In the EU, the responsibility for forest policy falls on individual Member States. There is nevertheless a long tradition by the EU of supporting forest-related activities such as sustainable forest management, in cooperation with Member States, as expressed in the EU Forestry Strategy and the EU Forest Action Plan. In 2006, the European Forest Action Plan was adopted with a view to supporting and enhancing sustainable forest management and the multifunctional role of forests. The Plan provides the framework for forest-related actions at the Community and Member State levels, and for coordinating the Community's actions with the forest policies of its member States.
In 2003, the Commission presented the Action Plan on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance and Trade (FLEGT), aimed at combating illegal logging and poor forest governance. This followed in October 2008, by a proposal for a so-called Due Diligence regulation to decrease the import of illegal timber into the EU. Also in 2008, the Commission presented a Communication on deforestation to help protect forests around the world.
UNECE-TC AND FAO-EFC
The work of the UNECE-TC revolves around market analysis, information exchange, sector outlook studies and forest resource assessments, including sustainable forest management more broadly. The work of the FAO-EFC includes monitoring policy developments affecting the sector and analyzing possible response strategies. The joint integrated programme of work of the UNECE-TC and FAO-EFC, which has been in operation since 1948 and provides for a joint Secretariat, joint meetings and joint publications, has further enhanced cross-sectoral initiatives and policy and institutional monitoring. Since their establishment, these organisations have held joint meetings every four years.
The private sector
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is a Brussels-based non-profit organisation regrouping the European pulp and paper industry and championing this industry's achievements and the benefits of its products. Through its 18 member countries (16 European Union members plus Norway and Switzerland) CEPI represents some 800 pulp, paper and board producing companies across Europe, ranging from small and medium sized companies to multi-nationals, and 1200 paper mills. Together they represent 27% of world production. Its mission is to promote the sector by taking specific actions, notably by monitoring and analyzing activities and initiatives in the areas of industry, environment, energy, forestry, recycling, fiscal policies and competitiveness.
Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF)
CEPF is the only umbrella organisation of national forest owner organisations in the European Union. The CEPF brings around one table 27 members from 23 countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Spain and Sweden). Forest owner's organisations from outside the EU can also collaborate as observers while being fully integrated into the information and communication network. CEPF policy serves the interests of approximately 16 million forest owners who own 65% of the forest area in the EU. The CEPF member organisations in their turn represent around 42% of the privately owned forests in the member countries. The CEPF is therefore the most representative interest organisation of European forest owners.
The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE)
ACE - The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment - provides a European platform for beverage carton manufacturers and their paperboard suppliers to benchmark and profile cartons as renewable, recyclable and low-carbon packaging solutions. Engaging with stakeholders and partners seeking high environmental stewardship, it contributes expertise to EU policy, legislation, and standard-setting.
ACE members work together to demonstrate that beverage carton packaging is the smart green choice today and in the future.
ACE members include beverage carton producers Tetra Pak, SIG Combibloc and Elopak; they develop, manufacture and market systems for the processing, packaging and distribution of food, and produce packaging material at 20 plants in Europe. About 98% of the paperboard used by ACE members in beverage cartons in Europe is produced by Stora Enso in Skoghall (Sweden) and Imatra (Finland), and Korsnäs in Gävle and Frövi (Sweden), who are also members of ACE.
Other international institutions associated with the private sector
Other organisations include:
- European Confederation of Woodworking Industries
- Nordic Forest Research Co-operation Committee (SNS)
- Nordic Forest Owners Associations
- Union of Foresters of Southern Europe
- European Cork Federation (C.E. Liège)
BirdLife Europe Partnership
The BirdLife Europe Partnership consists of 42 conservation organisations with almost 3,000 staff, 1.9 million members and more than 6,000 reserves covering over 300,000 hectares. The partnership is home to the BirdLife European Forest Task Force, which works to:
- Promote a vision of a European network of protected forests sufficiently large and strictly protected to prevent further extinction of forest species
- Ensure that commercial forest management practices in Europe do not harm forests of high biological value
- Support the recovery of biodiversity through restoration of intensively managed forests – both protected and commercial - to a more natural state
The FTF and BirdLife Partners work for forest protection through:
- Locating and mapping biologically important forests in Europe (www.birdlife.fi/forestmapping)
- Organizing seminars on key forest protection issues
- Monitoring the effects of biodiversity enhancing measures in forests
- Informing forest owners about environmentally friendly forestry
- Promoting good quality, democratic certification schemes providing international and independent eco-labeling schemes for timber and timber products
- Creating links among BirdLife Partners and other NGOs
- Representing BirdLife’s viewpoint on environmentally benign forestry at international fora
- Working with the EU on forest issues, and publishes a wide variety of information on forest research and advocacy
Forest Movement Europe
FERN co-ordinates the Forest Movement Europe (FME), which is a network of European NGOs working on forest-related issues. FERN aims to promote strong and effective campaign networks and accelerate positive results. The FME is a grouping of more than 45 NGOs from12 European countries working on forest issues. The movement has been in existence, although under different names, for nearly ten years. Its purpose is to share information, to develop joint strategies and a wider European perspective on forest issues. The FME also supports NGOs and Indigenous Peoples Organisations in the South in their activities to protect forests.
European State Forest Association (EUSTAFOR)
EUSTAFOR is a forum for the European state forest organisations. By supporting the pan-European sustainability strategies, EUSTAFOR helps its members to implement their individual sustainability strategies. The goal of EUSTAFOR is to promote the common interest of state forests in the EU in the scope of their sustainable development. The main objectives of EUSTAFOR are to: (1) to analyze and investigate the existing framework conditions within the EU, in order to create the preconditions for sustainable management of state forests; (2) to facilitate and expand an exchange of ideas and contacts between the state forest organisations of Europe; (3) to keep its members regularly informed on topics and issues that concern the whole of Europe.
European Forest Network (EFN)
The European Forest Network (EFN) is an unofficial network of national forest societies and associations of Europe. The main goal is to promote the exchange of information relevant to forests, forestry and forest policy among its members.
European Landowners' Organisation (ELO)
The European Landowners' Organisation is a voluntary organisation representing the interests of the owners and managers of rural land, and rural businesses, within the EU. It aims to promote “a prosperous and attractive European countryside”, and it lobbies to advance its aims at local, national and European levels. The ELO's main concern is to ensure that rural areas are developed in a way that balances economic activity with conservation of the rural environmental heritage. It targets seven areas: the environment, agriculture and rural development, forestry, renewable energy, private business, enlargement of the EU, and trade.