The meeting enabled me to experience how perceptions of different countries were taken into account, how they differ and the expectations on forest policy measures. The ELM provided a neutral environment where every participant’s voice was able to be heard and taken into account, in order to build an effective and a fair set of rules to attain their common goal – protection of European forests. Besides that, the attendants were professional while negotiating, and during breaks I had the opportunity to interact with them and everyone was friendly.
Apart from gaining information for my master thesis, I realised that forest conflicts begin when there is a failure in international policy measures which caused the polarization of opinions among local people. It was interesting to experience the ELM as a part of the policy-making process.
I was immensely filled with happiness and gratitude for able to represent IFSA. Alumni were also present during the meeting, who took their time to share their memories and experiences from when they were members of IFSA. It was highly motivational for me, to learn such successful people were former IFSA members, and working on important international forest policy-related issues.
After this experience, I cannot imagine myself not to be interested in FOREST EUROPE, its covering activities and to not follow the journey towards European forests´ protection.