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    FME is a network of European NGOs and individuals using social justice to protect and restore forests.

    We come together on this website, a mailing list and an annual face-to-face meeting to share information and develop joint strategies.

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    The FME has been facilitated by the forests and rights NGO Fern since 1995 and meets annually. Meetings are held in a different country each year and hosted by a volunteer member organisation.

    Between meetings the FME keep in contact via the FME mailing list. The list consists of nearly 200 people from more than 50 NGOs and covers most EU Member States.

    If you or your organisation would like to join FME please fill in the membership request form on this website, or contact

    History and achievements

    The FME began in 1989 when a group of NGOs from several European countries joined efforts to stop Japanese companies’ destruction of rainforests. They originally met under the heading ‘Ban Japan from the Rainforest’.

    By 1992 the group had expanded considerably in size and in the issues it dealt with. Its focus was no longer Japanese companies, but tropical rainforests and support for forest peoples in general. At a meeting in Munich, Germany, the group renamed itself the European Rainforest Movement, the European arm of the World Rainforest Movement. We decided to remain a loose movement with no formal membership or secretariat. Meetings were held twice a year, hosted by one of the participating groups and coordinated by Saskia Ozinga.

    Activities of the groups participating in the European Rainforest Movement helped forest peoples’ struggle in places such as Sarawak, Malaysia and the Amazon become headline stories. They also helped European tropical rainforest campaigns to take off, thereby reducing tropical timber imports into several European countries.

    In 1992, environmental organisations in the boreal forests began to look outside for help to protect the Taiga. Taiga Rescue Network was formed and groups working on the boreal forests joined the European Rainforest Movement. This decision to focus efforts beyond rainforests led in 1994 to the current name, Forest Movement Europe. A year later Saskia Ozinga co-founded Fern after the FME agreed we needed an organisation that would monitor what the EU was doing on forests, explain it to NGOs and coordinate NGO input.

    Over the decades that followed, the FME has helped incubate numerous cross-organisational campaigns, helped share information about key upcoming threats to forests and been the venue for the creation of what was originally the European Environmental Paper Network (EPN) and is now Environmental Paper Network International.

    Past events

    Estonia 2018

    FME 2018 was held in Elbiku, Estonia, hosted by Estonian Forest Aid.

    • The main issues discussed were:
    • The issue of Estonian forests
    • The campaign for an EU deforestation action plan
    • The state of the global paper industry
    • Grassroots campaigning
    • Wood sourcing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics
    • Negative emissions and the role of forest restoration to fight climate change
    • The global threat of increasing bioenergy demand and faulty carbon accounting of biomass

    FME members also expressed their concern with the planned Estonian EstFor Pulp and Paper mill.

    Romania 2017

    The Forest Movement Europe (FME) is a network of more than 45 European NGOs from over 12 European countries working on forest-related issues with a focus on social justice.

    The FME 2017 was held in Brasov, Romania, hosted by 2Celcius Network.

    Main issues discussed were:

    • Romania’s primary forests
    • Olympic scandal – campaign to prevent illegal timber being used to build Tokyo stadium 2020
    • Why Countries in the Global North need an aggressive forest protection policy in their own backyard
    • Boreal Forests
    • Packaging – the ‘new’ paper campaign
    • EU Bioenergy
    • FSC

    Scotland 2016

    FME 2016 was held in Biggar, Scotland, hosted by Reforesting Scotland.

    Main issues discussed were:

    • How Non-timber Forest Products can be used to diversify economic activities in forests and rural areas
    • The impact of EU bioenergy demand on forests in the South of USA
    • Forests, BECCS and the Paris Agreement
    • Traditional conservation measures and how they fail wildlife and communities in the Congo Basin
    • The impact of the pulp and paper industry on forests
    • The EU Timber Regulation and the potential for a new Action Plan on Deforestation
    • The EU’s Free Trade Agreement with Malaysia and the impact on forests
    • Scotland’s new land law
    • Showing how banks are implicated in deforestation

    FME members also expressed their anger at the imminent logging of the Bialowieza Forest in Poland.


    Belgium 2015

    FME 2015 was held in Brussels, Belgium, hosted by Fern. It was held at the same time as Fern’s 20th anniversary.

    Main issues discussed were:

    • Stopping irresponsible finance of companies involved in landgrabbing, pulp, palm oil, timber, bioenergy, meat and other products that involve forest destruction
    • REDD: new developments and trends
    • Forests and Paris COP21
    • Bioenergy CCS (BECCS)
    • Bioenergy
    • Peatland re-wetting in South East Asia
    • Community Forestry
    • EUTR and VPA implementation

    FME members also took the opportunity to send a letter of protest to the Brazilian Embassy in Brussels against their cultivation of Genetically Engineered Trees.

    Austria 2014

    FME 2014 was held in Vienna, Austria, hosted by Friends of the Earth Austria (Global 2000) and Finance and Trade Watch – Austria.

    Main issues discussed were:

    • Forests and the financial sector
    • Drivers of Deforestation
    • EUTR implementation
    • International Climate Change negotiations – LULUCF and REDD
    • Bioenergy
    • World Bank Safeguards Review
    • History of the Environmental Movement in Austria

    Sweden 2013

    FME 2013 was held in Sweden and hosted by SSNC. The site visit was on the subject of threatened forests and clear-cuts in mid-Sweden.

    One of the outcomes of the meeting was that forestry experts and conservationists from Indonesia, Tajikistan and twelve European countries sent a letter to the Norwegian government requesting Norway allocate a Norwegian forest protection billion to secure the Norwegian biodiversity in forests.

    Portugal 2012

    FME 2012 was held in Gaia, Portugal, hosted by Quercus.

    France 2011

    Friends of the Earth France hosted the 2011 Forest Movement Europe Meeting from the 17th to the 19th of June in the Castle of Ligoure, Le Vigen.

    The event took place at the Castle of Ligoure, surrounded by fields and forests, in the heart of an agricultural domain, crossed by a river. This place is managed by a non-profit organisation and is open for groups. The Castle of Ligoure is not a classical « hotel »: people are invited to organise and participate in cleaning  bedrooms, dressing tables or washing dishes after meals. 

    Germany 2010

    In 2010, FME took place With thanks to in Nettersheim in Germany from Friday 11 June to Sunday 13. Our hosts were ARA

    Agenda items included: 

    • EU Green Paper on Forest Protection
    • Shrink Campaign
    • Forests and Climate Change
    • Update Indonesia / Asian Pulp and Paper campaign
    • The EU Expert Group on LULUCF
    • Illegal Logging
    • Bioenergy 

    Switzerland 2009

    FME 2009 was held in Switzerland in a managed forest in the village of Leuenberg. It was hosted by the Bruno Manser Fonds ( The meeting included a discussion with Jurgen Blaser, advisor to the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). It included representatives from many continents battling against unsustainable production of paper.

    Main issues discussed during the meeting included:

    • Paper Reduction: The Shrink Campaign, led by the European Paper Network
    • Illegal logging : Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) and additional Legislation to control illegal logging
    • Certification and FSC reforms
    • REDD and UNFCC discussions
    • Problems with carbon trading, specifically related to REDD
    • Bio-energy, problems with biofuel and possibilities of biomass

    Bulgaria 2008

    FME 2008 was held in Bulgaria in the foothills of Rila National Park. It was hosted by the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (

    The main issues discussed during the meeting included:

    • Europe’s forests (concentrating on Bulgaria)
    • Pulp, paper and the Shrink campaign (
    • Bioenergy – problems with agrofuels and alternative visions
    • Carbon trading
    • Avoided deforestation, a new and upcoming issue
    • The battle to save FSC from itself
    • Illegal logging and forest governance

    Many of the organisations present signed-on to the European paper vision.

    Spain/Galicia 2007

    Held in Spain at an environmental centre in the Castle of Santa Cruz near to the Galician city of Coruña, the meeting was hosted by the university extension centre for the dissemination of environmental information (CEIDA) ( One day was devoted to a strategy for Galician NGOs, before the FME meeting took place.

    The main issues discussed during the meeting included:

    • Progress on the European paper campaign
    • Preparing for the convention on biological diversity
    • Certification and the timber trade
    • Illegal logging and the FLEG(T) processes
    • Impact of plantations in Galicia, Portugal and Brazil
    • Forests and climate change
    • Agrofuels/biofuels
    • Forest Fires

    Slovakia 2006

    FME 2006 was held in Slovakia in a forested village called Nova Sedlica. It was hosted by the WOLF. The meeting included a Taiga Rescue Network meeting and a full day discussion on the FME, its history, present and future. 

    Issues discussed during the meeting included:

    – Paper production and consumption
    – Biomass and biofuel
    – The situation in Slovakia
    – Illegal logging
    – Forest certification

    Belgium 2005

    Held in Brussels and hosted by FERN, the 2005 FME coincided with FERN’s 10th anniversary. As well as the usual meeting FERN and Futurart Gallery hosted an art exhibition on forests. A whole day was devoted to paper. Other main issues discussed at the FME meeting included:

    • A workshop on how to lobby effectively at EU level
    • Logging, bushmeat and Indigenous Peoples
    • Illegal logging and governance
    • Timber Procurement Policies
    • Carbon sinks and carbon trading
    • Specific country situations including Burma, Congo and Ghana
    • The financers of Forest Destruction
    • Soya and palm oil production and its impact on forests
    • International Forest Policies, focusing on UNFF
    • Forest certification schemes
    • WWF Producer groups

    Finland 2004

    In 2004, FME was held in April in Helsinki, Finland. The main focus of the meeting was creating a strategy around the problems caused by paper production and consumption. It was hosted by the Finnish Nature League. The following issues were discussed: 

    • How carbon sinks and biomass can affect the climate debate
    • UNFF and the debate on a legally binding framework for forests
    • Illegal Logging
    • How certification schemes undermine NGO campaigns
    • Convention on Biological Diversity Outcome of COP 7 in Malaysia.
    • The negative effect of
    • How large conservation organisations are undermining campaigns

    Germany 2003

    In 2003, FME was held in May in Munich, Germany.

    The following issues were discussed:

    • Consumer campaign against tropical timber
    • Funding the Pulp Invasion a new WRM report
    • The EC aid programme and its impact on forests
    • Brazilian issues
    • Certification of Malaysian projects
    • World Bank Forest Policy and its impacts on development aid and lending
    • Intergovernmental Processes in 2003
    • Indonesia (looking at oil palm, pulp and paper and illegal logging)
    • Forest Certification
    • Illegal logging
    • Carbon Sinks
    • EU enlargement (looking at investment and logging in Eastern Europe)

    One of the meeting outcomes was a statement by the NGOs present exposing Malaysia’s attempts to greenwash its logging industry.

    Estonia 2002

    In 2002, FME was held in April in Talinn, Estonia. As well as seeing FSC certification in Estonia first hand, participants discussed the following issues:

    • The pulp and paper industry
    • The Russian timber trade
    • Illegal logging and illegal trade
    • How to reduce paper consumption
    • Forest certification (FSC)
    • CBD Conference of the Parties six
    • World Bank Forest Policy
    • Forests and human rights abuses
    • EC aid and forests
    • Climate change and forests
    • Export Credit Agencies, their effects on forests and how to improve them

    Norway 2001

    In 2001, FME was held in April in Oslo, Norway. It was hosted by Friends of the Earth Norway. The following issues were discussed:

    • The campaign to save Norway’s forest
    • Carbon sinks and their relation to plantations, forest certification and pesticides use.
    • How trade networks are changing the logging industry
    • How certification schemes are being taken over
    • The Russian Timber Trade
    • The CBD and its new work programme on forests
    • A training session/workshop on financial institutions and the world’s forests
    • Export Credit Agencies and the EU
    • The World Bank and its policies on forests and indigenous peoples
    • Malaysia
    • Indonesia

    There were varied outcomes of the meeting including a letter sent to WWF raising concern about their links with the logging industry. A letter was also sent to FSC and other Indonesian certifiers in support of a statement by WALHI (Friends of the Earth Indonesia) and more than 144 NGO and indigenous peoples’ organisations.

    Belgium 2000

    In 2000, FME was held in April in Antwerp, Belgium. The first day of the meeting was set aside for a discussion on strategy on boreal forests, jointly organised with the Taiga Rescue Network. Over the next two days, the following issues were discussed:

    • The forests of North West Russia
    • How should NGOs respond to PEFC?
    • How the NGO community can ensure FSC continues to improve its performance.
    • The World Bank’s Forest Policy and the World Bank’s Indigenous Peoples Policy.
    • The failure of Seattle and the impact of the World Trade Organisation on forests and forest peoples
    • The Intergovernmental Forum on Forests and its successor the UN Forum on Forests.
    • Cambodia
    • Indonesia (focusing on oil palm production)
    • The Sami situation
    • Mangroves and shrimp an update of the European campaign by SSNC, on paper only.
    • Carbon sinks and carbon trading.
    • ‘Industrial logging, forest management and certification in the Congo Basin’, organised by WWF Belgium

    Two letters were signed by participants of the FME on the subjects of:

    • European NGOs rejection of PEFC
    • European NGOs demand the release of Mexican forest defenders

    France 1999

    The first day of the meeting was set aside for a discussion on strategy in Africa jointly organised with Rainforest Action Network US. One of the main discussion points was how US and European groups could achieve more synergy to be able to strengthen the work of African NGOs and Indigenous Peoples’ Organisations. Over the next two days, the following issues were discussed:

    • Malaysia and the Sarawak Campaign
    • World Bank Implementation Review
    • Intergovernmental Forum on Forests
    • EC aid and forests
    • Indonesia
    • Cambodia
    • The Amazon
    • FSC Discussions
    • The Sami people’s struggle within Sweden

    Two letters were signed by participants of the FME on the subjects of:

    • The closure of a diplomatic mission in central Africa
    • Swedish treatment of the Sami people

    Netherlands 1998

    In 1998, FME was held in March in a beautiful castle in Heemskerk, a town close to Amsterdam. It was hosted by (Friends of the Earth Netherlands).

    The main topics discussed were:

    • EC aid to tropical forests
    • World Bank (including the forest policy review)
    • Shrimp farming and the destruction of mangrove forests
    • World Resources Institute setting up a forest information project called the Global Forest Watch

    Urgent action alerts were on the following issues:

    • Malaysia (Sarawak)
    • The Amazon
    • Gabon
    • Surinam/Guyana
    • Indonesia: The merger of two huge pulp and paper companies April and UPM