On 20th December, SGEC/PEFC Forest Certification Seminar in Okayama was held in Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture. It was the second round of a series of this seminar, which was held in the areas where acquisition of SGEC/PEFC Forest Management and CoC certification are showing rapid growth. With a participation of Okayama Prefecture as a co-sponsor, 45 people attended the seminar from the local forestry cooperatives, forestry/timber companies and governments.
The seminar commenced with the opening addresses given by the organizers. Then, presentations were given by SGEC/PEFC covering the themes such as the outline and current condition of SGEC and PEFC, the rules related to the implementation of COC, the use of SGEC/SGEC logo and the certification claims. From the representative of the authority of Okayama Prefecture, there was a report on the rapidly increasing FM and COC certification in Okayama and the current status of the establishment of the supply system of certified products, referring to the incentive programs granted by the prefecture.
A journalist of forestry policy, Mr. Y. Ishiyama, presented a suggestion on how to develop and expand the demands for certified products.
In the Q&A session, as a challenge to be sold it was pointed out that there is difficulty for improving society’s understanding of forest certification under the current situation where COC value chains have not been built up enough. In addition, a comment was raised that positive engagement of the administrative authorities is vitally important for promoting forest certification. The seminar was a good occasion to be aware of the current situation of and concerns related to Okayama where SGEC/PEFC certification is spreading rapidly in response to the expected increase of demand for certified products related to 2020 Tokyo Olympic/Paralympic Games.