The FECOF is the European Federation of organizations representing forest municipalities (and other local authorities) in the European countries.
It has been founded in 1990, in Strasbourg (European Parliament) by French and German organizations of forest municipalities, at the same time the political process of the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forest in Europe was held on the initiative of France and Finland. The founding members were the French Federation of Forest Commons FNCOFOR and, on the German side, the “Gemeinsamer Forstausschuss Deutscher Kommunalwald” [Common Forestry Committee “German Common Forest”] of the three municipal umbrella organisations Deutscher Städtetag [Association of German Cities], Deutscher Städte- und Gemeindebund [German Association of Towns and Municipalities] and Deutscher Landkreistag [German County Association].
Since the adoption of the European Charter of the local authorities’ forest in 1992 (Trente), the FECOF door is open to national or regional organizations sharing the Charter common values, from Western to Eastern Europe.
With an area over 20 million hectares, the municipal forest is the third kind of forest ownership in the European Union, after the private and the state forests. In many forest States, the share of the communal forest accounts over 15% (Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Luxemburg, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, …).
Currently, the FECOF comprises the national sections of the member states France, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Spain with Catalonia, all of them characterised by a great share in municipal forests.
The FECOF approaches the European Institutions, is represented in the bodies that are relevant for forest management and co-operates closely with other forestry associations.
FECOF objectives consist of:
- Monitoring European decision-making processes concerning forests and
forestry sector in order to represent the voice of the forest local
authorities and to draft solutions throughout Europe;
cooperation and exchanges between its members in order to promote good
practices of forest municipalities acting as responsible of sustainable
forest management which contributes to local development.