Weimar Declaration

published 2018 after the annual meeting in Germany (Weimar)

Pro Silva Europa held its 2018 annual meeting in Weimar (Germany). Over 60 Participants from 18 European countries and guests from Brazil and Canada visited the forest “Im Webicht” managed by Thueringenforst, the mixed mountain forest “Eibenstock” in Erzgebirge looking at the reintroduction of silver fir near the border with the Czech Republic, and pilot areas of the ANW Germany forest and ungulate project in a private forest estate at “Beichlingen”.

On the first day, June 21st, the annual meeting of Pro Silva took place, followed by a “political afternoon”. This session included presentations and discussions with politicians with a forestry brief and with representatives from the European Commission on the topic of “EU market incentive programs for ecosystem services provided by forests” – The discussion was led by Christine Sanchez (PS Wallonie), and is summarised in the publication of the “Weimar Declaration”:

Society's demands on forests are becoming more diverse and intensive. They are for the most part justified and therefore cannot be excluded or ignored. However, in all types of forest ownership across Europe, these demands are increasingly leading to additional organizational costs for forest owners and to a reduction of profitability.

Naturally structured, continuous cover forests, as described by the “Pro Silva” principles, offer appropriate conditions to optimize the delivery of sustainable economic, ecological and social services from forests to benefit both today’s society and future generations. They are also a practical instrument for the implementation of the European objectives of rural development, biodiversity, climate change management and the bioeconomy at a relatively low conflict level.

We call upon the EU to manage the growing tension between the changing and sometimes conflicting interests of forest owners and society through the following measures:

  • Collecting information about the impact of meeting societal demands upon current forest management, collating the costs involving, and evaluating the changes over time
  • Introduction of a financial framework for forest ecosystem services which is simple, regionally adapted, and easily administered
  • Provide a sufficient budget to finance the program for all types of forest ownership

In the current discussion on the reorientation of European financial support instruments, Pro Silva Europa offers its expertise and practical assistance.

To provide all forest functions and services we strongly believe that the forest management needs foresters independent of lobbies: The marking of the trees to cut should be done by a trained forester as “man of art” and not by a contractor or timber buyer as “man of interest”.

Eckart Senitza, 21.6.2018, Weimar
President Pro Silva

Who we are

Pro Silva is a European organisation which promotes close to nature forestry and continuous cover forest systems. It was established in 1989 in Slovenia. At present there are 20 full members of the organisation and there are also several other countries with associate membership.

This year we also welcome 5 new associated members from the United States (Forest Guild, New England Forestry Foundation), from India (ForEcoIndia), from Brazil (ACEF St. Catarina) and Canada (“Les Amis de la Forêt Ouareau”) and hopefully this marks the beginning of the formation of a global network.

Pro Silva promotes its principles and concepts through a Europe wide program of silvicultural education involving seminars and excursions. Increasingly the members are also involved as partners in national or international research and networking projects. A European network of best practice demonstration forests is being developed.

Integrated forest management for resilience and sustainability across 25 countries