CEPF President, Hubert de Schorlemer, opened the General Assembly (GA) and asked the participants to observe a moment of silence for Peter de Marsh, Chair of the International Family Forestry Alliance (IFFA), who died in the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash in Addis Ababa on 10 March 2019. During the GA President Schorlemer pointed out the challenges the forest owners are facing due to the extreme weather conditions and the depopulation of rural areas. He also highlighted the importance of communicating to the society the crucial role private forest owners play in taking care of the forests and biodiversity. The welcoming speech of the host was given by CAP President, Eduardo Oliveira e Sousa who explained the situation, challenges and heterogeneity of Portuguese forests and highlighted the positive role of forest owners in managing forests.
During the meeting CEPF General Assembly unanimously re-elected four current CEPF Board members: Felix Montecuccoli (Land&Forst Betriebe Österreich, Austria), Juha Marttila (MTK, Finland), Arnis Muiznieks (MIB, Latvia) and Michael Podstatzky-Lichtenstein (SVOL, Czech Republic) for a new mandate period of 2019-2021. Philipp zu Guttenberg (AGDW, Germany), stepped down as CEPF Vice-President and was replaced by Ulrich Ivo von Trotha (AGDW, Germany) who was elected as a temporary board member until the end of Mr zu Guttenberg’s mandate period in 2020. The CEPF General Assembly also voted for Confargicoltura (Italy) to become a new member of CEPF.
On the last day of the gathering the participants took part to a field trip on a theme “Cork – from tree to bottle”. The excursion included visits to a cork holding, cork factory and cork museum. During the visits the participants where able to follow cork harvesting, learn about numerous possibilities of cork and observe the processing of the raw material in a cork factory Corticeira Amorim.
CEPF congratulates and thanks the GA host CAP for successful organisation of the meeting; especially CAP President Eduardo Oliveira e Sousa, CAP Vice-President Antonio Conçalves Ferreira, CEPF Board member Antonio Paula Soares and João Soveral.
The next CEPF General Assembly in 2020 will be organised in Hämeenlinna, Finland on 3 – 5 June.