A bit of history…
It was in spring 2006 that the “European State Forest Association” – EUSTAFOR for short – held its first general assembly with 21 members present. Founded by the Austrian, Finnish, French and Latvian state forest management organizations, EUSTAFOR was formally established as a result of many years of regular but informal meetings between state forest managers from several countries. They realized that the sustainable development strategy established in 2001 by the European Union covered many sectors of activity and that forest management was impacted by decisions made on subjects as diverse as agriculture, environment, energy, tourism, regional development, etc. At the same time, this type of multi-functional and multi-disciplinary management was very familiar to foresters as was the knowledge that these decisions could unwittingly be contradictory due not only to a lack of a common EU forestry policy, but to the different layers of decision makers within the Members States and the organizations themselves.
The need to create EUSTAFOR as a voice for European state forests within the EU was clear, but was not the association’s only goal. The words of EUSTAFOR’s first Executive Director, Erik Kozenkranius, still ring true: « In putting together our collection of stories of innovation and research and development projects, we have learned a lot from each other. We have pooled our skills and our values as well as our problems, and this has brought us closer together. »
Ten years later, EUSTAFOR’s goals continue to include supporting, improving and increasing sustainable forest management practices from an economic, social, cultural and ecological viewpoint. EUSTAFOR’s 30 members continue to tell their stories, making EUSTAFOR a well-known and dependable voice in the European forest-based sector.
To celebrate its 10 years of existence, EUSTAFOR organized a series of events, including a conference and exhibition in the European Parliament, a reception and an excursion to the Belgian Sonian Forest. The events were held under the the common title: “Managing European Forests Responsibly – for People, Climate and Nature.”
The EUSTAFOR Office invites you to enjoy this special collection of stories in this, our 10th anniversary edition of the eustafor.express!
Published 02/05/2016, brussels
Ms. Kathleen Begemann
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