14.11.2008 - Anniversary Conference of Estonian Forestry Held in Pärnu 04.10

On Friday, 14 November, beginning at 14.00, in the auditorium of the Endla Theatre in Pärnu, the Estonian Society of Foresters, the Ministry of the Environment and the State Forest Management Centre held the anniversary conference “90 Years of Estonian-Language and Estonian-Minded Forestry”. The conference is part of the official programme to celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the Republic of Estonia.

“The Estonian forestry today differs significantly from what it was 90 or even 20 years ago,” Jaanus Tamkivi, Minister of the Environment, said. “Yet it is clear that in principle we keep moving along the line cut in the evolution of our forestry as far back as the early years of our independence,” he said. According to the Minister of the Environment, 90 years is a respectable age, and it is a noteworthy milestone warranting both a look back at the early years of the last century and consideration of how forestry in our small country will evolve in the years to come.

According to Heiki Hepner, President of the Estonian Society of Foresters, the forest and forestry have been a source of support for the Estonian people throughout the ages. “In the early years of independence, timber procured in our forests was the most important source of power and in subsequent years it helped to build up our farms,” Hepner said. “Upon the restoration of independence, the forest was the asset backing the Estonian kroon and today it is the most important and species rich ecosystem, which serves as a strong support both for agriculture and the social sphere,” he noted.

At this year’s conference, there are three presentations. Kalle Karoles, Director of the Centre of Forest Protection and Silviculture, will look back at 90 years in Estonian forestry. Marku Lamp, Head of the Forest Department in the Ministry of the Environment, will discuss the major goals in forestry for the next ten years. Erik Kosenkranius, Acting Director, EUSTAFOR (European State Forest Association), an association of organisations managing state forests in the European Union, will discuss the topic of what Estonian forestry looks like as seen from Brussels and what the principal trends in Europe are that Estonia should be paying attention to.

Also being presented at the conference is the book Estonian Forestry Managers 1918-2008, and the photographic album Estonian Forests, and the accomplishments of forestry employees will be acknowledged.

Celebrating the anniversary of Estonian forestry in November of each year has become a tradition at the initiative of the Estonian Society of Foresters. On 13 November 1918, the provincial government of Estonia under German occupation was taken over and its forestry department and the Tallinn forest inspectorate were terminated. This day was already considered the birthday of the forest office prior to World War II.

Further information:
Heiki Hepner
President, Estonian Society of Foresters
Telephone +372 502 7325

Brita Merisalu
Press Representative, Ministry of the Environment
Telephone +372 626 2908, +372 527 6851
E-mail: brita.merisalu@envir.ee