MedForum 2014 - Model Forest „River Mirna Basin“ became a candidate for membership in the International Model Forest Network

The annual meeting of the Mediterranean Model Forest Network (MMFN) was organized collectively by the Institute for Adriatic cultures and karst melioration (IAC), the Šibenik-Knin County and the MMFN Secretariat; it took place in Skradin from the 14th to 16th October, 2014 and its working title was “MedForum 2014: Monitoring and Evaluation of Results and their Reporting to the Wider Public”. The meeting was organized in three parts: annual assembly of the MMFN, a field trip to the pilot area of the Adriatic Model Forest and a technical workshop of the Adriatic Model Forest Project.

On the first day the participants were welcomed by the deputy prefect of the Šibenik-Knin County, Mr. Zoran Smolic, assistant director of the Institute for Adriatic cultures and karst melioration, Mr. Tomislav Radic and Mr. Miguel Segur, executive secretary of the MMFN.  

Pilar Valbuena, communications expert from MMFN presented to all the participants the new Forest Communicators’ Network that was established in Morocco this year. The objective of this Internet platform is linking all the forestry sectors with the wider public, and at the same time it is a place of cooperation and presentation of activities. MMFN is an active member of this Network and all Model Forests are invited to send information about their projects, researches and initiatives to this Communicators’ Network. It has also been suggested to update and redesign the web site of the MMFN. After that, Model Forest representatives have presented their activities relating to communication with the stakeholders and the wider public. Within that framework, representatives have discussed about web sites, mailing lists, different promotion materials and brochures, as well as other events where Model Forests present their activities and invite and inform both the future and current members. Model Forest representatives from Spain, Turkey, Morocco, Italy and France have presented good practice examples as a source of ideas and support for all future Model Forests in the Adriatic Region.

Riccardo Castellini, expert for EU Funds and MMFN Programmes, presented new funding possibilities for the MMFN members, particularly programmes such as INTERREG EUROPE, E.N.P.I., IPA ADRIATIC, ERASMUS+, LIFE+ and Horizon2020.

The listed programmes have substantial budgets and the Model Forest as a concept striving to sustainable rural development and, at the same time, an innovative management model, can easily become a candidate for funding either through MMFN or individually.

Representatives of the Model Forest “Yalova” from Turkey presented their silkworm silk souvenirs made by the president of their MF.

After the Assembly, there was a Model Forest Candidature Ceremony for the MFs “Bucak” from Turkey, “Tlemcen” from Algeria and “River Mirna Basin” from Croatia with the purpose of acceptance to the International Model Forest Network.

Certificate of the International Model Forest Network was awarded to the Secretary of the Association Model Forest “River Mirna Basin”, Miss Ana Fornazar, and she was accompanied by her colleague Antun Brenko from the Croatian Forest Research Institute who is currently employed on the Project Traceability of non-wood forest products within the Model Forest. 

After a yearlong candidate status, the Model Forest “River Mirna Basin” will officially become a Model Forest in the next MedForum.

The field trip of the potential area within the Adriatic Model Forest Project was organized on the second day when we visited the National park “Krka” and the little island Visovac. This area is right next to the border of the future Model Forest in Dalmatia and with its 800 000 visitors yearly it will surely influence the rural development and activities relating to natural resources of the whole territory.

Lunch was organized in the agritourism “Kuca kamena”, which is a member of the Model Forest in Dalmatia, and which offered to all participants of the conference a closer insight into the Dalmatian traditional cuisine, drinks, as well as music.

MedForum 2014 was organized within the Adriatic Model Forest Project with the objective to link Model Forests from Turkey, Algeria, France and Italy with the potential Model Forests in Bosnia, Serbia, Albania, Greece and Montenegro. To all the partners of the AMF Project, MedForum 2014 was an opportunity to meet the representatives and get an insight of the way of operation of active Model Forests, all with the goal of establishing their own Model Forests in the future.

Find out more on IPA Adriatic here.