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European forestry bodies launch "Welcome To My Forest" perspective

The Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF), Copa-Cogeca, and the European Landowners’ Organisation (ELO), have jointly launched an information campaign called “Welcome To My Forest”. In a series of video clips, forest owners from multiple Member States invite viewers to their forests to hear about what being a forest owner is like, what are the challenges they face, what are their objectives when it comes to forest management, and what keeps them motivated.

The Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF), Copa-Cogeca, and the European Landowners’ Organisation (ELO), have jointly launched an information campaign called “Welcome To My Forest”. In a series of video clips, forest owners from multiple Member States invite viewers to their forests to hear about what being a forest owner is like, what are the challenges they face, what are their objectives when it comes to forest management, and what keeps them motivated.

“Forests are decreasing in Europe”, Our forests are in bad, bad shape,” “Deforestation is also a challenge in Europe,” “Forest owners care more about money than biodiversity” are some of the arguments that can commonly be heard in EU-level discussions regarding forests.

However, those making these statements often seem to lack a basic understanding of the on-the-ground reality for a forest owner. What does a forest management plan look like? How is a thinning operation conducted and why is it necessary? What are the costs of forest management and when is any revenue made?

Increasing the knowledge among the public and policy-makers regarding European forests and forest owners is highly needed, and what would be a better way to do it than by giving the floor to the people who have dedicated their lives to taking care of forests?

Deforestation or an overzealous thinning by cash hungry landowner? Neither. A regeneration stand of post-harvested but pre-planted pine in south-central Sweden. The low-density canopy of remaining trees provides natural seeding complemented by planting. Once the next generation of trees is well secured, most of the canopy will be removed while some trees will be left for biodiversity purposes.

In a joint campaign, the Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF), Copa-Cogeca, and the European Landowners’ Organisation (ELO) have launched the “Welcome To My Forest” series of video clips in which forest owners from multiple Member States invite viewers to their forests, a reality far removed from the polemics and generalizations that are prominent in the media.

Clear is that forest owners are not a homogeneous group and there are as many different forests as there are forest owners. Yet, all forest owners have one thing in common — they all want to take the best possible care of their forests so that they can continue to exist and provide their many benefits to society today and for future generations.

They also deliver an important message, often forgotten in the mainstream media: in the face of climate change – sustainable management of our forest resources is key, and we need to maintain a vibrant sector if we want to keep our forests healthy.

Therefore, the campaign partners invite everyone to follow #WelcomeToMyForest on social media and to listen to the forest owners — the people who by taking care of their forests are also taking care of our future.

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