On December 9th, 2023, the ReForest project took stage at COP28 in the Mediterranean Coalition Office during an event co-organized by CIHEAM and the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA), a partner organization in the ReForest project. The panel discussion on Agroforestry sector in the Euro-Mediterranean: Towards novel policies, cooperation and financing frameworks presented valuable insights from the ReForest project.
The session was moderated by Yasmine Seghirate El Guerrab, Administrator at CIHEAM Headquarters. The panel included the following participants:
• Ivan Hajdukovic, Researcher, EMEA
• Martin Lukac, Professor in Ecosystem Science, University of Reading and The Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague, Coordinator of the ReForest project
• Rico Hubner, Researcher, Deutscher Fachverband für Agroforstwirtschaft (DeFAF) e.V
• Thierry DUPEUBLE, Director, CIHEAM Montpellier
• Michèle Gendreau-Massaloux, Vice-President of the GID (Group Interacadémique pour le Développement)
• Jaques Brulhet, Vice-President of the GID
• Martin Heibel Communication manager, Interreg NEXT MED Program
Martin Lukac, Coordinator of the ReForest, explained that the project aims to bridge the gap between research and practical implementation in agroforestry systems. Recognising that farmers need training and investment to establish agroforestry networks, which is crucial for reforming the agricultural landscape and reducing carbon emissions in the sector, ReForest is dedicated to addressing this need. The project also aims to fill in the knowledge and investment gap by creating financial and scientific monitoring tools tailored for farmers.
Ivan Hajdukovic, a Researcher at the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA), shared insights into the key policy recommendations currently under development within the ReForest project to advance the adoption of agroforestry practices in Europe and beyond. He emphasised the necessity for a comprehensive policy framework that interlinks food security, agriculture, forestry, and rural development, promoting a holistic approach for environmental, economic, and social sustainability. In his opinion, carbon farming is an excellent opportunity, as it provides economic reward for positive climate and environmental actions that benefit society. This approach not only offers economic incentives for positive climate and environmental actions but also contributes to societal benefits. Within the ReForest project, a sustainable financing scheme for agroforestry in the form of a hybrid carbon farming supplemented by ex-ante payments and advisory services to support farmers.
Lastly, Ivan paid special attention to the importance of cooperation in the Mediterranean region. He emphasised the need of a transdisciplinary dialogue among researchers, policymakers, civil society, and other stakeholders. Additionally, he highlighted the importance of incorporating traditional and new agroforestry practices into evolving agricultural policies and the initiation of knowledge transfer between researchers and practitioners.
A recording of the discussion is available at the CIHEAM YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N942of4eRLE