Mr Rajko Stefanic, the President of the Forest Owners’ Association of Slovenia, opened the ceremony accompanied by a wide range of representatives from national and international level, from forest owners and managers to Members of European Parliament. CEPF President, Mr Hubert de Schorlemer, CEPF Secretary General, Ms Emma Berglund, and CEPF Board Member, Mr Zdenko Bogovic from the Croatian Union of Private Forest Owners’ Associations participated in the celebrations as representatives of European private forest owners.
Mr Stefanic emphasised the role of the Forest Owners’ Association of Slovenia in the last ten years and discussed the importance of accelerating the development of private forestry and private forest ownership rights in Slovenia. He concluded on the need to include forest owners in all decision making processes related to forests: “Do not make important decisions about us, without including us!”
CEPF President Mr de Schorlemer congratulated the Association on its success during the past 10 years: “The Forest Owners’ Association of Slovenia is a member of CEPF since 2011 and helps us to raise the forest owners’ voice at European level, but in particular also in strengthening the political recognition of private forest owners and the forest sector as such in the South East region. I would like to congratulate the Association for its 10 year anniversary and look forward to continuing our fruitful collaboration.”
The Forest Owners’ Association of Slovenia is one of 22 members of CEPF. Approximately 66% of Slovenians land area is covered with forests. Around 75% of Slovenians forests are in private hands. Nowadays the association represents about 4,000 forest owners and 29 local forest owners’ societies.