Silva Mediterranea- UNCCD COP12


“The Committee on Mediterranean Forestry Questions – Silva Mediterranea” which is a statutory body of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) that facilitates dialog and cooperation on Mediterranean forests.

It has 27 state members plus the European Union, spanning three of FAO’s Regional Forestry Commissions: the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission, European Forestry Commission and Near East Forestry and Range Commission.


Formal sessions of the Silva Mediterranea are currently held every four years. During the 21st session of Silva Mediterranea, held in Turkey in February 2012, Turkey was designated as its chair.  Mr. İsmail Belen, a Senior Forest Engineer from Ministry of Forest and Water Affairs of Turkey, has been serving as the President of this Committee on behalf of Turkey.

I am pleased to report that several recent initiatives supported by Silva Mediterranea to promote a regional dynamic on Mediterranean forests.

Since 2010, Silva Mediterranea has organized, along with several partners, four  Mediterranean Forest Weeks.  These have served as open fora for different sectors and stakeholders to exchange views, experiences, innovations and emerging issues related to Mediterranean forests. The 1st Mediterranean Forest Week held in Turkey, the 2nd held in France, 2010 and 2011 respectively.

The 3rd Mediterranean Forest Week, held from 17-21 March 2013 in Tlemcen, Algeria focused on the sustainable development of rural areas with special attention to strategies of mitigation and adaptation to global change. The 4th Mediterranean Week held from 17-20 March 2015 in Barcelona, Spain dealt with improved livelihoods and the role of Mediterranean forest value chains in a green economy.


From left to right; Caterina Phillies-Secretariat, İsmail Belen-President of the Committee- Christophe-Secretariat, Valentina Garavaglia-Secretariat-Caroline Gallo Kroupova-Secretariat- Nicolas Picard- Secretariat (Incoming)- Susan Braatz-FAO-

In order to reach the report of Barcelona prepared by Ismail Belen please visit to;


The first edition of the State of Mediterranean Forests was published.  The preparation of this important reference book was coordinated by Silva Mediterranea and Plan Bleu. This launched an effort to periodically assess the status and changes in Mediterranean forest ecosystems, and to communicate objective and reliable data to the different stakeholders involved in their management.

A Strategic Framework on Mediterranean Forests was prepared in 2012-2013, based on the key findings of the State of Mediterranean Forests and with the support of a wide range of forest partners and stakeholders. This strategic framework presents a series of recommendations, structured along strategic lines, to achieve three main objectives: (1) developing and promoting forest goods and services, (2) promoting resilience to global changes and (3) enhancing capacities and mobilizing financial resources The Strategic Framework on Mediterranean Forests was adopted during the 3rd Mediterranean Forest Week in Tlemcen in March 2013.

The Tlemcen Declaration affirms the political commitment of Silva Mediterranea member states to continue implementing actions and measures in order to achieve the proposed objectives outlined in the Strategic Framework on Mediterranean Forests. Several countries, including France, Lebanon, Morocco, Portugal and Tunisia, reported at the 4th Mediterranean Forest Week that the Strategic Framework on Mediterranean Forests was beginning to be incorporated into national forest programmes or strategies.

The Barcelona Declaration, adopted by the high-level segment at the 4th Mediterranean Forest Week, reinforced the commitment of countries in the region to collaborate on Mediterranean forest issues.

As the President of this Committee, Turkey will insist on doing  the best for regional cooperation.  As it can be recall, the 10th session of the UNFF was held in Turkey in 2013. Like this,  Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification will be organised in Turkey, this year, from 12-23 October, 2015.

As we know, there is strong link between forests and soil, land degradation.  I believe this COP will be a perfect platform to discuss regional cooperation. So I am inviting you, on behalf of Turkey, to join this Conference and to share all regional dynamics.

The Text of Speech prepared but not delivered for UNFF11

silvamed-UNFF11-7 may 2015-ibelen

İsmail Belen- 03.06.2015

Letters for Future