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10 July 2009

Pro-Populus: General Assembly in Santiago de Compostela, 26 June 2009

With the first General Assembly held in Santiago de Compostela on 26 June 2009, the activities of the organisation for the poplar sector, Pro-Populus, have now really started. The meeting was hosted by one of the founding members Mr Pedro Garnica.
Since the official founding of the non-profit association in December 2008 by poplar sector organisations and individuals from 4 countries, the provisional managing board had been working further on developing an action plan, structure and financing. The outcome of these discussions was ratified by the General Assembly. The work of Pro-Populus will focus in first instance on:

o Establishing national poplar “working groups” that will work out national strategic plans to further the poplar sector;
o Developing a European poplar action plan based on the specific national needs;
o Setting up a website;
o Identifying the European institutions having an impact on the poplar sector and the Members of European Parliament that may provide support to the goals of the association in the future;
o Co-operation with the FAO based “International Poplar Commission”.

The overall goals of Pro-Populus are to:
o Position poplar as a strategic raw material;
o Gather, promote, defend and represent the production and use of poplar;
o Present a platform for information exchange;
o Study any question of interest to the poplar sector.
At the meeting, the participants received information on the work of the International Poplar Commission, a body within the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations based in Rome. Mr Alberto del Lungo, Forestry officer, stressed the importance of co-operating actively with Pro-Populus as the work of the IPC is largely based on the experiences gained in Europe.

Bernard Mourlan appointed President
Representing the French “Chambre Syndicale du Peuplier”, Mr Bernard Mourlan was elected first President of Pro-Populus. He will be assisted by vice-presidents Pedro Garnica (ES) and Fabio Boccalari (IT) and board members: Nicoletta Azzi (IT), Marc De Bock (BE), André Deterck (BE) and Hervé Drouin (FR). Support to the work of the association is provided by the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries, CEI-Bois, where the association has its official seat.