In the General Assembly on September 16, the delegates elected Mr Christof Bartsch, Mayor of the town of Brilon (Germany), as the new President of FECOF. For the next five years, he will succeed Pierre Grandadam, who will continue to be a member of the FECOF Board as a representative of the French municipal forest federation FNCOFOR. Bartsch thanked the outgoing President warmly for his work in the past years. Pierre Grandadam had carried the FECOF for years and he had always rendered excellent services to the consideration of the interests of European municipal forest owners with great zeal.
The other members of the new FECOF Board are: Mrs Carolina Mas Monteagudo (AMUFOR, ES), Mr Stanislav Janský (SVOL, CZ), Mr Martí Riera (ELFOCAT, ES) and Mr Tihomir Tomanov (AOG, BG).
In the afternoon of the meeting day, the FECOF organised a discussion forum on the new EU Forest Strategy together with the Committee "German Municipal Forest" and the "Landesverband Lippe". Here it became clear what high social demands and forestry challenges the European forest communities are facing: Forests must be adapted to the consequences of climate change, their unique biodiversity should be preserved and, at the same time, the forests’ contribution to the bioeconomy has to be expanded. The FECOF communities want to meet this responsibility through multifunctional, integrative forest management. However, it requires much stronger support from the EU and the member states also for forest municipalities in order to maintain efficient structures, was the conclusion of the event.
On the following day, an excursion took place to the forest of the local municipal authority "Landesverband Lippe". Here, the mayors were presented with the results of a cultivation trial with non-native tree species, which are considered to have high forestry potential under climate change conditions. In the joint discussion, the existing experiences from the individual EU countries could be exchanged. It remains to be noted that the need for research is still high, especially with regard to risks and side effects.
The FECOF General Assembly 2021 concluded with a visit to geological and cultural sights in the Lippe region.