The Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF) is the umbrella association of national forest owner organisations in Europe. Representing family forestry in Europe, CEPF promotes the values of sustainable forest management, private property ownership and the economic viability of the forest sector.
Based in Brussels, CEPF is a non-profit organisation, representing the interest of nearly 16 million forest owners. These are private individuals, families and cooperatives, which take care of approximately 60% of the European forest area.
CEPF’s mission is to represent and promote the common interests of private forest owners in Europe, and specifically at the EU level. CEPF aims to foster reliable and fair political framework conditions and strengthen the position of European forest owners in all forest sector relevant policy processes. This is particularly important as the European and international forest policy is strongly influenced by many other sectorial policies, such as climate, energy, environment, trade and agriculture policy.
- To contribute to the development, implementation and promotion of multifunctional, sustainable and active forest management, in order to safeguard economically viable, socially acceptable and ecologically sustainable forestry in Europe and around the world.
- To maintain and enhance healthy and vital forest ecosystems, which continue to provide a diverse spectrum of goods and services to society and the environment and to achieve a balance between the multiple interests and uses of forests.
- To enhance the competitiveness of the forest sector and ensure that sustainable income can be generated by the multiple goods and services that the forests and their management provide.
- To secure the acknowledgement of property rights, which guarantee a long-term commitment and sound and sustainable land management, adding to the prosperity and diversity of Europe’s landscape.
CEPF actively monitors and participates in all forest-relevant policy processes and initiatives, to maintain a strong voice for private forest owners at European level.
In Brussels, CEPF interacts with the European institutions, particularly with all relevant Directorates General in the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU.
CEPF has as an active role in different Commission advisory groups, such as the Civil Dialogue Group on Forestry and Cork, the Civil Dialogue Group on Rural Development, the Expert Group on EU Forest-based Industries & Sectorally Related Issues or the Co-ordination Group for Biodiversity and Nature.
Besides cooperating with the EU institutions, CEPF is an active observer in several international leading governmental processes and organisations, which shape forestry and forest policy in Europe and worldwide, such as those coordinated under the UN umbrella and the pan-European FOREST EUROPE process.
CEPF collaborates closely with other organisations relevant to the sector, such as the forest-based industry, the agriculture and rural sector and research. In particular the European Forestry House, in which CEPF has its premises, facilitates the necessary collaboration and communication among key players of the European forest sector. By being a member of the European Bioeconomy Alliance (EUBA), which brings together leading European organisations representing sectors active in the bioeconomy, CEPF also extends its collaboration to sectors outside the forest.
Being dedicated to promote forest-related research and innovation, CEPF is one of the founders and owners of the Forest-based Sector Technology Platform (FTP), the European hub for research and innovation in the forest-based bioeconomy.
To strengthen the voice of forest owners at global level, CEPF is a member of the International Family Forestry Alliance (IFFA), which communicates private forest owner’s views in the international policy arena and provides a global forum for exchange of experience, ideas and information across different continents.
Furthermore, CEPF is a key partner and international stakeholder in today’s largest global forest certification scheme, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). PEFC is an international non-profit, non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) through independent third-party certification, responding to the specific requirements of small- and family forest owners.
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 government and NGO member organisations, and almost 11 000 volunteer scientists in more than 160 countries.
The CEPF Secretariat runs its operations in the European Forestry House, located at Place du Luxembourg in the heart of the EU quarters of Brussels.
The Secretariat is composed of international experts with diverse backgrounds relating to forestry and policy. The CEPF Secretary General leads the CEPF Secretariat in Brussels.
CEPF’s activities are steered by a Board of Directors, appointed by the annual General Assembly. The Board is geographically and politically balanced, with its 10 seats filled by representatives of the different national member associations. The Board is chaired by the CEPF President, Hubert de Schorlemer from Luxembourg (since May 2012).
The CEPF Working Group is the technical backbone of the organisation, bringing together various experts from all member organisations. It helps to provide the necessary technical input and expertise to the CEPF Secretariat, and secures strong communication and cooperation between members, and with the CEPF Secretariat.
Since 2012, CEPF and Nordic Family Forestry (NSF) have a structured collaboration and the NSF staff is an official, integrated part of the CEPF team.