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XVI Congress 2005 Freising, Germany

14 - 19 June 2005

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Minutes from the XVIth UEF Congress in Freising, Germany 16th of June 2005

1) Opening

a) Opening of the Congress by a member of the Presidency
President Mr. Piotr Paschalis opened the statutory Congress by giving a short review of the constitutional matters

b) Roll call of delegates and approval of the list of delegates
Members absent: Association des Forestiers Luxembougeois, Peter Harland from Forestry and Timber Association (UK), Liechtensteiner Vorstverein and Profor (Spain). All others present.

c) Announcement of the numbers of members present and entitled to vote
This matter was dealt with prior to the elections.

d) Election of the President of Congress and his or her deputy
The Presidency nominated Tony Mannion (Society of Irïsh Foresters) for President of Congress, and since no other nominations were made, he was unanimously approved by a show of hands.
Hansleo Spahl, (BDF) was then nominated as deputy and accepted by Congress.

e) Election of two minute takers, who shall also count the votes
Steffen Brysting (webmaster of UEF) and Brynne Lazarus (BDF) were nominated and elected.

2) Agenda and election rules

a) Adoption of the agenda
The Congress President requested additions or amendments to the agenda as circulated.
Since none were proposed, the Agenda was adopted

b) Adoption of the election rules
Vice President Michael Diemer explained the election rules. The rules were adopted by the Congress.

3) Presidency Report

a) Report from the Presidency for the past term
President Piotr Paschalis made a summary:
He reviewed the member organizations that currently make up the UEF and stated that the Dutch organization (VBNL) no longer exists.
The resolution made at the XV UEF congress held in Romania has worked as a guideline for the work of the Presidency in the past term, and a considerable majority of the tasks have Minutes of XVI UEF Congress in Freising, Germany, 16th June 2005 been fully executed through a common effort, though they were slowed down by reorganisations within the EU. These tasks were dealing with:

i) Promoting the policy of sustainable forestry in Europe in co-operation with the EU through participating in fora that act on the level of European structures, when taking positions on key matters of European forestry, through presentation and reporting on the European forum positions agreed among UEF associations, and through presenting reports or suitable publications for extension among European structures by publishing, TV interviews, press releases, and participating in Internet debates and e-mail conferences.

ii) Co-operation between UEF organisations, flow of information, education, vocational matters such as employment, profession rank, group exchange The UEF website should facilitate the exchange of foresters and students, but the majority of the exchange of professional groups and interventions, which our organizations directed at various administration structures, proceeded directly without mediation. This area of the UEF activity is still underdeveloped and it should be strengthened. Mr Paschalis wished to express his gratitude to the BDF, DSL, SITLiD, SNICEF, CONSILVA, METO, Society of Irish Foresters and other organizations which contributed significantly to solve the major problems, and their proposals for the future contacts and co-operation had a great impact for our work and results. Several forestry professional associations from different European countries have been asked to join UEF. We had direct contacts and discussions with several associations from Belarus, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovak Republic. Unfortunately, due to their financial problems, they are not able to be active members of the UEF at this time. However, organizations from two new countries have become members of UEF: Ireland and Norway.

iii) Governing Council Meetings and Presidency Meetings
Since the Congress in Romania UEF has had 3 Governing Council Meetings:
(Links to minutes/resumes of those individual meetings)
Poznan, Poland, 10 – 12 October, 2002
Larnaka, Cyprus 22-26 October 2003
Hyvinka, Finland, Sept. 29- October 3, 2004

and 4 Presidency Meetings
Nicosia, Cyprus 7-9 December 2001
Noerre Nebel, Denmark, 24-26 May 2002
Poznan, Poland, 9 October 2002
Dublin, Ireland, 15-17 May 2003.
Oslo, Norway, 26-29 August 2004
Freising, Germany 2-3 March 2005

iv) Co-operation with EU Authorities and Working Groups, Councils, and other bodies – European Level
Several UEF members took part in different meetings, seminars, working groups etc. under EU auspicies. Mr. Paschalis stressed, that UEF has no money to finance representatives at such meetings. Thanks to the National Governments, national associations, and their mother organisations (or even at their own cost ) our UEF representatives are able to fulfil their tasks.

UEF with its role as a professional expert in forestry and timber industry should play a more significant role in the European Union. We should also realise, that after 2004, the year of the EU enlargement, the role of forestry inside the EU and DG Agriculture needs to be strengthened. Forestry should be seen as a part of rural development and not as an independent sector. We should try to obtain stronger support (not only professional but also economical) for this sector.

v) Flow of information
UEF Website
As regards the UEF website the Presidency recognised a lack of flow of information concerning all aspects of forestry, and – in particular – lack of information dealing with UEF problems. However, since the website has been established, there has been links to the information about our activities, as well as other forestry sector activities.
As regards the UEF correspondence the number of letters, enquiries, reports and generally – UEF correspondence - has increased significantly during the last four years, with also a growing dynamic every year. Letters, which have been sent with official logo of UEF or signed up on behalf of UEF, exceed 200. The Presidency is very proud of this, as it is also a proof of UEF activities.
On behalf of the UEF Presidency Mr. Paschalis wished to congratulate and extend warm thanks to the Members of our Union of European Foresters for their efforts, enthusiasm and voluntary work and for all what has been done for our organization.

The President summarized by saying: Thanks to you- UEF is growing!

vi) Forest matters in EU and new member organizations.
Vice President Håkan Nystrand reported on the Brussels committee, UEFs representation in the EU, and meetings with EU representatives – especially the UEF Round Table Meetings in Brussels, where topics such as:
- implementation and updating of the EU Forest Strategy
- coordination of the EU forest matters in the Commission
- forests and forestry in the draft for the Constitution of the EU
- forest certification matters
.. have been discussed in a informal and very open manner.

Håkan Nystrand also explained the statements and positions of UEF, and its participation in joint positions in close cooperation with a number of other organisations representing forest owners, forest industry and other groups.
In the past term UEF has made contacts with a number of forestry organisations on the list of potential new UEF members. Two of them have become members - namely: Society of Irish Foresters, Ireland, and Norsk ForstmannsForening, Norway. A Finnish organization, Society of Finnish Professional Foresters, is seeking admission to UEF at this Congress.

vii) Public relations and The Advisory Group on Forestry and Cork.
Vice President Niels Christiansen stated, that the continuing work concerning “Public Relations” and the communication within the UEF have been the main issues for the Presidency during the past term. It has been the wish of the Presidency to maintain and further strengthen the website of the UEF in order to make the website the decisive, stable and obvious tool for the spreading and exchange of information among foresters in Europe as well as internal flow of information within UEF.
However, the website of today needs updating from several organizations and it has still not achieved its maximum use by the member organizations as a valuable tool for dissemination of information about their organisations and national events.
Niels Christiansen also mentioned his participation in Advisory Group on Forestry and Cork, where UEF is one of 3 organisations representing employees (until 2004 Mr. Kees Mol had represented the UEF in the former version of this EU forum). The topics of discussion in this group include EU forest strategy plan, rural development plan, and problems brought forward by specific organizations and groups

viii) Educational matters and exchange activities
Vice President Michael Diemer reminded the congress of the questionnaire sent to all member organizations at the beginning of the period, in which they were asked
- about existing contacts/wishes of contact between UEF members
- about forestry education facilities in their countries
- about a name of a contact person for exchange matters, and
- to offer some exchange facilities for forest students
(results of this questionnaire have already been published on the home page)

Only 3 exchange facilities for students have been offered on the home page, but there have been many contacts between member organizations within UEF (Michael Diemer gave 4 examples).
UEF got and still is in contact with IFSA (International Forestry Students’ Association), and since 2004 UEF has supported the PAWS project – an EU-funded project stimulating foresters’ participation in nature interpretation.
Beside the 3 above mentioned organizations, who have responded positively to a membership contact from UEF, the Presidency has been in contact with organizations from 10 different countries

ix) Treasurer’s Report
UEF Treasurer André Grochowski presented the financial report for the last year. (2004 – May 2005) and explained the background of the figures in the report. Congress members raised no queries. The Auditors – Marion Stoicescu and Peter Klink, then presented their report and congratulated the treasurer on the completeness of his financial report.

b) Having asked the congress for comments on the Presidency report and getting none Tony Mannion thanked and described the Presidency report as good and honest, the Motion to discharge the Presidency was then taken and adapted by acclamation

4) UEF’s action plan for the new term

The outgoing Presidency proposes the outline of a guideline for the new term, without too many details. Executing the guideline given by the Congress and dealing with guideline details is the task of the new Presidency.

Main guideline:

a) The work of the so called ”Brussels Committee” should be continued and developed further.
UEF will stay in permanent contact to the EU officials and to forest related organisations on European level. Especially the “Round Table Meetings” and the membership in official
Committees and Advisory groups should be continued.
b) During the past term our website was established on a high level as a platform for internal communication and external public relation. The aim for the new term is to keep the website updated and to intensify the use of our homepage by our member organisations.
c) Exchange activities, especially those for forest students, should be intensified. The educational matters should include all levels of forest students, not only academics.
d) In the field of financial matters UEF should develop methods of including official funding in order to finance the activities mentioned above.

During the following discussion it was mentioned by Hansleo Spahl, that he had previously collected information about forest educational matters, and that he was prepared to forward those papers if so wished by the Presidency. Michael Diemer confirmed that the Presidency acknowledge his generosity.

Regarding the financial situation Niels Christiansen reminded the congress, that the reserves of UEF have been slowly increasing over the years. So regardless of the size of these reserves the possibility of investing in good ideas and activities does exist, as long as the investments don’t create new running costs.

Håkan Nystrand pointed out, that the presidency must operate within the available resources for each financial year, and that some of the present costs of UEF are indirectly financed by single member organizations.

Regarding the visibility of foresters in the society, Dr. Heino Wolf wished to increase the visibility of the competence and the competitiveness of foresters.

Piotr Paschalis supported this view and warned about the increasing marginalisation of forestry issues and pointed out, that the lack of forester gender balance also has an impact on public opinion towards forestry

The main guidelines were adopted.

Special motions:
a) Cooperation with other European Forestry organizations:
This Congress is requested to pursue negotiations with CEPF and other European forestry organisations to further a more powerful united voice in the cause of forestry in Europe.
Sandy Cram made a presentation of this motion:
He requested to pursue negotiations with CEPF and other European forestry organizations to further a more powerful, united, and effective voice in the cause of forestry in Europe. Many small voices do not make the same impact as one united voice. Various forestry sections need to band together to present a single and stronger voice
Håkan Nystrand responded to this by stressing, that UEF is the only organization representing professional foresters in Europe. He gave an example of a cooperative document made by many groups with their many logos, each with an independent mission and voice but joining together to make a proposal on a particular issue: He recommended not joining any organisation, as he would prefer to maintain the unique and independent voice for UEF. He wouldn´t want to have other people from other organizations with other opinions on some issues having the power to speak for the UEF.
There was a general agreement among the members of the Congress, that the necessity of an independent UEF view depends on the matter of discussion, so the Congress agreed upon the following alternative motion:
”This Congress decides that UEF as the European organisation for the foresters, should take an initiative for discussions with the other European forestry organisations to promote a stronger and united voice in the common fields of interest of forestry in Europe."
Sandy Cram, UK and Tony Mannion, Ireland, who had seconded the original Motion, accepted the alternative Motion, which was then adopted.

b) Creating a permanent exchange facility for forest students within a cooperation project
In addition to the non-permanent exchange facilities offered on our homepage UEF should work for developing the activities for forest students and also create a yearly exchange facility for forest students under the name of UEF if possible as a cooperation project with other partners.

The Motion was adopted.

c) European network of Waldpädagogik (PAWS project)
A group of foresters from several European countries started an initiative in order to create a network of foresters around Europe, who are engaged in nature-interpretation (or "Waldpädagogik") managed by foresters.
UEF should support this project
Thomas Baschny, Austria – one of the three originators of the PAWS project - had been invited to promote this Motion.
After a thorough and appealing presentation of the PAWS project members of Congress supplied with experiences on national level from already existing, similar ways of working with nature interpretation.
After this discussion the Motion was adopted

5) Resolution of Congress
The Presidency presented a draft resolution. After thorough discussions the following resolution was adopted:

Multifunctional forestry - A multiple benefit for the nations and people of Europe.

Sustainable and multifunctional forestry has a long tradition throughout the countries of Europe.
An equitable balance between the various functions of forests, in both the urban and rural areas, has been maintained and managed by professional foresters across the centuries but we now have to take new and decisive action concerning the place of forestry with regard to further development. We are in an ideal position to enhance the many economic, social and environmental benefits, which are the valuable features of multifunctional forests. This is a demanding task for professional foresters and puts us in a key position to promote and implement forest development throughout Europe.
The professional foresters of Europe play an important and active economic, ecological and social role in rural development. The Union of European Foresters (UEF) and our member organisations represent over 80,000 professional foresters who are fully aware of their responsibilities, and we seek active partnership with all stakeholders to ensure ongoing forest and rural development.
Forestry conditions vary both within and between European countries but it is the desire and duty of professional foresters to combine the benefits of multifunctional forests with the production of timber, as a renewable resource.
Multifunctional forestry must continue as part of the rural development but it is necessary to achieve support and funding at both national and European level to achieve a number of tasks, which include:

• The development and promotion of both existing and new training activities to ensure sound understanding of the economic, ecological and social benefits of forestry by professional foresters.
• The development of both existing and new networks and forums for the exchange of knowledge between the professional foresters of Europe.
• The wider promotion of the benefits multifunctional forestry.
• The securing of economic and political support by the EU and European nations.

Funding and support are essential in ensuring the delivery of the social benefits of multifunctional forestry but it is essential for the UEF to point out that it is also an economic necessity to ensure the continued production of timber. It is of the highest importance that both wood production and other forestry activities can continue as independent, market-orientated activities within a multifunctional forest but also within a legal framework of common European standards.
The UEF is offering its potential as a network for cooperation on these vital matters with the sectors, organisations and stakeholders who are likewise participating in the work for a progressive rural development throughout Europe.

6) Elections

a) Election of Presidency
Michael Diemer gave a review of the election procedures, and outlined the preliminary list of nominations:

Håkan Nystrand
Michael Diemer
Niels. Christiansen
Piotr Grygier
Marian Stoicescu
Tony Mannion
Herve Nemoz-Rajot
Christodolus Christodoulou
Björn Karlsson 
 (Vice President)
 (Vice President)
 (Vice President)
 (Assistant Secretary)
 (Assistant Secretary)

As no further nominations were proposed, each candidate then gave a short CV presentation, and Piotr Paschalis expressed his gratitude for the willingness of volunteers to work for the UEF stressing, that all candidates were very good candidates.
Michael Diemer reviewed the list of proxies and handed out voting cards.
A total of 52 voting cards were handed out and the members of Congress used them to give a clear support to the following elected Presidency:

Presidency of UEF from 2005 to 2009:

Vice Presidents:

Assistant Secretary:

Håkan Nystrand, Finland (51)
Niels Christiansen, Denmark (49)
Michael Diemer, Germany (52)
Piotr Grygier, Poland (51)
Marian Stoicescu, Romania (37)
Herve Nemoz-Rajot, France (42)
Björn Karlsson, Sweden (52)

b) Election of two auditors
Three candidates were nominated for auditor, but one candidate then withdrew his nomination, and the Congress accepted Peter Klink, Germany and Christodoulous Christodoulou, Cyprus as auditors.

c) Election of two deputy auditors
The two nominated candidates, Radu Apolzan, Romania, and Antony Stefanov, Bulgaria were accepted by the congress.7) Application for new membership
Executive Director Tapio Hankala, Finland presented the application for membership of UEF from Society of Finnish Professional Foresters and gave a short introduction to the Society. Alex Christodoulou reported that the application fulfilled all the requirements set out in article 3 of the UEF constitution.
Tony Mannion then proposed that the Society of Finnish Professional Foresters should be admitted to UEF, and the Congress gave a unanimous approval of this by a show of hands.

8) Certification - State of the art
Piotr Paschalis spoke about the necessity of having an independent organization evaluating the sustainability of today’s forest management through certification procedures involving the expectations of forest product users regarding assurance of forest conservation. However, certification of forest management is not without problems. Many different certification schemes with different (and not always transparent) rules and competing certification systems can lead to complicated situations on the timber market, when, for some European countries, where we have proper forest management, misinterpretation and unofficial data has wrongly been used for certification rules. The WWF official report stating, that 45% of the harvested timber in Bulgaria was illegally cut, was one of the examples of using wrong and unofficial data, which was explained and documented by the Bulgarian delegates to the UEF Congress.
UEF presently has a seat as an extraordinary member of PEFC, but we also need to know the rules of the other certification systems.
Please click HERE to see the slides used in his presentation. Slides made by PEFC.
David Ogg, who works as an independent certification certifier, managing 6 group schemes, 700 members and FSC as well as PEFC certifications in 6 different countries, disagreed with Piotr Paschalis regarding the complexity of certification schemes. David Ogg found, that most foresters are already doing what is necessary to meet the requirements, but many certification bodies make it complicated in the way they present the requirements. FSC is so paranoid about the use of their trademark, that they lose sight of the main goal of certifying forests. There's nothing complicated about certification, and it need not be expensive.

9) Next UEF Congress
The newly elected Vice President, Piotr Grygier invited UEF to have its next Congress in 2009 in Poland, and the invitation was accepted by the Congress.

10) Next Governing Council Meeting (preliminary program)
Metodi Sotirov, Bulgaria (UBF) invited the Congress/members of UEF to Bulgaria from the 27th of June to the 2nd of July 2006, and presented the preliminary program of the next Governing Council Meeting, including visits to Sofia, Jundola mountain region, Rila Monastery and Vitosha Mountain.
The topic of the conference/symposium will be: Forest Management Systems.

11) Miscellaneous
Marian Stoicescu invited the Congress to participate in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the UEF (same evening).
Herve Nemoz-Rajot, France thanked Piotr Paschalis for his hard work as President of UEF.

12) Official closing of the XVI Congress of UEF
Piotr Paschalis reminded the Congress that when he was elected as President of UEF (1998),
Poland was not a member of EU, and he personally remembered the scepticism about electing a President from a non-EU member state. Having both Romania and Bulgaria within the UEF and a member of the Presidency from Romania he thought that the UEF should work hard to help getting these countries in the EU as soon as possible.
Then he thanked the members of the old Presidency for their hard work, and wished that the new Presidency, will also have fun along with their work.
Organizing a Congress is hard work, so Piotr Paschalis thanked Poland for volunteering to host the next one, and he also thanked BDF and all colleagues from Germany, who had worked very hard to make this Congress a success.

He then declared the XVI Congress of UEF closed.

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