FAO’s Silva Mediterranea Focuses on Activities of the Enlarged Executive Committee

June 2010: Silva Mediterranea, a statutory body of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) covering the Mediterranean region, released a special issue of its Newsletter focusing on the recent activities of its Enlarged Executive Committee, including participation in the first Mediterranean Forest Week and preparation of various position papers on food security in the region.

The Enlarged Executive Committee held its third meeting in Antalya, Turkey, on 13 and 15 April 2010. The main outputs of the session were: the preparation of the first "State of Mediterranean Forests" and an outline of steps to follow in the coming year; organization of the second Mediterranean Forests Week in Avignon, France, in 2011, and of several side events during the 20th FAO Committee on Forestry in October 2010; and agreement with the UNECE/FAO Programme of Work on Timber and Forestry to integrate Silva Mediterranea activities and collaborate on climate change, wood energy and forest fire issues in the Mediterranean.

The Newsletter also contains a draft of the position paper prepared at the session, to be submitted to the Ministerial Conference of the Union for the Mediterranean on Food Security, Agriculture and Rural Development, scheduled to take place on 15-16 June 2010, in Cairo, Egypt. The draft outlines the contribution of forests to food security in the region. Among other things, the position paper recommends investment in avoiding deforestation and sustainable forest management for the provision of forest goods and services that are threatened by climate change-related drought, wildfires, erosion, desertification, and emerging pests and diseases. A background paper directed towards the same conference invites the Union of the Mediterranean to take action on, inter alia, adaptation to climate change, biodiversity conservation, and combating desertification, based on an integrated strategy for sustainable forest management through good governance that involves all stakeholders. [Silva Mediterranea Newsletter]