Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Forestry actors take on climate change

Written by Michel Neumuller, MARSEILLE on Friday, September 12th 2014 à 17:33 | Read 278 times

MEDITERRANEAN. The forestry actors in the Mediterranean are requesting that the services provided by biodiversity in its fight against the effects of global warming be given due consideration. For Christophe Besacier, an expert at FAO, this means finding the business model that will ensure the continuity of sustainable forestry policies.

“We are reviewing with interest the biomass projects being developed in Provence”, emphasizes Christophe Besacier.  The FAO expert in Rome, who heads up the Secretariat of the Committee for European Forestry Issues, is looking at attempts to make the forests stretching from the north to the south of the Mediterranean profitable.
The problem in the North lies in the agricultural decline and the fragmentation of properties, which complicates the management of mountains facing the danger of forest fires,” adds Christophe Besacier.
Economic activity must be able to support the management of mountains, and the actions in favour of biodiversity threatened by global warming”, he explains. Mediterranean actors in forest management are convinced and are trying to be heard.
A fragile global biodiversity hot-stop (doc FAO)
A fragile global biodiversity hot-stop (doc FAO)

Enhance biodiversity to address climate change

At a meeting in Tlemcen in Algeria in March 2013, experts and policymakers wanted then to prevent already the effects of climate change on the forests of the Mediterranean.
In particular, they asked that “Mediterranean forests play a stronger role in rural development” and that “there be improvement in the sustainable production of goods and services provided by the forests of the Mediterranean”.
The closing statement of the debates of this Third Mediterranean Forest Week relied primarily on a FAO and Mediterranean Plan Bleu for the report. The Mediterranean Plan Bleu raised the key issue: “in addressing climate change whose significant effects we expect, we must improve the resilience of Mediterranean forests” highlights Christophe Besacier.
From North to South, climate change is endangering forests. In the south, strong human pressure affects biodiversity. Water resources are dwindling, agriculture is gaining ground over nature.” Therefore, experts consider that the services provided by biodiversity need to be enhanced to encourage its protection. 

A profitable activity and its sector to cover the costs of managing a forest. Here cork (photo MN)
A profitable activity and its sector to cover the costs of managing a forest. Here cork (photo MN)

Cork or tourism to save the diversity of environments

Experiments exist. “In the Moroccan forests of the Marmoucha Massif, farmers are compensated if their herds do not graze in recent plantations.”
It is unrealistic to charge the user who enjoys this beautiful biodiversity” the expert points out. “But, without it, thousands of Algerians could not admire the Barbary Macaque in the Chréa National Park on the weekend.”
Tracks exist, at least to cover the costs of managing the protection of biodiversity. “An economic activity is needed that is capable of developing a chain: cork or tourism.”

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