European forest owners’ representative elected as a Chair for the Civil Dialogue Group on Forestry and Cork
On 8 November 2019, Mr Antonio Paula Soares, Member of the Board of Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF) and Member of the Board of the Confederation of Portuguese Farmers (CAP), has been elected as a Chair for the Civil Dialogue Group (CDG) on Forestry and Cork. Mr Soares is also President of the National Association of Landowners in Portugal (ANPC), Member of the Forestry National Council and Member of the Advisory Board of the National Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF). He has a long experience from forestry and forest-based sector, including projects related to biodiversity conservation and bioeconomy.

It´s with great honour and responsibility that I´m beginning my work as a Chairman of the European Commission Forestry & Cork Civil Dialogue Group. EU forests are subject to increasing societal expectation. Forests’ role is crucial to reach current and future EU objectives thanks to their economic, environmental and social benefits. In this context, and on the brink of the European Green Deal, we need to work between all the different players of the civil society under the CDG on Forestry and Cork umbrella, in order to contribute to EU policy developments that concern the forest sector and to ensure consistency among these policies.” said Mr Soares. 

For the last two years the meetings of CDG on Forestry and Cork have been successfully chaired by Mr Lennart Ackzell, Coordinator at the Swedish Federation of Family Forest Owners, representing Cogeca. “It is interesting to note that in my last opening of the CDG FC we have Mr Pierre Bascou, Director at the Directorate-General on Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission, testifying the importance of the dialogue with the civil society.” stated Mr Ackzell.

The CDG on Forestry and Cork is of great importance to guarantee a strong dialogue between the various EU organisations involved in the sector and the European Commission. In order to ensure that EU forests can provide the multiple benefits expected from the society, a coherent approach among forest-related EU policies is needed. In this context, the CDG platform has an essential role to play to allow all the relevant parties to be involved and to contribute to the framing and development of these policies.

Ms Kelsey Perlman, representing European Environmental Bureau (EEB), and Mr Mårten Larsson, representing Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), were both elected as Vice-Chairs for second mandate period.

CEPF expresses its gratitude to Mr Ackzell for his excellent contribution during his chairmanship period and congratulates Mr Paula Soares and both Vice-Chairs for their new positions of trust.

Please find more information about the CDG on Forestry and Cork here.