAG meetings, the questionnaires provided by all experts and short versions of their CVs. The subsequent Forestry in the Mediterranean guide was released as an analysis of the MFA, offering guidelines and show principal bottlenecks to forestry innovation in the Mediterranean Region.
The design of the training program finally resulted in the following trainings: Forest owner association by visiting the CFC and a couple of forest operational areas around Barcelona (Spain, 23/6/2015). Course on the available spatial resources and their use in mobile devices, held in the CREAF installations (Spain, 25-26/6/2015) and offered in streaming for Morocco. Workshop on forest products certification, social forestry and forestry machinery, which was held in Mohammedia (Morocco, 13-15/11/2015), with the attendance of government, industrial and social representatives. Both open courses on business creation and Horizon 2020 were finally hold during the I Innovation Week (2-5/3/2015, Casablanca, Morocco), organized with other R2I projects.
Bilateral meetings have been organised with different European Parliament members; Gaston Franco (France – 1/4-3/6/2014), Francesc Gambús (Catalonia – 20/2/2015), Miguel Viegas (Portugal – 10/10/2015) and Paul Brannen (UK – 19/11/2015). In relation to Morocco; Stéphanie Druguet (European delegation in Morocco – EdM) (3rd SAG), Didier Nils, Philippe Le Bussy (EdM) and Fayçal Benchekroun (Haut Commissariat aux Eaux et Forêts et à la Lutte Contre la Désertification - HCEFLD ) (Rabat - 13/11/2015), Khalid Cherki, Mohammed Amhajar (HCEFLD) (Mohammedia - 14/11/2015), Ali Salem Chagaf (Governor of the Mohamedia Prefecture - 13/11/2015). Focussing in Tunisia: Youssef Saadani (Direction Générale des Forêts - DGF) (kick off and 1st SAG), Sassi Dey (DGF) (3rd SAG).
The creation of the communication and dissemination strategy resulted in: The elaboration of the dissemination material. Both a twitter account and a linkedIn group were created while the MENFRI Newsletter was launched in September. The MENFRI web page was presented in English and French. A first MENFRI Video product was realized and edited.

Potential Impact:
The ultimate goal of MENFRI activities is to support the European efforts to address global change challenges while promoting business innovation. We will help thus society to adapt to environmental change and to guaranteeing the sustainable use of ecosystem goods and services within a resource efficient, low-carbon and competitive economy. An important element to achieve these objectives is to bridge the gap between research and innovation by improving performance in managing, transferring and using the knowledge resulting from ecological research and forest management and by better aligning both research and economic objectives to societal needs. To break the gap between science and governance should result in a reduction of the main social concerns not only by direct action in order to face these problems, but by improving the availability of knowledge and understanding to the people.

The project will contribute to generate specific products thought as steps that will be needed to bring about the mentioned goal and in which we relay to generate the following specific impacts:
* From WP2 we will provide a toolkit on the available spatial resources to obtain information of forest ecosystem goods and services at the Mediterranean Basin scale. Such toolkit should help forestry stakeholders from the south Mediterranean to increase their knowledge and experience in the implementation of landscape management strategies. Therefore, it should also increase their opportunity of response in order to solve climate change threats related to the efficient use of lands against desertification in the long term. The information and technology for regional management is also useful to governments and decision makers improving the optimization of the resources inverted in global change management.
* From WP3, we will produce a toolkit on traditional management strategies and tools for reducing the threats of global change in the Basin while favouring eco-innovation. The toolkit aims to provide forestry stakeholders (especially from the north) with ideas and techniques in order to obtain economical benefits from abandoned forests. As management is needed to promote conservation, sustainable exploitation efforts will result in forest managing against fires and pests at the same time.
* From WP4, a guide on the state of the forestry sector in the participant Mediterranean countries will be generated. It should help stakeholders from the sector to locate principal lacks in knowledge and bottlenecks in the Mediterranean forestry sector, helping them to solve these issues in the mid term.
* From WP4 and thanks to the previous three steps, we will create a Mediterranean Network of Forestry Research to Innovation. Once the principal actors of the forestry sectors are known and they are ready to actively collaborate, the network will become the first step in the creation of a Mediterranean Forestry Business Incubator.
* Also from WP4, a toolkit on forestry innovation in southern Mediterranean will be generated. The toolkit is thought to be used for the identification of the obstacles to the innovation process (in the forestry sector) in Tunisia and Morocco as representative M-P countries, and therefore to facilitate future initiatives of innovation in the Mediterranean.
* Finally, from WP6, we will provide a guide on the Mediterranean R2I Forestry Policy. This guide should help future strategies of development in the Mediterranean to solve current ecological, economical and social issues derived from the lack of forestry related business in southern countries.
All the mentioned products and their expected impacts imply also two principal added values, which are: First, increasing the integration of M-P countries in European research and innovation activities. And second, enhancing effective mobility in the Euro-Mediterranean region, and attain brain circulation and knowledge dissemination.

List of Websites:


Cristina García, (Projects Office Manager)
Tel.: +34 935868007
Fax: +34 935814151
Numero di registrazione: 184066 / Ultimo aggiornamento: 2016-06-09
Fonte d'informazione: SESAM