On the evening of the first day Eckart Senitza met Charles Debois and Greta (President Pro Silva Wallonia), Christine Sanchez (the author of the Toolbox brochure) and Anne Crespin (collaborator of Pro Silva and "Foret.Nature"). Anne also took part in the whole conference and seems to be very committed and well connected. Perhaps through her, a stronger involvement of Pro Silva in Brussels can be achieved.
Anne wants to submit an ERASMUS project and I have agreed that Pro Silva will be a partner. I have registered us in the EU database and this is now underway. It is mainly about the exchange of students within our pan-European network.
On the last evening a long talk with Robert Fllies (Pro Silva Luxemburg, former officer at EC), who wants to support us and had a buch of good ideas.
Pro Silva was one of the very few forestry organisations to be invited to the European Commission's two-day conference to prepare the forest strategy. As President of Pro Silva, Eckart Senitza took this unique opportunity to present the principles and concerns on the international stage.
After the opening of the conference with about 400 participants by the Executive Vice President for the "European Green Deal" Frans Timmermanns, forester and author Peter Wohlleben polarized the audience in a lecture rich in images.
It was DG Environment's first conference, where all other relevant Directorates-General were invited and sent top-class speakers. (DG Agri, DG Climate, DG Echo). The circle of participants was extremely wide and that was a good thing. The same was true for the topics because it extended to consumer behaviour in Europe and deforestation in the tropics.
There was massive criticism from many NGOs of the EU's energy policy with its promotion of biomass heating systems, which also led to a sharp increase in imports of pellets from plantations in third countries, which in turn are pushing back natural forests.
Eckart Senitza could emphasize in his short statement that now in the previous statements of Reinhard Neft (BaySF, Präs.EUSTAFOR) and Hubert de Schorlemer (Präs.CEPF, Forest Owners Luxembourg) the word "forest owner" had appeared for the first time, without those nothing would work. But in addition, the "Forest Managers" or foresters, who do and implement the work in the forest, were not mentioned. This is what Pro Silva represents and this is the key group. In Pro Silva we form a network of around 5,500 forest practitioners, forest managers and scientists throughout Europe who have been working for more than 30 years to create multifunctional, near-natural forests.
The Commission intends to use the impetus and contributions received to work on a forest strategy, where biodiversity, climate protection and rural development aspects have to come together.
All information can be found under this link:
The two videos show the complete course of the conference in picture and sound, including the possibility to select the language. - The contribution of Eckart Senitza can be found at the very end of the first day. The last block (panel) starts at about 8:40.