The MedForum2022 was held from 21 to 25 March in Antalya (Turkey), within the framework of the 7th Mediterranean Forest Week. The theme, in agreement with the 7th MFW, was "How Model Forests can contribute to the development of youth entrepreneurship based on NBS".
Young entrepreneurs, in fact, with the sustainable development approaches and Nature-based solutions, can help to protect Mediterranean climate, society and development.
During the first day of MedForum2022, the various representatives of the Model Forests of MMFN had the opportunity to share good sustainable management practices and talk about the NBS projects they are carrying out locally.
On the topic of business Nature-based Solutions, the Mediterranean Model Forest Network also organized a technical session on the potential of using these practices in creating job opportunities for young entrepreneurs.
The opening speech by Toni Ventre, secretary of the Mediterranean Model Forest Network, immediately showed the awareness that despite the importance attributed to young people in the speeches on their role, in substance their involvement in the management and policy creation processes is still limited. If there are so many innovative experiences born from below, it is rare that the results obtained from these experiences are carried within national or European policies, resulting in a group of isolated practices that struggle to express their revolutionary potential. The development of exchange platforms, networks and forums which collect these experiences and give them visibility is therefore crucial. As underlined by Riccardo Castellini (Cesefor - MMFN) in presenting the results of the Rosewood4.0 project, an effort is needed to harmonize, translate and make the experiences that are developed within the individual projects available to the widest possible audience. In ongoing research of novelty, indeed, there is a risk of forgetting the possibility of reproducing good practices already implemented elsewhere, in other projects.
Christophe Besacier (FAO - FLRM), one of those responsible for the collection of best practices for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, during his speech underlined how much the model forests approach is in line with the global challenge objectives linked to youth entrepreneurs to the ecosystem restoration. Working to harmonize the needs of those around the forest sector, from policy makers to local communities and producers, is essential to re-establish the connection between people and the ecosystems in which they live. Connection without which ecosystem restoration initiatives are unlikely to achieve the expected results.
Finally, in accordance with the organization of previous MedForums, a field trip was held on the last day in the rural areas of Antalya. The representatives of the Model Forests of the Mediterranean area and the MMFN secretariat were therefore able to visit an area dedicated to the restoration of post-fire vegetation strongly desired by the population and a local laurel producer.
The MedForum was therefore a wonderful opportunity to exchange experiences between the Model Forests of the Mediterranean area and at the same time for international dialogue and comparison, thanks to the 7thMFW that hosted it.