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Tag: Mediterranean

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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Stakeholders’ perceptions on building resilient landscapes: launching the LandLab in Peloponnese

The first of the five LandLabs planned by the ResAlliance project across the Mediterranean was launched successfully on 28 September 2023, in the region of…

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ResAlliance as an integrated approach to landscape management

In this interview, David Martín, Project Manager at Pau Costa Foundation, explains the organisation’s role in the EU-funded ResAlliance project and gives his own point of view on some aspects of landscape resilience in the Mediterranean.

A key feature of ResAlliance is the LandLabs. These are programmes of activities and networking platforms in five Mediterranean regions that seek to engage farmers and foresters with a variety of stakeholders and practices in landscape management so that they can gain insight into innovative solutions. David Martín and Mariona Borràs, from the Fundació Pau Costa (Pau Costa Foundation, PCF), are Resilience Ambassadors of the LandLab in Catalonia and the general coordinators of all five LandLabs.

David Martín has been working at PCF since 2019. Educated in environmental science and biodiversity conservation, he became involved in the wildfire domain after working as a volunteer looking into the impact of wildfires in Lithuania in 2011.  After this, he worked as a consultant in Spain and a researcher at the University of Greenwich, in the UK. He remembers his time doing research as very fruitful for his career. In fact, it allowed him to develop his current role as Project Manager. Now, he is mainly involved in European Union-funded projects and exploring the potential to address biodiversity and conservation criteria in more holistic wildfire risk management. 

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Community of practice: an inclusive Good Governance System in the Mediterranean area

Communities of practice (CoP) are fundamental tools to build resilience and increase knowledge sharing: this is how the ResAlliance project intends to use this potential.…

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Re-inventing the wheel or shaping agriculture and forest resilience exchange instead?

Despite the continued funding of scientific projects, new knowledge, innovative ideas and methods from practice are not sufficiently captured and spread. The research findings are often not integrated into agricultural and forestry practice. 

Let’s imagine that there was no exchange of knowledge between countries. Every nation would be forced to reinvent the wheel, on its own, when someone, elsewhere, had already done so. You may think that this situation is not possible in the interconnected 21st century but, for some types of knowledge, this is still the case. 

The publication and dissemination of scientific articles in scientific journals is a well-trodden path. A few global printing houses offer worldwide access to discoveries and innovations described according to scientific thinking, and in English: the global scientific language. However, knowledge and innovation do not belong exclusively to scientists. Thousands of practitioners, managers, policy makers or teachers innovate in their daily professional lives. With a bit of luck, these innovations are not only applied, but also published in a report or a factsheet, or conveyed to colleagues from the same region or country at technical conferences, field visits, or regional or national congresses (all in the local language). And they don’t go further, as in most cases their creators do not have the mandate to disseminate them internationally. 

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"We need wildfire prevention rather than fire suppression" – EFI-expert responds to EU's new rescEU plan

The European summer of 2017 had unprecedented amounts of natural disasters happening simultaneously, such as devastating forest fires in Portugal, immense storms in Germany and…

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Tackling wildfires in Mediterranean forests

Catastrophic forest fires claimed lives this summer across the world, from California to Portugal and Spain. The Mediterranean basin is a global wildfire hotspot and the threat of wildfires to forests and society is expected to increase with climate change.
Scientists from the European Forest Institute (EFI) urge a shift in focus on how we tackle this problem, moving beyond the current emphasis on fire suppression. They argue that the bio-economy offers means to activate management and to demonstrate that forests are a valuable resource, as a smart and sustainable strategy to address the problem of wildfires.
In a new paper published in Forest Policy and Economics, the researchers consider the opportunities offered by a forest-based bio-economy alongside an improved recognition of the value of forests. They suggest a strategic policy shift in favour of fire prevention as part of an integrated forest management strategy, while calling for a shift in mind-set for society to recognise the various ways in which forests provide value.

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