Adapting the framework for forestry policy to meet the needs of climate change in the MENA region
Title: Adapting the framework for forestry policy to meet the needs of climate change in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey
Lead executing agency: High Commission for Waters, Forests and Combating Desertification, Morocco
Overall term: 2010 to 2014
Overuse, overgrazing and competing forms of land use hamper productivity and reduce the environmental services provided by the forests in the MENA region. Conditions are often unfavourable for the sustainable management of forest ecosystems and for maintaining their environmental services. Climate change will further exacerbate the ecological and socioeconomic problems through periods of drought, increased risk of forest fires, floods, increased soil erosion and landslides. Rural people are likely to suffer a reduction in livelihoods, and quality of life will worsen for the urban population.
All the countries in the region are confronted with the same question: how can they react to the degradation of forest resources and the increasing impact of climate change in a manner appropriate to development? The countries have therefore agreed to develop joint solutions as members of Silva Mediterranea, the network of forestry administrations in the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. The network promotes communication, exchange and learning processes between the fields of technology, research and politics, for the sustainable management of Mediterranean forests. Commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ supports this process in close cooperation with other organisations operating in the Mediterranean region.
Conditions have improved for the sustainable management of forest ecosystems and for the maintenance of their environmental services in the face of climate change in the MENA region.
Because of the increased regional exchanges of experience through Silva Mediterranea, decision-makers are benefiting from greater competence to make policies that protect the forests. At the same time, regional training courses for the forestry and related sectors are used to draw connections between environmental services, adaptation to climate change, and poverty reduction. Forestry administrations are encouraged to reconsider their understanding of their own roles, and to develop themselves into proactive service points.
A binding ‘Collaborative Partnership on Mediterranean Forests’ aimed at programme-based cooperation promotes the collective work of committed institutions in the region, and also enhancing Silva Mediterranea as a network. Academic findings and experiences are included in national decision-making and implementation measures through policy advice. Selected media are used to highlight the expected effects of climate change and raise public awareness about the significance of forest and environmental services. Additional external financing and partnerships lead to a broader perception and political upgrading of the issue as well as to specific measures and mutually enhancing development processes.
Results achieved so far
Initially, the project concentrated on the participatory development process of the Collaborative Partnership on Mediterranean Forests (CPMF). A planning workshop took place in Istanbul at the end of September 2010 at which the partner countries elaborated the operational plan for 2011, and eleven organisations signed the partnership. This is a positive signal for long-term regional cooperation.