IFFA as an independent civil society organization was founded in 2002 and incorporated in Washington DC in 2006 due to the fact that an increasing number of policy issues affect family forestry on international level.

At this time on the UN level no international forest owner organization has existed advocating family working forestry but in contrary 84 international environmental organizations like WWF, Greenpeace, EDF, FERN etc. covered forestry in lobbying.

The International Family Forestry Alliance is the global voice of family forest owners who own 20 % of the world forests.

Our Mission

  • Communicate the values and challenges of family forestry;
  • Promote family forestry and its important contribution to sustainable forest management, rural livelihoods, forest cover, and the availability of a wide range of forest products, ecosystem services and its positive effect on the World´s climate;
  • Advocate ownership and tenue rights, freedom in decision making with in legislation and the right of free market access;
  • Increase political and economic influence in order to ensure the economic, social and environmental viability of family forestry;

Our Vision

  • IFFA is the independent representative of all family forest owners worldwide and make their voice heard globally;
  • IFFA is an independent advocacy for supporting national and regional producer organizations;

Our Objectives

Family forest owners recognise the importance of sustainable forest management and respect the need to balance economic, social, ecological and cultural aspects of forestry. The IFFA’s objectives are to

  • Function as an informal alliance between family forest owners´ organisations worldwide;
  • Communicate common values of family forest owners;
  • Provide information and recommendations to international forest policy processes;
  • Be recognised as important stakeholder and be consulted by policy-making bodies;
  • Promote the existence, development and advantage of family forestry and advocate supportive policies;
  • Provide a forum for the exchange of experience, ideas and information;
  • Communicate legal tenue rights and ownership rights of land and their strong connection to local communities;
  • Communicate freedom in decision making within legislation;
  • Communicate the right of free access to markets;
  • Highlight forests as a natural, renewable and recyclable resource with significant contribution to the environment and quality of life;

Our Members

Country

NGO NAME

Board Members

Board Member

Antti Sahi

Chairman

Antti Sahi is graduated in forestry (forest management) from Helsinki University in Finland in 1981. He started his career as a teacher at Kuru Forest Training School but since 1982 he has occupied different posts in private and family forestry organisations in Finland. Since 1995 he has been employed by the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners MTK. He has also worked as the CEO of Viestilehdet ltd. (publishing company owned by MTK). In 2003 he started as the Forest Director of MTK and in 2008 he was promoted to Secretary General of MTK, responsible for all MTK operations. He retired from that position in the beginning of 2020. He has been and still is member of the board of several Finnish organisations. He has also gained international experience as board member of the CEPF (Confederation of European Forest Owners) and as the First Vice Chairman of the PEFC Council.

Board Member

Charles Nyanjui

Vice Chairman

Charles Njuguna Nyanjui is a Kenyan and have a Degree and a Masters of Science in Forestry (Tropical biology and silviculture) from Karatina University, School,of environmental sciences and forestry. I practice through tree germplasm production on a commercial way as well as advocating for promotion and support of on-farm tree growers in Kenya and within East African region. I have spent my last 10 years on establishment and development of the first Kenyan farm forestry Association (Farm forestry smallholders producers association of Kenya, FFSPAK) where I am the chairperson. In 2018, I was appointed to represent FFSPAK in the IFFA board of management and further in March 2019, I was confirmed as the Vice chairperson. Currently, I am Co-Chairing a steering committee in the development of the first Kenyan Agroforestry strategy aimed at developing a Policy that will see the Kenyan on-farm tree grower become more inventive. During my IFFA leadership, I have extended my forestry skills in representing and negotiating in various regional and international conventions i.e. Climate finance workshop in Kenya, New Plantation Generation in Mozambique, 2 nd African Regional Conference of Forest and Farm Producer Organizations in Morogoro, Tanzania , World Rural Forum in Spain, Forest and Farm Facility in Italy and Rights and Resources Initiative in Washington. I am also an active member of Forestry Society of Kenya since year 2013 aimed at driving forestry professionalism in the country. Charles also represents IFFA in RRI negotiations where IFFA stands as an affiliated Network.

Board Member

Satu Marja Tenhiälä

Member

Satu-Marja Tenhiälä (Finland) is working as forest policy adviser in international forestry at the Central Union of Agricultural Procedures and Forest Owners (MTK). Her main responsibility areas include the European Union, the United Nations and cooperation with the Nordic countries. She holds Masters’ Degrees in Forestry (M.Sc) and History (M.A) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Law

Board Member

Felix Montecuccoli

Member

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Board Member

Lennart Ackzell

Member

Lennart Ackzell has M.Sc. in Forestry and Phd in Forest Genetics from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, faculty of Forestry. He has spent over 3 years in Africa, primarily in Burkina Faso and a short term in Canada for the Alberta Forest Service. He has been working with the Swedish Forest Agency and the Ministry of Rural Affairs and since 10 years he has been working for the Federation of Swedish Farmers and the department of Family Forest Owners. His main duties have been international forest policy negotiations including UNFCCC Climate, UNFF UN New York, FAO Rome, ITTO Yokohama, RRI Washington, TFD Yale, EU Brussels. Recent years, as vice President of International Family Forest Alliance IFFA, a tighter collaboration with FFF Forest & Farm Facility FAO/ROME, IIED London, IUCN Geneva and partners such as GACF Global Alliance for Community forestry and IAITPTF International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal People in the Tropical Forests in particular of Land rights and producer associations/cooperatives. Lennart is now ordinary member of the IFA Baoard.

Board Member

Jog Raj Giri

Member

Currently, working as the Chairperson, Association of Family Forest Owner’s, Nepal, Chairperson Giri has been actively functioning in the field of Natural Resources Management since 27 years in Nepal. During 28 years of professional engagement with all the institutions, gained professional experience in the field of Institutional Capacity Building, Policy Advocacy , Project Conceptualization and Natural Resources Management basically focusing on the issues of marginalized communities including women, Dalits , differently able people and rural communities. Chairperson Giri has contributed in many articles in the daily magazines and newsletters, made presentations in many national, regional and international conferences with his expertise on the issues of Family Forestry. He is also one of the Board of Directors of International Family Forest Alliance (IFFA) . He has built the foundation of Family Forestry in Nepal, in the form of Association of Family Forest Owner’s, Nepal.

Board Member

Luc Bouvarel

Member

Luc Bouvarel, currently member of the IFFA board. He obtained an Engineering degree from the School of Water and Forests in Nancy. Then research engineer in the Forests department of the National Institute of Agronomic Research in charge of the genetic improvement of forest species and the improvement of silvicultural practices (in particular mixed plantations), then in charge of innovation and design of forestry equipment from planting to harvest within the Association for the Rationalization of Forest Mechanization. He then headed the Regional Center for Forest Property (in Limousin then in Midi-Pyrénées) regional organization in charge of accompanying and helping private owners in the management of their forests and finally for 10 years he was the director General of the National Federation of Private Foresters of France (FRANSYLVA) and is currently representative of this federation at European level within the CEPF (European Confederation of Forest Owners) as well as an independent forest expert and manager of small family forest property.

Board Member

Marc-Andre Cote

Member

Marc-André Côté is a forest engineer with a PhD in forest policy. He has held a variety of management positions in the forestry and agricultural sectors, including executive director of the Fédération des producteurs forestiers du Québec (Quebec Federation of Forest Owners), assistant executive director of the Fédération des producteurs acéricoles du Québec (Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers) and executive director of the Conseil de la recherche forestière du Québec (Quebec Forest Research Council). Marc-André is a graduate of Université Laval and Université du Québec à Montréal and has also studied at the University of Oxford and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Since 2020, Côté has been the executive director of the new organization Fiducie agricole UPA-Fondaction (Land Trust of the Quebec Farmers Union).