The 31 participants present at the annual meeting of the MEDFORVAL Network, held from 23 to 26 October in the Shouf Biosphere Reserve in Lebanon (SBR), representing the 19 sites of the Network, partners and the MAVA Foundation, exchanged best practices and began to outline the future of the MEDFORVAL Network in the framework of the end of the project in February 2018.
New funding prospects
During the 1st day of the annual meeting which was devoted to the review of the achievements of the Project, the MAVA has been able to specify its intention to support the Network in its fundraising activities by providing 2 financial supports by the end of February 2018 for the recruitment of specialized consultants, on the one hand to identify potential sources of funds and on the other hand to write 2 solid and bankable projects. MAVA will also support the finalization of the business plan.
MAVA also acknowledged its willingness to support the Network as part of its “soft landing” strategy, provided that the Network can
i) demonstrate its willingness to sustain the Network
ii) demonstrate its ability to raise funds
iii) have 2 eligible projects by the end of February 2018.
A Network now formal and better structured
The participants adopted the Network’s rules of procedures and identified several procedures to be developed in the future to precise the role and responsibilities of each one, for a better structuration of the Network.
Field trip: the dynamic management of a multifunctional landscape
On the 2nd day, the participants visited various sites illustrating the activities implemented in the SBR for landscape restoration (Ramiliyeh native nursery, restoration sites, Maaser’s pilot site for the restoration of terraces), biomass management and fire prevention (Dalboun coppice, pruning area and clearing) but also ecotourism and economic diversification (meals and local products in Maaser, program “Adopt a cedar”). The field visit ended in the Baruk cedar forest, where a cedar plant, donated by the Reserve, was planted in honor of the MEDFORVAL Network.
The first step for building the Network in the future
On the 3rd day, the participants organized themselves in 3 working groups in order to outline the future for the MEDFORVAL Network. The main concerns were about:
- The vision for the Network (objectives and requirements);
- The internal organization of the Network and its operational functioning;
- The communication needs;
- The viability and sustainability of the Network.
To respond to the many questions and issues raised, participants agreed that a work plan with corresponding objectives would be developed by the Secretariat and would serve as a basis for implementation of actions by each member and partner.
The minutes of the meeting and all the documents are available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/sj59byt9c84q5dk/AAD3yjadVMoq1i0WAT5q_YJwa?dl=0