CEPF is a non-profit-making organisation representing the interests of European forest owners. It promotes and protects the concept of family forestry through enhanced collaboration by its members, cooperation with the European institutions as well as extensive networking and lobbying activities.
The cooperation of CEPF members and stakeholder groups is sustained through the coordination and activties of the Head office in Brussels, with guidelines and steering support from the CEPF General Assembly and the CEPF Board.
In addition to this, working groups are established both on a permanent as well as ad hoc basis to elaborate on emerging issues and specific policy areas.
CEPF was established in Luxembourg in 1996 as a successor organization to the Central Committee of Forest Owners in the European Economic Community, which was founded in 1961. In 2012, the head office of CEPF officially moved from Luxembourg to Brussels, Belgium.
In 2012, CEPF and Nordic Family Forestry (NSF) agreed to build more structured collaboration, and the NSF staff oficially became part of the CEPF team.
The CEPF activities aim at fostering reliable political framework conditions and strengthening national forest owners’ organizations capacities in order to maintain and enhance an economically viable, socially beneficial, culturally valuable and ecologically responsible sustainable forest management.
The individual forest owners are part of social networks from semi-rural to remote rural areas to which Community policies may be not easily communicated. CEPF acts on emerging issues, making expert and constructive contributions on behalf of the forest owners. In this sense, CEPF has a bridge building role, enabling family forest owners from the local level to voice their concerns and transfer their knowledge to be available at the European level.
CEPF represents the interests of these forest owners through active participation in, monitoring of and working with the institutions of the European Union and other international initiatives.
CEPF has a active role in the EU Cilvil dialogue group on Forestry and Cork. The Civil dialogue group includes representatives of European forest owner organisations (public and private), forest-based industries, environmental NGOs, forest trade unions, traders and consumer groups. It has 49 members, off which CEPF holds 9 reimbursed seats as well as 3 additional observer seats.
CEPF has an observer status in leading processes and organizations which shape forestry and forest policy in Europe and worldwide.
The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is an international non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) through independent third-party certification. PEFC was founded in 1999 in response to the specific requirements of small- and family forest owners as an international umbrella organization providing independent assessment, endorsement and recognition of national forest certification systems. As the European forest owners are the founders of PEFC, CEPF is one of the key partners and international stakeholders in this todays largest global forest certification scheme. CEPF is currently represented in the PEFC Board of Directors through Mrs Natalie Hufnagel-Jovy from Germany.
CEPF is one of the four shareholders in the Forest-based Sector Technology Platform (FTP). FTP is a European Technology Platform (ETP) dedicated to the forest-based sector. It is the meeting place for industry, forest owners and public authorities to discuss and build up a critical mass of knowledge on common research and innovation needs for the sector and make decisions for cooperation.
Since 1996, CEPF is a member of the European Forest Institute (EFI), which mission is to carry out, strengthen, and mobilise forest research and expertise aimed at addressing policy-relevant needs with regard to forests and their governance in Europe.
CEPF is a member of the International Family Forestry Alliance - IFFA a worldwide organization, which represents more than 25 million forest owners. Since 2010, CEPF hosts the IFFA Secretariat.
Since 2011 CEPF is also a member of IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature which is the world’s largest global environmental network with more than 1 000 governmentand NGO member organisations, and almost 11 000 volunteer scientists in more than 160 countries.