Newsletter 7, November 2015

FORESTERRA: Summary of Achievements

FORESTERRA has been a key project for reinforcing scientific cooperation on Mediterranean forests through a transnational Mediterranean ERA-Net, and was also able to build a new and strong transcontinental cooperation among Mediterranean Climate Areas. We were able to reduce fragmentation and maximize the impact of research activities and the exchange of information. Foresterra strategic aim was to reinforce the scientific coordination and integration of Mediterranean programmes in forest research as well as the scientific cooperation with countries of the Mediterranean area and with countries from other Mediterranean Climate areas.

FORESTERRA: Summary of Achievements

The work performed by FORESTERRA Consortium during the project, has permitted to obtain the following results:

  • The definition of a clear strategic plan to enhance the coordination and integration of forest research in the region, involving as well other Mediterranean Climate Areas
  • The mapping of existing research capacities in the Mediterranean region
  • The realization of the databases: Existing forestry funding programmes and forestry research capacities of the FORESTERRA partner countries (WP2) and Forest research infrastructures of common strategic interest in Mediterranean region (WP4)
  • The launch of the first FORESTERRA Joint Call, and an analysis for a possible Foresterra second Joint Call was realized.
  • The establishment of international cooperation activities and search for common interests with other Mediterranean climate areas: Australia and California.
  • The implementation of other joint activities
  • Realization of several dissemination events
  • Elaboration of the Communication plan, with 7 newsletter produced and dissemination material (
  • The development of the website (more than 37.000 visits from the beginning and more than 9.500 in the last year).
  • Publications. Two articles have already been published:
    - Linking the forest research in the Mediterranean area: A framework to improve research capacities and cooperation. Forest Policy and Economics, DOI:10.1016/j.forpol.2014.08.003. Authors: Giovanni Di Matteo, Pierfrancesco Nardi, Paolo Ceci, Sofia Bajocco, Luigi Perini, Gema Herrero-Corral, Dunixi Gabiña, Giuseppe Scarascia Mugnozza.
    - Exploring forest infrastructures equipment through multivariate analysis: complementarities, gaps and overlaps in the Mediterranean basin. Annals of Silvicultural research, DOI: 10.12899/asr-774. Authors: Sofia Bajocco, Elisabetta Raparelli, Francesco Patriarca, Giovanni Di Matteo, Pierfrancesco Nardi, Luigi Perini, Luca Salvati, Giuseppe Scarascia Mugnozza.

    Another article is under publications with the results obtained over the third period in WP2, with the title: “Structure and evolution of Mediterranean forest research”

On the Future of FORESTERRA

For the last four years, FORESTERRA has been a key FP7 project for reinforcing scientific cooperation on Mediterranean forests through a transnational Mediterranean ERA-Net. FORESTERRA has also been able to build a new and strong transcontinental cooperation among Mediterranean Climate Areas maximizing the impact of research activities and the exchange of information. FORESTERRA strategic aim has also been to reinforce the integration of Mediterranean programmes in forest research.

FORESTERRA: Summary of Achievements

As an EU funded ERANET project, FORESTERRA is ending on the 31st of December 2015. For the last quarter of the project FORESTERRA strengthened its bounds to SUMFOREST and WOODWISDOM, trying to foster our common scientific interests. This effort was greatly rewarded; our Final Conference celebrated in Lisbon last November had a clear will as a result, a mandate, to continue working in the same direction of scientific excellence in the forestry sector and to build a new dimension of research cooperation in the Mediterranean and Europe.

It is indeed very clear that common challenges exist, as those derived from climate change adaptation, but there is still much to gain through increased cooperation at several levels. Fragmentation is still very relevant in the region, and while there are few sources for funding international research and other cooperation activities, FORESTERRA evolved as a powerful tool to improve and create bridges to the North and South of the Mediterranean region.

FORESTERRA: Summary of Achievements

Collaboration density among Mediterranean countries in Forest Research as inferred from joint publications (FORESTERRA data analysis, FORESTERRA Final Conference, Lisbon, Portugal 24‐26 November 2015)

Recently, FORESTERRA has conducted a survey asking the consortia members on their views, priorities and preferences for the future of the Network. From this initiative, some ideas emerge strong and were discussed at the FORESTERRA Steering Committee and Final Conference and can be summarised in the following three ideas:

  1. It is essential to consolidate an initiative for joint research calls open to all Mediterranean countries and forestry research. As an immediate result, several FORRESTERRA funding agencies have started collaboration with SUMFOREST ERA-NET in the call for forest research projects to be launched in the first half of 2016. As mentioned above, there has been an active search for a common scientific ground where Woodwisdom-NET has also been involved. This will open new opportunities for joint research activities for the Mediterranean forest research community. To our knowledge, it is the first time that three different ERA-NETs will cooperate in a joint transnational call and it can be seen as an important milestone for increased Euro-Mediterranean research cooperation.
  2. If successful, this will open the door to future collaborations, as the three ERA-NETs have also made significant progress towards a future forest COFUND initiative with a common scope and interests with a sound basis on the FORESTERRA Scientific Research Innovation agenda (another success of this ERA-NET) and the Mediterranean Forest Research Agenda (MFRA).
  3. The need to complement research with innovation actions emerged strongly. Research and innovation actions could be promoted in the field of Mediterranean forestry in future joint calls, as will be the case in the above mentioned call that will be launched next year with the cooperation of the three FOREST ERANETS. Innovation actions can also be targeted through other calls and funding opportunities, as for example though the European Neighbourhood instrument.
  4. A significant capacity building and mobility programme is needed and will be greatly welcome. Several FORESTERRA partners have expressed their wiliness to support mobility actions in the field of Mediterranean forestry, that would need to be funded through other instruments such as COST and H2020 Marie Curie actions.