Mediterranean forests are complex social-ecological systems characterised by wide biodiversity, a high level of spatial and environmental heterogeneity, and a long history of profound interlinking with human populations. They ensure a variety of regulating, supporting, provisioning and cultural services.
Mediterranean forests are considered as a hotspot of global change impacts and risks (loss of habitats, air pollution, drought, fires, pest and disease outbreaks, etc.). Promoting forest adaptation to global change is particularly challenging because of considerable uncertainty in future socio-economic and climatic scenarios, ecosystem responses, and impacts of forest management practices, among other factors.
Forest health is an essential part of sustainable forest management. A shifting pattern in the incidence of the traditional, endemic threats to the Mediterranean forest is foreseen and this will increase the vulnerability of forests and the communities involved in ecosystem processes. Furthermore, new threats are emerging for forest health, either from trade globalisation, environmental pollution or climate change.
The objective of the course is to present the current knowledge, concepts, criteria and methods concerning forest health assessment, monitoring and management in a context of global change.
The programme has an applied approach, and will be taught with a combination of lectures, case studies, demonstration sessions and a debate.
Upon completion of the course the participants will have gained:
- An overview of global change trends in Mediterranean forests.
- Better understanding of the impact of global change on forest health.
- A perspective of the most important climate change drivers threatening forest health in the Mediterranean.
- Insight into the risk of emerging health issues caused by different invasive plant species and forest pests and pathogens.
- A view of the use of available models and tools to support informed decision making.
- Knowledge on methods and tools for an improved assessment, monitoring and surveillance of forest health.
- Approaches of integrated forest health management strategies to cope with global change.
The course will be held online, with lectures and practical work delivered in live sessions by highly qualified lecturers from international organisations and from research centres and universities in different countries. The course will be held from 22 November to 1 December 2021. The 8 sessions will be held from 22 to 26 November and 29 November to 1 December, from 09:15h to 13:45h (Central European Time).
The course is jointly organised by the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM), through the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (CIHEAM Zaragoza), and the European Forest Institute (EFI), through the EFI’s Mediterranean Facility (EFIMED), with the collaboration of the International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO).
The deadline for the submission of applications is 20 September 2021. Candidates from Mediterranean countries may apply for scholarships awarded by the organising institutions covering registration fees.