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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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Mia Crawford has more than 20 years of professional experience with international relations and policy making, with a focus on sustainable forest management, biodiversity, climate change and sustainable development. She has worked for the United Nations, Council of the Baltic Sea States and the Swedish government. Currently, Mia is the Forest Director for EU and International Affairs at the Federation of Swedish Family Forest Owners. Forests have always been a big part of her life, a never-ending source of inspiration for life-long learnings. Mia is a forest ecologist with a Master of Science in Biology from Umeå university, Sweden, and a Master of Science in Environmental Policy from New Jersey Institute of Technology, US. Mia grew up with family forestry in the west part of Sweden and now lives in Stockholm with her family.
Registered forest professional and holder of a master's degree in forest economics from Laval University in Quebec, I have focused my expertise on forest economics, forest products market analysis and wood marketing in private forests, both at the provincial and international levels. I worked 2 years as an international consultant specialized in forest products market analysis and 6 years as a forest economist at the Fédération des producteurs forestiers du Québec (Quebec’s Federation of Woodlot Owners). Since 2020, I am the General Manager of the FPFQ, as well as a board member of the Canadian Federation of Forest Owners.