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Enhancing FOrest RESearch in the MediTERRAnean through improved coordination and integration (FORESTERRA)
Start date: Jan 1, 2012, End date: Dec 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Forest research in the Mediterranean region is currently handicapped by its fragmentation, its limited means, and occasional outdating and isolation. In addition, the low benefits that Mediterranean forests provide to forest-based industries--compared to other European forests--make it difficult to attract interest and funds from the private sector. For this reason, new ways to overcome this situation must be implemented through research partnerships, networking, capacity building, higher education programmes, knowledge transfer and lifelong learning. Such activities should take advantage of existing initiatives like the Forest Based Sector Technology Platform (FTP), the Mediterranean Regional Office of the European Forest Institute (EFIMED) and the Mediterranean Forest Research Agenda (MFRA) developed jointly by the FTP and EFIMED.Mediterranean forest ecosystems provide multiple goods and services that are crucial to the socioeconomic development of the Mediterranean region’s rural areas as well as to the welfare of its urban populations. Advancing scientific knowledge and fostering innovation is essential, then, to ensure the sustainable management of Mediterranean forests and to build a knowledge-based bio-economy in the region.The countries of the Mediterranean basin, as well as those of other Mediterranean Climate Areas, face similar challenges regarding the sustainability of forest ecosystems and the delivery of crucial goods and services that they provide in a context of rapid global changes. Therefore, it is of critical importance to reinforce scientific cooperation on Mediterranean forests through a transnational EU-Mediterranean ERA-NET, which also builds new transcontinental cooperation among Mediterranean Climate Areas (California, Australia, South Africa, Chile) in order to reduce fragmentation and maximise the impact of research activities.
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