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Category: Mediterranean

Balancing recreation and conservation: sustainable management of coastal dunes

Coastal dunes are so popular for outdoor recreation, which often causes difficult dilemmas in coastal dune management. The conservation of coastal dunes requires a multifaceted approach that balances recreational use with habitat conservation. 

Coastal dunes with Juniperus spp. are distributed along the sandy coasts of Southern and Western Europe, on Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. This rare and beautiful habitat features sparse junipers that are prostrate or erect depending on wind action and the adverse conditions typical of sand dunes.

Coastal dunes are very popular for outdoor recreation, which often causes difficult dilemmas in coastal dune management. On the one hand, recreation is considered a legitimate and appropriate function of many areas. On the other hand, recreation can result in a loss of natural qualities and, even worse, the complete destruction of the area. There is no simple solution to this dilemma. Only through adequate sustainable management can nature-based tourism be a compatible and complementary land use. By adopting sustainable management practices, promoting responsible visitor behaviour, and engaging local communities, it is possible to ensure the long-term conservation of these vital ecosystems. This integrated approach not only protects the natural environment but also supports the socio-economic well-being of local communities, creating a sustainable model for coastal dune management.

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Bridging tradition and innovation: Lebanon’s role in EU-funded resilience projects

Lebanon’s pivotal role in EU-funded resilience projects stems from its unique blend of tradition and innovation. From rural wisdom to urban technology, it offers diverse…

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Resilience thinking: a promising avenue to address the multiple challenges of our time

In the face of global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, and population growth, resilience theory offers strategies to strengthen landscapes. Learn how resilience can help navigate these complex issues.

Resilience as a solution for the global triple challenge

Humanity is facing a huge challenge: we need to take care – feed, provide shelter, and health – of more and more people. We need to mitigate climate change while at the same time adapting to the part of it that has already happened. And we have to stop the enormous loss of plants and animals in nature – of the biodiversity on which ecosystems provide ‘environmental services’ to humans.
This “Triple Challenge” isn’t just happening in one place—it is happening all over the world, on land, in the water, and in the air. Think of the Earth as a big puzzle made up of different pieces called “landscapes”, where nature and people interact in multiple, complex, and specific ways. Each landscape has its own unique features, but they all face similar problems.

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Creating mosaic landscapes: integrating vineyards to prevent wildfires and increase resilience

Discover how agroforestry mosaic landscapes in La Plana de Manlleu, Catalonia, Northeastern Spain, with multifunctional vineyard firebreak buffers, prevent wildfires while offering socio-economic benefits and…

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Resilient agriculture and forestry in the Mediterranean: what are the challenges?

Practitioners from 11 Mediterranean countries participated in a public survey to identify and understand the principal needs, barriers, bottlenecks, innovation, and knowledge gaps needed to…

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When professionals’ experience matters: the launch of ResAlliance Landlab in Portugal

Professionals from the agricultural and forestry sectors responded extensively to the call of the ISA/UTAD scientific research teams in Portugal to share their concerns and experiences, in view of the problems observed in the northern regions of the country.

The European ResAlliance project continues to deploy its tools to improve the socio-economic resilience of the landscape in different countries of the Mediterranean and Southern Europe. On this occasion, the launch of the LandLab in Portugal was the opportunity to address the existing challenges in the northern regions of the country in the field of forestry and agriculture. The event was organised last November in collaboration between the Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA) and the Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD) in the city of Vila Real and laid the foundations for the co-creation of solutions between different Portuguese experts and stakeholders.

The event was attended by 71 participants linked to the agricultural, agroforestry, and forestry sector. These experts included independent professionals, associations and cooperatives, small and large companies, technicians, financial institutions, and representatives of the Portuguese public administration and political parties (Figure 1). As part of the LandLab launch, an exploratory workshop was held to discuss the changes and solutions for the socio-economic agriculture and forestry sectors, considering the effects of climate change and demographic trends in the region.

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Protecting your home from forest fires at zero cost: saving forests and money

The FireWise communities are an inspiring example of good practices applied in the Mediterranean context that help us defend ourselves against the consequences of forest fires. These practices are being documented by the ResAlliance project to promote knowledge exchange across the region.

When a house, a garden, or private land burns down, it is not just property that burns. What goes away are the daily lives of entire families and communities, which subsequently have to try to get back on their feet with great difficulty and after a long time. All this happens every time a forest fire breaks out.

The European project ResAlliance is collecting good practices to improve land resilience in the context of the Mediterranean basin, especially those necessary to deal with the consequences of climate change, such as prolonged periods of drought and forest fires. These include those related to the increase in the number and intensity of forest fires, which are increasingly frequent and intense and with whose risk we must learn to live with now, not ‘tomorrow’.

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Cyprus ResAlliance’s LandLab launch: initiating a participatory integrated landscape-resilience strategy for the island

The participatory approach of EUC-CERIDES (Centre of Excellence in Risk and Decision Sciences of the European University of Cyprus) for the Cyprus LandLab has been an opportunity to lay the foundations for an integrated landscape resilience strategy in Cyprus, under the kind auspices of the Honourable Commissioner for Environment of the Republic of Cyprus; Dr. Maria Panagiotou.

The Centre of Excellence in Risk and Decision Sciences of the European University Cyprus, is the Cypriot Partner of the pan-European Consortium project “ResAlliance – Landscape Resilience Knowledge-Alliance for Agriculture and Forestry in the Mediterranean Basin, funded by the European Commission and coordinated by EFI – European Forest Institute, with a strong Euro-Mediterranean emphasis.

ResAlliance’s “LandNet” is a Mediterranean alliance on landscape resilience for forestry and agriculture. By engaging and training farmers, foresters, and other key stakeholders, the LandNet will continuously identify new cooperation and networks to improve and increase knowledge and good practises while also delivering an extensive range of easy-to-access material. Through the LandNet, ResAlliance will engage and train farmers, foresters, and other key stakeholders for the knowledge transfer of managerial, technological, financial, or governance solutions.

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Preventing megafires and land abandonment in the Mediterranean

The combination of climate change and land abandonment is creating the perfect conditions for forest megafires in the Mediterranean. Higher temperatures, erratic rainfall and longer droughts are becoming increasingly commonplace, as well as claims that megafires “are here to stay”. Still, not all hope is lost. Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) can help prevent fire disasters by reducing the amount of flammable biomass that accumulates in forests, among other adaptation measures.

The INFORMA project’s case study in the Segre-Rialb basin, Spain, is an example of an area that has suffered decades of continuous rural exodus and decurrent lack of forest management. There, the project will equip forest practitioners with insights on how to adapt to increased climate variability while ensuring the provision of important ecosystem services such as water quality and quantity, wood and non-wood forest products, recreation, and biodiversity conservation.

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