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VI Governing Council Meeting 1997 Poiana Brasov, Romania

07 - 15 June 1997

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Minutes of the meeting





7 - 15  JUNE, 1997







K.  Mol,                  President

P. Nareaho, Vice - President

K. Stefan,                "             "

P. Paschalis,            "             "

A. Christodoulou,   Secretary

N. Christiansen,     Treasurer

A. Grochowski,      Assistant Secretary

R. Fitter,                  Great  Britain

D. Ogg,                          "         "

S. Cram                         "         "

I. Millard                         "         "

P. Dunlop                       "         "

P. Facey                         "         "

P. Hutte,                  Germany

E. Buijinck,               Netherlands

W. van der Meer,             "

A. van der Velde,              "

L. Hoefnagels,                  "

J. Pourv,                          "

R. Lemmens,                   "

P. Salminen,    Finland

L. Jonsson,               Sweden

S. Ladefoged,            Denmark

K. Rudzki,                  Poland

G. Zasada,                    "

B. Varga,                   Hungary

T. Barna,                        "

B. Gospodinov,        Bulgaria

A. Stefanov,                   "

M. Stoicescu,           Romania

D.M. Liviu,                      "    

D. Dragan,                      "








A g e n d a



1. The "Thomas Report" to the European Parliament on European  Union´s Forestry Strategy.


2. Participation of the UEF in a Conference on Sustainable Management of Forests in Europe, Brussels, 21-23, May 97.


3. European Forestry Education and Training of Foresters.


4. The short and long term Policy of the UEF.


5. XIV Congress of the UEF in Finland.


6. Financial Situation of the UEF.


7. Fund-raising for the UEF.


8. Proposals for better Functioning of the UEF.


9. How to encourage UEF members to be actively involved in the Union.


10. The future of the UEF Office in Brussels.


11. Publication of a UEF´s Pamphlet and a Leaflet.


12. The employment of European Foresters in EU Projects - Creation of a Data Base.


13. Creation of a Foundation in cooperation with other European  NGO` s  to promote special projects.


14. Organisation of a European Tree-Planting Day.


15. Miscellaneous.


16. Closing Ceremony and Press Conference.


President K. Mol welcomed very warmly the representative of the Minister of Public Relations, of Romania Mr. D. Suciu, Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Public Relations for his Presence.


He welcomed also very warmly  the delegates/members of UEF member organisations attending the Governing Council Meeting (GCM) in Poiana Brasov.  He expressed  gratitude and thanks to the Romanian colleagues, especially to Mr. M. Stoicescu, President of "CONSILVA" for organising the GCM in Romania.




Currently, continued the President, many developments are taking place in Forestry, which are of vital importance to the future of our profession such as the Thomas report and the Helsinki-process on European dimension and the Rio follow-up on a global scale.  It is therefore important that the UEF continues its role in these processes because it is the only organisation of Professional Foresters present on a Paneuropean scale.  Whatever the outcome of all these conferences, whether it is Certification, Sustainable Forest Management (SFM), etc. we are the ones, he stressed, who have to apply it in the daily practice.


We have enough to discuss he said, and I hope we can learn a lot from each-other during our stay in this beautiful country.  

The opening speech of the President is attached as Appendix I.


Replying, the representative of the Romanian Government, Mr. D. Suciu said that it is a great honour for him to participate in the meeting.  The conclusions of the meeting will be forwarded to the appropriate authorities of our country, he said,  and they will be helpful in solving serious problems facing forestry in Romania during the transition-process, particularly the problem of the privatisation of the forests.


The representative of Bulgaria Mr. A. Stefanov addressed the meeting and expressed on behalf of the Bulgarian foresters his thanks and gratitude to the UEF for accepting the Foresters Union of Bulgaria (Union des Forestiers en Bulgarie-UEB) as a member.  He assured that the UEB will be an active member of the UEF.


Furthermore Mr. Stefanov stated the new objectives of forestry in his country after the reform. He pointed and that for the first time clear felling of forests is forbidden by law.  The area of the nature reserves and the protected forests was significantly extended.   The preparation and application of a new forest law is of paramount importance. Priority is given by the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria.


Then the meeting proceeded with the discussion of the items of the agenda.


1. The "Thomas Report" to the European Parliament on the E.U. Forestry Strategy.


Introducing the subject, the President said that the Thomas report on EU Forestry Strategy was adopted by the European Parliament on January 30, 1997. 

Following numerous amendments (200) only a small report remains as a compromise between  maximalists and minimalists.


For us, he continued, it is important that  our proposal for the creation of a European Forestry School is included in the recommendations (para 13 iii).







The Thomas Report was already circulated to the member organisations by the Presidency.


Secretary Alex. Christodoulou made a summary of the contents of the Report, pointing out the most important chapters as follows:


(a) The Principles and objectives of the proposal, and


(b) The actions to be proposed.


Forests are one of the most important renewable resources in Europe. Their management objective is to produce goods and services indefinitely  based on a market-oriented approach.  Forest strategy should be based on the recognition of the diversity of European forests, their multi-functional nature and the need for ecological, economic and social sustainability.


The coordination of national policies must be based on respect for the principle of subsidiary.  Subject to this, the basis for the E.U. forestry strategy should be a clearer definition of national policies, setting objectives at both national and international levels, re-defining clearly the responsibilities of the EU and  its Member States with precise procedures for technical cooperation at appropriate levels and establishing a link between forestry strategy and official policies such as environmental and rural policy.


The actions to be proposed by the Commission will cover the three main areas of Protection, Utilisation/Development and Extension of forestry resources.


Finally, Al. Christodoulou said, the European Parliament calls on the Commission to put forward, within two years from  the date of the adoption of this Report, a legislative proposal on European forestry strategy.

With a view to the establishment of a coherent and coordinated Community forestry strategy the Commission will make proposals for the financing of EU forestry activities.


Copy of the relevant pages of the Thomas Report, covering the principles and objectives, the action to be proposed and its financing is attached as Appendix II.


The GCM, following an extensive and fruitful discussion on the Report, agreed that:


- The UEF as the most important professional organisation in Europe in the field can influence the decisions of the European Parliament on forestry policy/strategy in the EU.


- The UEF must be independent and neutral organisation acting as a consultancy body in the EU.




- The UEF will try to become member of the proposed new Consultative Committee, which will be formed by representatives and organisations from 15 countries before the end of 1997.


- The Presidency and the member Organisations must continue and strengthen their activities and efforts in Brussels to influence EU decisions on forestry matters and in setting up a forestry lobby.


2. Participation of the UEF in a Conference on Sustainable Management of Forests in Europe, Brussels, May 97.


The President of the UEF, mentioned that he had been invited to speak at a conference on SFM in Europe organised by the "Club de Brussels", (21-23 May, 97).  In his presentation, entitled "Sustainable Management of forests and forest products, a new challenge for an old profession", covered the most important and real issues facing forestry in Europe.  K. Mol read extensive extracts from his paper  and stated the position of the UEF on the following issues:


- Certification


          - who is going to certify?

          - what are the criteria?

          - which organisation is independent enough to gain the necessary  

credibility among consumers, environment a lists and producers                worldwide?

          - could certification work?


At present there are several operational schemes with an international coverage but they are different and not harmonised or even comparable.  Therefore, the UEF prefers that the ISO standard be developed in co-operation and co-ordination with other international initiatives in the field of SFM, like the intergovernmental fora and FSC.


- How to improve the professional standards needed for the implementation of SFM?


UEF urges the creation of a European Forestry School, to integrate also the various levels of national training with supranational needs and to overcome the qualitative and quantitative differences in the various disciplines and the difficulties in exchanges, links and connections among the various European training institutes.


- How the role of the EU could be more effective in this field?


There is no political message at present that there is a real common European forest interest. Therefore we should try to create among politicians a new profile concerning the importance of the forestry sector.  Inter alia, by creating a legal base on forestry at the Intergovernmental Conference this year.




To correct the situation, a "STRESA" type conference on forestry should be organised.  Such a conference could examine and compare in detail all fifteen (15)  national policies and decide on the possible common interests in the framework of EU Forestry - and Forest industry policy.


The UEF offers to provide a network of true forestry professionals, who could help to coordinate such a conference.


The professional foresters are the ones who have to play a major role in the topics, like Certification, Ecolabelling and SFM and not the environmental NGO`s.


- The role of the E.U. in Countries in Transition (CIT`s) in Central and East Europe.


Having in mind the various problems that CIT`s face in the forestry sector such as the need for financial and technical assistance, privatisation of forest enterprises and the anachronistic forest legislation, the EU has among others to improve co-ordination of different activities in CIT`s, provide financial assistance to them to continue with SFM, and what is more in bad financial conditions during the transition process.


The position paper of K. Mol is attached as Appendix III.


The various issues raised in K. Mol`s presentation created a long and thorough discussion.


The conclusions of the discussion can be summarised as follows:


- Certification is a vital issue and in this respect the UEF should be an independent consultant and not a body to judge or evaluate.


- Certification will be the main topic in the UEF congress in Helsinki next year.  The UEF position on Certification will be formed following this congress.


- Foresters all over Europe have to do more and become more active in order to influence EU authorities on forestry matters, otherwise forestry policy in Europe will be formed by other sectors, such as NGO`s environmentalists etc.


- The UEF has to play an important role in the formulation of EU forest policy and strategy.


- The meeting approved the main issues and recommendations made in the presentation of the President and agreed that they should form  the basis for the formulation of UEF working strategy in the short term.


3. European forestry education and training of foresters


The subject of forestry education and training of foresters is included in Thomas Report.




It is stated that "education and training should be supported, in particular by exchanging knowledge of forestry practices between the various Member States, and these should be information and awareness campaigns for the general public as regards the varied functions of forests;  the creation of a European forestry school should be considered; promotion of wood as an environmentally friendly, renewable material should be encouraged".


According to the decision taken in the GCM in Shrewsburry, President K. Mol and Vice-President P. Nareaho will try to get financial assistance from the competent EU authorities, for the implementation of the Project, proposed by P. Nareaho.


Treasurer N. Christansen said that according to the decision taken at the last GCM to promote the exchange of young foresters for training purposes he already circulated a letter to member organisations, asking them to appoint a contact person.


Some organisations replied already he said and asked the rests of them to do the same as soon as possible.

R. Fitter informed the GCM that APF is appointing Alexander Cram as contact person.

Mr. G. Zasada, from the General Directorate of State Forests of Poland, responsible of education, explained the forestry education system in his country.

He said that foresters in Poland are educated in three types of schools as follows:


          - Vocational training for forest workers

          - Secondary for forest technicians

          - University for forest engineers and M.Sc.


The presentation of Mr. Zasada is attached as Appendix IV.


After a discussion it was agreed that each member organisation of the UEF prepares a paper on forestry education in its country and send it to the Secretary.


The UEF will start a feasibility study on forestry education in Europe, especially in the EU-member countries.


The Secretary was told to contact the former secretary of UEF Mr. Hansleo Spahl who published a relevant paper on the subject, to get more information.


4. The short and long term Policy of the UEF


Introducing the subject, the President said that the formulation of the UEF-Policy remains one of the most important matters and that the short-term and long-term policy should be defined soon.  The relevant decision taken at the





last GCM in Shrewsbury is renewed and Vice-President K. Stefan and Mr. E. Buijinck are requested to proceed with the preparation of a policy proposal and send a copy to the Presidency for discussion as soon as possible.  The proposal will be circulated for comments before the Helsinki congress.


5. XIV Congress of UEF in Finland


The President asked Vice-President P. Nareaho, who is responsible for the organisation of the Congress, to present the proposed draft programme which is attached as Appendix V.

The programme was discussed extensively and the following decisions were taken:


(a) The Congress will take place from 6-13 June, 98.  The opening ceremony will be held in Helsinki on the 8th of June, 98 and the Congress will continue in Punkaharju.

(b) The main topics of the Congress will be,

          - Certification,

          - Accreditation System in Europe


(c)Find suitable speakers, who will cover the topics from different angles i.e. Foresters, Environmentalists, Politicians etc.


(d) Due to the fact that the organisation of the Congress will be very costly a lot of effort has to be made to find sponsors to cover part of the expenditure.  The President will also get in contact with EU authorities for financial assistance.


(e) The first announcement will be circulated in September, 97.


(f) Invitations will be sent to all countries in Europe.  The Pamphlet of the UEF will be attached.


6. Financial Situation of the UEF


Treasurer N. Christiansen said that the total assets of the UEF at the end of May, 97 amounted to 11.000 ECU.


Total income for 1997 were estimated to be about 20.000 ECU and the total expenditure about  17.000 ECU, giving a balance of 3.000 ECU.


The financial situation of the UEF could be better, he went on, but due to the fact that certain member organisations are not paying their membership fees in full or are not paying at all, the UEF is facing a critical situation.  The Presidency meeting scheduled for the beginning of the year 1997 was cancelled due to lack of funds.


Two thirds of member organisations have already paid their membership fees for 1997.  The members present are requested to ask their organisations to settle their accounts, as soon as possible.


The Treasurer said that in accordance with decisions taken in Shrewsbury is continuing his enquiries about the income of every member organisation.  This information will make possible the creation of a New-Model of fee payments.


UEF`s main expenditure is covering the travelling expenses, the running of the UEF office in Brussels,  faxes, stamps etc.


Following extensive discussions on the financial situation, it was decided to:


- Declare Austrian and Italian organisations sleeping members.


- The annual membership fees of the Hungarian organisation to amount to 500 ECU and limit its right to vote to only One Vote.  The Hungarian organisation to pay to the Treasurer the amount of 1250 ECU before the Helsinki Congress in June, 98.


- The Presidency to try to contact the sleeping organisations in Austria, Greece and Italy and discuss the outstanding dues.


- The Treasurer to circulate a statement of the annual budget showing revenue and expenditure at the beginning of each year.


The President said that he is in contact with EU authorities in Brussels trying to secure financial assistance to the UEF from EU funds.  The assistance will be used to cover part of the costs of the representatives in the GCM  from the organisations in CIT`s, and for UEF - initiatives, like the Congress in Helsinki.


7. Fund-raising for the UEF


The President said that E. Buijinck and V. Duessel had made a proposal for UEF fund-raising some years ago and I asked E. Buijinck to present his proposal to the meeting.


The most important suggestions are the following:


- publish a UEF - pamphlet and ask forest industries to advertise in it.

- publish a UEF - periodical (twice a year) and seek advertisements.

- give industries/business the opportunity to advertise during GCM and Congresses of the UEF.

- offer forest industries outside Europe the benefit of UEF knowledge and contacts to promote their products.


E. Buijinck stressed that at least five (5) member organisations of the UEF should cooperate for a specific action which must enjoy the support of all members of the UEF.


The proposal made by E. Buijinck and V. Duessel is attached as Appendix VI.






Following discussion it was decided that Vice-President P. Paschalis, E. Buijinck, R. Fitter, and D. Ogg should study the matter further and make a proposal in the next Congress.


8. Proposals for the better functioning of the UEF


Introducing the subject, the President said that most of the work of the UEF has to be done in Brussels, where we need to establish our position as an independent professional foresters organisation. What we need is to increase contacts among our members so that there is a continuous feedback and exchange of ideas.  At present, he emphasised, there is only one way traffic and the feedback is minimal.


I regard, he said, the GCM in Shrewsbury as an excellent meeting during which we spent a lot of time discussing issues of vital importance, but unfortunately participation at the GCM was very limited.  But in order to become more active and function better, as organisation, we have to improve our financial situation.


The President asked then M. Stoicescu to present his proposal for the better functioning of the UEF.

M. Stoicescu suggested restructuring the governing system of the UEF and in addition to the Presidency to create some Departments, which will work on specific issues, such as relations with the EU and the European Council, Training, Fund raising, Securing of financial assistance from EU etc.


The proposal made by M. Stoicescu is attached as Appendix VII.


After a long discussion it was decided that:


- the member organisations must try to be more active in the future.


- working groups will be formed to deal with specific topics.


- the Presidency will study the matter further.


- the proposal by M. Stoicescu for the creation of departments is not feasible due to financial condition of the organisation.


9. How to encourage UEF members to be more actively involved in the Union


This topic is related with item 8 above, on the functioning of the UEF.


President said that he was not going to repeat what he said earlier, but is important that all members realise that the UEF is recognised by the European Commission as the only professional organisation of Foresters in Europe.  Having this in mind we have to commit ourselves to strengthen

the role of the UEF in Europe.





Some of the participants expressed the view that the profile of the UEF and its official status in Brussels are not very well known. 


They like to see the UEF doing more for the european forestry and would like more frequent information about the activities of the UEF.


After a very open and fruitful discussion it was agreed that the Presidency will try to communicate more often with member organisations and involve them in the work of the Union.  It was also decided that the members should do their utmost to respond to suggestions, ideas and proposals.


10. The future of the UEF office in Brussels


The need of having a UEF office in Brussels was questioned by some delegates, mainly due to financial reasons.


Responding, the President said that having a UEF office in Brussels is important as it serves as a focal point.  The office is used by him for meetings with EU-officials and other appointments.


The office, continued the President, offers various services such as mailing, circulating important publications, gathering inside information, helping in political issues etc.


The cost of having the office is estimated at 3000 ECUs per year.


After a long discussion was agreed that the operation of the office continues until  the Helsinki Congress, where the matter will be discussed again.


It was also decided that the Secretary will undertake all the mailing of the Union for financial reasons.


11. Publication of a UEF`s Pamphlet and a Leaflet


Vice-President P. Paschalis informed the meeting that the UEF Pamphlet will be ready by the end of September, 97.  The printing of the publication in 3000 copies will be done of a cost of about US$ 3000, in Poland.


The Pamphlet will be circulated at the World Forestry Congress which will be held in Antalya, Turkey in October, 97  this year.


Following proposal by D. Ogg a working group was formed to prepare a UEF-Leaflet in English, French and German.


The members of the working group are P. Paschalis, D. Ogg, R. Fitter and E. Buijinck.


The working group will try to find sponsors to cover the cost of the publication of the leaflet. 




The group will study also the possibility of publishing a UEF - Newsletter.


12. The employment of european Foresters in EU-Projects Creation of a Data Base


The creation of a data base of UEF members interested in working on forestry projects financed by EU was investigated further by the President and Vice-President Paschalis.


The President said that the BOS, Foundation on Organisation for International Forestry Cooperation, in Wageningen, in the Netherland, offered its professional skills to create the Data Base, at the President`s request free of charge.


The objective of this project is to built and maintain a database on forestry knowledge and experience possessed by UEF members, which can serve as an instrument to link demand with supply.  The long term goal is to contribute to the recognition of the UEF as an independent organisation representing the interests of European foresters and their prominent role in the realization of sustainable forest management.


The outline of the project called "Database on european forestry knowledge and experience "prepared by BOS is attached as Appendix VIII.


A lot of work remains to be done the President continued but I hope that a final proposal will be submitted for discussion at the Helsinki Congress next year.


Vice-President P. Paschalis said that he went through the forms of application for employment in the FAO and said that more or less the same forms can be used to gather the necessary information for the creation of the UEF Database.


A copy of the FAO form is attached as Appendix IX.


The President will examine the possibility of getting EU assistance to finance the creation of the Database.


13. Creation of a Foundation in cooperation with other european NGOs to promote special projects


President K. Mol, proposed the creation of a foundation in cooperation with other european NGO`s to promote special projects to raise funds and to attract sponsors.


In the discussion followed it was agreed that the Presidency should further elaborate, especially the following issues.


- the objectives of the foundation

- the way the foundation will be administered

   (Board Directors, Bord etc)


L. Jonnson and M. Stoicescu  said that they have such experience in their countries and they could make relevant enquiries.  M. Stoicescu will send to the Secretary as soon as possible the statutes of a similar Romanian foundation.


The subject will be discussed further at the next PM.


14. Organisation of a European Tree - Planting Day


Introducing the subject President said that during the meeting of the fifteen (15) EU-Ministers of Agriculture in Brussels under the Dutch Presidency a Tree-planting Day was organised.  This was a very successful event and very good for public relation purposes.  The organisers expressed their desire to initiate such tree planting on a European scale and the President offered the co-operation of the UEF.


After a comprehensive discussion it was decided to organise an International Tree-planting event in Helsinki next June, in the framework of the UEF Congress.


K. Mol and P. Nareaho will work further on the matter, trying to fix a suitable date as soon as possible.


The date of the event must be announced well in advance, for organisational purposes.


High officials from the EU authorities and european countries will be invited in a Tree-planting ceremony.


15. Miscellaneous Expenses


(a) World Forestry Congress


The World Forestry Congress will take place in the city of Antalya in Turkey, from 13-22 October, 97.  Vice-President P. Paschalis and the Secretary A. Christodoulou, who will participate in the Congress, as representatives of their countries, will also represent the UEF and circulate the UEF Pamphlet.


(b) Experience on the privatisation of Forests


The Bulgarian representative A. Stefanov asked for more information on the subject and he requested participants to send to his organisation UEB any information/literature etc. which may be useful.


c) EU - financial assistance to organise the GCM in Romania


The UEF will apply to EU-authorities to get a grant for the organisation of the GCM in Romania.  Priority will be given to financing the participation of representatives from CIT`s.





d) European observatory of mountain forest


Andre Grochowski, will be the person responsible on the part of the UEF for the european observatory of mountain forest.  He will cooperate with the European Federation of Local Forest Authorities (EFFC) as UEF representative.  A copy of the summary of the proposition made by the European Commission on "The role of forestry in creating income and employment in european mountain rural areas" is attached as Appendix X.


e) UEF - Membership list


A revised UEF - Membership list was prepared by the Secretary which is attached as Appendix XI.


f) Next Presidency Meeting


The next PM will be organised by the Vice-President K. Stefan in Bayreuth/Bavaria, Germany.  The proposed dates are 28-29 November, 97.


17. Closing Ceremony and Press Conference


President K. Mol, expressed his sincere thanks to ROMSILVA and especially to its President M. Stoicescu for organising the GCM, in Romania.


It was a wonderful GCM, he said, which contributed to improving common understanding in Europe.  The problems facing the CIT`s are now very well understood by the members of the UEF.  The UEF will do its best and help as much as possible in the solution of these problems.

The whole programme was excellent and especially the study tours, where we all had the opportunity to see a part of the wonderful forests of Romania, he concluded.


The programme is attached as Appendix XII.


Responding M. Stoicescu said that it was an outstanding event for ROMSILVA to have all these distinguished quests in Romania and thanked all those present.


At the end of the GCM the Presidency of the UEF gave a Press Conference.  About twenty (20) journalists from the TV Stations, Newspapers and Magazines attended the conference and asked a lot of  questions.












Appendix V




Proposed Draft Programme


Saturday June 6th


Arrival & registration


Sunday June 7th


Unofficial programme.

sightseeing tour, shopping, etc.


Monday June 8th


10.00           Opening ceremony

12.00           Lunch

13.00           Session

                    Survey of European forestry policy/strategy after the Thomas


                    Departure to Punkaharju

                    Arrival at Punkaharju




Tuesday June 9th


          I Session : CERTIFICATION

            (For example: objectives for forestry certification in Europe as seen by different interest groups)


Wednesday June 10th


UEF Congress


Thursday June 11th


Plenary meeting of the UEF delegates

- final approval of resolutions the UEF Congress


Friday June 12th


Study tour


- based on practical forestry and the topics of congress/sessions


Saturday  June 13th


- Departure for Helsinki

- Delegates depart




                                                                                         21 August, 1997




Minutes of the Governing Council Meeting

in Boiana Brasov,  Romania


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