About > History.
Private Forests and pastures encompass an important part of the livelihood of rural communities on the South-west Balkan. Often poorer families have a higher dependency on forests and pastures (up to 50%) of their total family income. National Associations of Private and Communal Forests Owners form Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania, with the support of SNV Netherlands Development Organization, have been cooperating since 2005 in protecting the forest user interests. Each organization has been supported on organizational development through forestry program support aiming on growing in to a strong and functional organization representing the private forestry in their respected countries. Forestry support programmes provided also the opportunity for a more regional focus with a cross border project between the association for private and communal forestry from Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia, supported by SIDA-SNV with financial and technical assistance. Through their regular communication, intensive sharing, learning and experiences exchange on the forestry reform processes, these regional linkages between the associations became very strong. In 2010 this Balkan network felt the need of following their good collaboration and decided to register the regional Centre for Forestry and Rural Development. REFORD was established in consultation and under the mandate of National Association of Private and Communal Forest Owners from Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo, and is financed from joined project of SNV Netherlands development organisation and SIDA – Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency on straitening private and decentralized forestry, as result of long and good cooperation between them. In 2011 the association of private forest owners from Bulgaria as well recognized the importance in becoming part of the Balkan private forestry family. After private forest owners from Bulgaria, in 2012 Association of private forest owners in Montenegro, also become member in REFORD. Strong partnerships in REFORD are made only based on long history in cooperation among the associations. Trust among the organizations is one of the key aspects for successful cross border collaboration. In Balkan countries forestry development needs to address sustainability, economic development, income generation, climate changes and biodiversity protection. Therefore working scope of REFORD is to lobby, implement, coordinate and collaborate on local and regional projects concerning rural development, sustainable forestry, environment enhancement and renewable energy (especially woody biomass).