Background, history and main achievements
The Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (CIHEAM Bari) launched in 1999 a Network of experts on Mediterranean Organic Agriculture (MOAN) with the objective of furthering organic agriculture in the Mediterranean countries through activities of promotion, training, research and data collection on the state of play of the sector in the Mediterranean Basin. MOAN gathered representatives from universities, research institutes, private associations and Ministries of Agriculture from the 11 member countries of CIHEAM (Albania, Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey.
In 2003, the first Euro-Mediterranean ministerial conference on agriculture – held in Venice – recommended organic agriculture to be regarded as a main factor of economic development for the countries of the region and a potential tool for strengthening the Euro-Mediterranean partnership.
Following this recommendation, in 2006 MOAN became an Institutional Network composed of representatives of Ministries of Agriculture and it was enlarged to other Euro-Mediterranean countries. Upon its launching, 16 countries joined the Network: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina (representative from Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina), Croatia, Egypt, France, F.Y.R. of Macedonia, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Montenegro, Morocco, Serbia, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey.
In 2007, Libya, Palestine, a representative from Republic of Srpska, Malta, Slovenia and Spain joined MOAN. Portugal joined in 2012 and Greece in 2014.
At present, MOAN gathers 23 countries represented by officials/officers dealing with organic agriculture issues and nominated by their Ministers of Agriculture.
In the last ten years of activities MOAN has:
- continuously supported bilateral and multilateral country exchange among the Network member countries, in the fields of organic regulation, policy and market development and data collection;
- analysed and presented, in various institutional and scientific events and projects, the features of Mediterranean Organic Agriculture and its potential for sustainable and inclusive development in the region;
- become the main reference source of organic statistics for the Mediterranean region, with MOAN annual survey data regularly published in the FiBL-IFOAM Yearbook “The World of Organic Agriculture”.