Founded in 1995, Fern is an organisation based in the heart of the EU, dedicated to protecting forests and the rights of people who depend on them. It was established out of the need for an organisation to explain how the EU worked and coordinate NGO inputs to forest policy discussions.
It identifies the threats facing the world’s forests and works with affected peoples, social and environmental organisations, and policy makers to devise and deliver solutions where the EU can make a difference.
Fern’s successes include defining a unique policy that bans illegal timber from the EU market and improves the rule of law in highly forested countries. Another of its campaigns led the EU to set incentives for European forests to remove 3 billion tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere between 2020 and 2030, the equivalent of the EU’s total emissions for one year.
Fern believes that it is essential to address the social dimension of environmental conflicts; that strong coalitions are more likely to achieve lasting change; and that presenting ways forward is more effective than highlighting problems.