PEFC Asia Promotions

What's New?

Japan Becomes Fourth Asian Country to Join as a PEFC National Member

Momentum continues to grow for PEFC in the Asia region with Japan becoming the latest Asian country to join as a National Member. Following in the footsteps of China, Indonesia and Malaysia, the addition of Japan’s Sustainable Green Ecosystem Council (SGEC) to the PEFC alliance shows that PEFC truly is the forest certification system of choice for the region.

“At the moment, the forest area certified to SGEC is about 1.25 million ha, which corresponds to just 5% of the total forest area in Japan. However, SGEC successfully expanded its activity nationwide under the cooperation from many stakeholders during the decade since its establishment, and we trust that we have reached the stage where basic infrastructure has been completed as a national forest certification system,” commented Kiyoo Nakagawa, Director/Secretary General of SGEC.

“On this good opportunity we have joined PEFC, aiming at achieving mutual recognition with PEFC for making progress as an international forest certification system. Currently, we are conducting a public consultation on the SGEC standards which will be the basic framework for advancing mutual recognition, aiming at achieving the mutual recognition by finishing the preparation by the end of this year.”

“We, SGEC, intend to develop SGEC as an internationally recognized forest certification system through mutual recognition with PEFC and promote forestry and timber industry by realizing sustainable forest management, thus, make all-out efforts in maximizing the functions of forests, such as prevention of global warming and conservation of bio-diversity,” concluded Mr. Nakagawa.

By becoming a PEFC member, SGEC has fulfilled an important prerequisite for applying for PEFC endorsement. SGEC is currently facilitating a multi-stakeholder process at national level to concerning the Japanese forest management standard, and the organization is committed to achieving mutual recognition and join forces in towards our common objective of promoting sustainable forest management.

A range of other countries in the region, including India, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, South Korea and Thailand are also advancing in their national system development and exploring options for eventual international recognition by PEFC. Both China and Indonesia achieved PEFC recognition of their national forest certification systems earlier this year, with Malaysia already PEFC endorsed since 2009.

Nov 4, 2014
Report on “Promotion of Forest Certification System for the Future in Japan –Commemoration of PEFC Asia Promotions 10th Anniversary and Participation of Sustainable Green Eco-system Council in PEFC”

With the presence of around 120 participants, the captioned forum ended with a great success. This event had the honor of the presence of Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado and we gratefully received words of congratulation and a presentation on the importance of forest conservation, the meaning of forest certification systems and her expectation to further diffusion of forest certification in Japan.

In addition, this forum became a very international event with the presence of Chairman of PEFC International, the representatives from PEFC Malaysia and Russia and a group of the trainees of JICA’s “Regional Development by General Use of Forest Resources through Certification Systems and Branding” program who are participating from African and Southeast Asian countries. Their presence was much appreciated by all attendants.

The details of this event will be reported shortly.

Sep 26, 2014
PEFC Supports Global New York Declaration on Forests

An innovative public-private partnership of multinationals, governments, civil society and indigenous peoples yesterday joined forces to cut the loss of forests in half by 2020 and end it a decade later in 2030 – a move that will eliminate the emission of between 4.5 and 8.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year. That is equivalent to removing the carbon emissions produced by the one billion cars that are currently on the world’s roads.

At yesterday’s Climate Summit, the New York Declaration on Forests was endorsed by countries in the developed and developing world – including the United States, the EU, and a large number of tropical forest countries – as well as by multinationals from the food, paper, finance and other industries, civil society organizations and indigenous peoples from Peru to Nepal. For the first time, 156 of these global leaders, including PEFC International, agreed on a range of measures to end deforestation, including the need for large-scale economic incentives for countries that reduce the loss of their forests. Deforestation is a frequently overlooked source of carbon dioxide emissions and a significant contributor to climate change, as trees, which store carbon, instead release it when they are burned during slash-and-burn land clearing of forests.

“PEFC as the world's leading forest certification system welcomes this partnership, recognizing the potential that this wide coalition of actors can achieve by joining forces,” said Ben Gunneberg, Secretary General of PEFC International. “Forest certification is rightly recognized by the New York Declaration on Forests as a very effective measure, and we are looking forward to working with all stakeholders to support our common efforts of promoting responsible forest management. Safeguarding and sustainably managing our global forest resources is not only of fundamental importance to tackling environmental challenges, but it also supports the tremendous socioeconomic benefits that society derives from forests, specifically when it comes to rural development and supporting the livelihoods of people dependent on forest resources.”

The Declaration, which was driven by a group of countries and companies with input from civil society and indigenous peoples, aims to change politics going into next year’s Paris climate talks and accelerate action by companies to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains. The Declaration also calls for the restoration of over 350 million hectares of forests and croplands, an area greater than the size of India, which would bring significant climate benefits and take pressure off primary forests. It builds on announcements made at the Climate Summit and over the past months.

“I asked for countries and companies to bring bold pledges, and here they are,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon about the Declaration. “The New York Declaration aims to reduce more climate pollution each year than the United States emits annually, and it doesn’t stop there. Forests are not only a critical part of the climate solution – the actions agreed today will reduce poverty, enhance food security, improve the rule of law, secure the rights of indigenous peoples and benefit communities around the world.”

The Declaration’s endorsement comes as the forest sector is transformed by new policies and shifting demand from consumer goods companies and consumers, stronger land rights for indigenous peoples and greater advocacy by civil society. Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is down 75 per cent since 2004, and in the past nine months alone 60 per cent of the world’s highly carbon-intensive palm oil trade has come under commitments to go deforestation-free.

“Forests are not solely economic resources, but are the center of spiritual life and cultural integration for indigenous peoples,” said Abdon Nababan, Secretary General of the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of Indonesia’s Archipelago (AMAN). “The New York Declaration is a long-awaited show of political will by all countries to support indigenous peoples as we fight to defend our forests.”

"Our planet is losing forests at a rate of eight football fields every ten seconds,” said Carter Roberts, President and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). “Today we’ve seen important commitments from companies, governments, civil society and indigenous peoples to halt this trend. Now it is time for urgent collaboration to see these commitments realized on the ground.”

“PEFC has already certified more than 255 million hectares of forests globally, and we hope that the New York Declaration of Forests, with the support it has gathered from global leaders, will assist us in rapidly expanding this area, for the benefit of the people and the planet,” concluded Mr. Gunneberg.

View The New York Declaration and supporting materials online here, or at: へのリンク

Aug 12, 2014
Forest Owners in Argentina Can Now Benefit from International Recognition

PEFC International is pleased to announce the next PEFC-endorsed national forest certification system in South America, the Argentine Forest Certification System

“The endorsement of our system by PEFC is excellent news, as our forest owners will now be able to demonstrate that they manage their forests in a sustainable way, gaining important recognition and access to the global marketplace,” said Mr. Vassallo, President of CERFOAR, the PEFC member for Argentina.“Nearly all our forests are privately owned, and thanks to PEFC’s bottom-up approach to standard setting, we were able to ensure that all the stakeholders were involved in the development of our national system - while at the same time meeting globally accepted international requirements,” continued Mr. Vassallo.

With less than 1% of Argentina’s 28 million hectares of natural forest certified, the Argentine Forest Certification System was developed by a voluntary initiative of national stakeholders to respond to the needs of those throughout the forest sector in Argentina. Given the high level of private ownership in the country, it was vital that the new national system was developed in a multi-stakeholder process with participation of representatives from every link in the value chain of forest-based products and other interested parties making up the entire forest sector.

With this endorsement, Argentina becomes the fourth Latin American country featuring a PEFC-endorsed national forest certification system. The national forest certification systems in Brazil, Chile and Uruguay already benefit from PEFC endorsement. Almost 70% of all forests in South America (and 70% of all forests in the Americas as a whole) can now benefit from PEFC certification.

July 29, 2014
China to Expand Scope of Forest Certification into Broader Range of Sustainability Issues

Bill Street, Chairman and Ben Gunneberg, Secretary General and CEO of PEFC International met with representatives of the Chinese Forest Certification Council (CFCC) today in Beijing following the recent endorsement of the China Forest Certification Scheme (CFCS) by PEFC, the world's largest forest certification system.

"The adoption of PEFC by CFCC is driving the integration of sustainable forest management criteria into a broader range of sustainability issues including bamboo, non-wood forest products, fire management, carbon storage and water and fauna certification, which is an exciting development from a sustainability point of view,” Mr. Street stated.

Ben Gunneberg commented positively on the fact that CFCC, as now part of the PEFC endorsed family of certification systems, is developing best practice through 30 pilot projects, the lessons of which will be expanded to all forest management units in China, encompassing all three areas of sustainable forest management.

He added that it was encouraging to see that four certification bodies have now been approved and are legally registered, and that only these four now meet all the criteria and requirements of Chinese law concerning forest certification.

July 9, 2014
Report on “PEFC Forum ~ Let’s get connected, from points to lines”

PEFC Asia Promotions held “PEFC Forum ~ Let’s get connected, from points to lines” from13:00 of the 3rd July at Arcadia Ichigaya, Tokyo. “PEFC Forum” was organised as a kick-off event of various forthcoming activities commemorating the 10th anniversary of PEFC Asia Promotions. With participation of about 70 people from 40 PEFC-certified companies the event was a big success.

As indicated by the subtitle, the purpose of this event was to provide PEFC certified companies with opportunity for information exchange and networking with other certified companies to aim at identifying opportunities and challenges that they are facing with and searching solutions for increasing benefits of PEFC-related business through increase of the type and volume of PEFC-certified products and thus strengthening PEFC brand.

Part I of the program started from the opening address by Chairman of PEFC Asia Promotions, to which followed a presentation by Director/Secretary on the value of forest certification and the latest news of PEFC International. This was followed by a presentation given by Mr. Tetsuzo Yaguchi, Senior Forest Advisor of Japan Gas Appliances Inspection Association with the title “Unreserved story on ‘Why PEFC now and what hereafter?’ told by senior forest certification auditor”. Next to this, presentations were given by the representatives of the following 5 PEFC-certified companies to report the case of their own PEFC-related business issues such as the motivation, gained benefits, challenges and issues.

<List of the 5 panelist companies>
- Toyo Aluminium Ekco Products Ltd
- Mihagi Kogei Co., Ltd.
- APP Japan Ltd.
- Sezaki Ringyo Co., Ltd.
- ASKL Corporation

Part II of the program consisted of a panel discussion with 5 panelists representing the above-mentioned companies for discussing and sharing experiences with the audience regarding the acquisition of PEFC certification, success stories, challenges to deal with and suggestions for solution.
At the entrance of the venue, samples of PEFC-certified products were displayed by the under-mentioned 11 companies, ranging from everyday necessaries to home and office furniture to add spice to the event.

<List of 11 displayer companies> (alphabetical order)
- Asahi Printing Co., Ltd.: Paper package samples
- ASKL Corporation: Copy paper peoducts
- Hearst Fujingaho Co., Ltd.: Monthly magazines
- Innosho Forestry Co. Ltd.: Sample of cut wood pillar
- Karimoku Furture Inc: Wooden home furniture
- Maeda Sangyo Co., Ltd.: Wooden tissue paper boxes, wooden trash boxes, etc.
- Mihagi Kogei Co., Ltd.: Various wooden boxes
- Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd.: Printing paper samples
- Onawa Ringyo Genboku Co., Ltd.: Miniature wooden pallet
- Smile Corporation: Wooden office furniture
- Toyo Aluminum Ekco Products Ltd: Paper trays for frozen cooked food

To the questionnaire survey conducted during the forum, many opinions and suggestions were given by the attendants and PEFC Asia Promotions will summarize them and report it shortly to the attendants.
PEFC Asia Promotions is currently planning to organise another PEFC event around the end of October and will announce the details in due course.

Jun 3, 2014
Swedish European Spruce and Scots Pine and New Zealand Radiata Pine are now added to eligible species of Wood Use Point Program

Following our report of December 2013 and March 2014 that US Douglas Fir and Austrian Spruce were added to the list of the wood pieces that are eligible for the government’s Wood Use Point Program, Forestry Agency of Japan announced early June that Swedish European Spruce and Scots Pine and New Zealand Radiata Pine have been newly added to the aforementioned eligible species list.
FAJ also announced that the above-mentioned Austrian Spruce will be eligible from 15 June 2014.

Sweden is a country dominated by forests and contains just below 1% of the world’s commercial forest area, but provides 10% of the world´s sawn timber. Forest covers roughly 70% of Sweden, extending over 28 million hectares (ha). Of this area almost 23 million ha are productive forest land.

The standing volume is 3 billion m3 consisting of 40% of Norway spruce, 38% Scots pine, 12% Birch and 7% of other deciduous species. Over the last century the standing volume has increased by 75%.

Over 9.8 million ha owned by more than 20,000 private forest owners are PEFC certified whilst 270 companies (including sub certificates) have a Chain of Custody certificate.

For more details of this news, please refer directly to the under-mentioned FSJ’s website;-

May 26, 2014
Friesland Campina Packaging Material Sourced from Sustainably Managed Forests

FrieslandCampina, one of the largest dairy companies in the world, intends to source as much of its fiber-based packaging material as possible from forests that have been certified as sustainably managed from now on.

Friesland Campina contributes in this way to the global promotion of good forest management and safeguards forests for future generations.

o support the implementation of this decision, Royal Friesland Campina and PEFC Netherlands signed PEFC’s sustainable forest management policy statement on 11 April 2014. Friesland Campina will use PEFC, along with similar labels, as evidence of responsible and sustainable sourcing.

This decision on packaging procurement is part of the Friesland Campina commitment to ensure that its agricultural commodities are responsibly sourced and is designed to promote sustainable forest management worldwide. From now on, Friesland Campina’s packaging will bear either the PEFC or FSC label to provide customers with assurances of responsible sourcing.

Friesland Campina have used the FSC label on beverage packaging for the Western European market since 2011 and, since 2013, Friesland Campina has purchased only FSC or PEFC certified cardboard packaging for the Western European market. This policy will now be extended worldwide.

May 1, 2014
UPM Prepares its own PEFC Certification Group

UPM is expanding its certification services in Finland and is preparing an application of its own PEFC group certificate in 2014. This gives UPM's forest owner customers a new opportunity to achieve a certificate for sustainable forestry as a member of UPM's certification group.

“For forest owners, joining UPM's PEFC certification group is easy, safe, cost-efficient and risk-free,” says Eija Kuusisto, Manager, Key Customer Relations at UPM. “The administrative procedures related to the certification are managed by UPM on behalf of the forest owners. Members of the certification group will be informed of changes regarding the certification, and they can rest assured that forestry practices and harvesting are done according to PEFC requirements.”

“The requirements of our end product customers, concerning the source of the wood, are continuously becoming more demanding. Therefore, it is important for us to be able to provide our customers with products made from certified wood,” says Pekka Rajala, Director Stakeholder Relations, North Europe Forest Issues at UPM. “We aim to increase the use of certified wood in our end products and to promote and use all reliable forest certification schemes.”

“By applying our own PEFC certification group we aim to emphasize the importance of forest certification and to increase the appreciation and use of PEFC through our own actions”, Pekka Rajala continues. “It is important that PEFC certification is an essential part of Finnish forestry also in the future.”

”The PEFC certification scheme has been widely used in Finland for over 15 years, and almost 95% of our current managed forests are PEFC certified. UPM has been involved in the PEFC scheme from the beginning and is familiar with its requirements. Therefore, the threshold for implementing UPM's own group certification is low,” says Eija Kuusisto.

UPM monitors the origin of all the wood it acquires. The amount of certified fiber used in UPM's products was 80% globally in 2013, whereas in Finnish mills the figure was 83%. All of UPM's forests are certified. In Finland, all of them are PEFC certified and approximately half of them FSC certified. In Minnesota, USA, all the forests are SFI certified, and in the United Kingdom and Uruguay the forests are both FSC and PEFC certified.

Apr 7, 2014
Coalition Government Welcomes Endorsement of Chinese Forest Certification System!

The Coalition Government welcomes news the Chinese Forest Certification Scheme has been endorsed by the world’s largest forest sustainability certification system, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck said.

Senator Colbeck said PEFC also endorses the Australian Forest Certification Scheme, including the Australian Forestry Standard (AFS), which certifies a significant amount of production forest area in Australia. Internationally, PEFC has endorsed 37 national forest certification schemes and another eight countries are in the process of applying for endorsement. “PEFC is one of the world’s foremost programs for endorsement of national forest certification schemes and is leading to increased opportunities for Australian forest products in international markets,” said Senator Colbeck..

“It is very encouraging that China is promoting long-term sustainable forest management by voluntarily seeking endorsement by PEFC for its national forest certification scheme.” “China’s dominant market position means that demand for AFS (PEFC) certified forest products will only increase and places Australia well in accessing global markets.”

“Australian exporters of AFS certified forest products can have confidence that China, one of the world’s biggest timber markets, recognises the authenticity of the global PEFC certification system,” he said. “The Australian Forestry Standard has been endorsed by PEFC since 2004 and AFS certified products are recognised in the international market place,” he said. Senator Colbeck said there was a potential for increased demand of AFS certified products due to China’s recognition under the PEFC system.
Senator Colbeck said Australia’s forest industry is among the best managed and most sustainable in the world.

Mar 31, 2014
Belgium Reaches Sustainable Wood Target Six Years Early!

Over 40% of wood-based products on the Belgian market are from sustainably managed forests, according to a 2012 market study by Dutch foundation Probos.
In 2011, a multi-sector agreement was signed by several federal organizations to increase the market share of certified wood products to at least 35% by the end of 2018. However, just one year later the market share of wood-based products originating from sustainably managed forests had already reached 40.5%.

“We are delighted to see such an increase in the availability of certified wood-based products on the Belgian market – from a 15% share in 2008 to over 40% in 2012, six years ahead of schedule,” said Thomas Davreux, General Secretary of PEFC Belgium, which also provided support during the market study.

To qualify as coming from a sustainably managed forest, wood-based products must be accompanied by a Chain of Custody certificate accepted by the Belgian federal authorities, such as the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
PEFC Chain of Custody tracks certified material from the forests, all the way through the supply chain, until the final product, providing the consumer with the assurance that their product originated in a forest that has been managed according to PEFC’s exacting Sustainability Benchmarks.

The goal of the 2011 agreement was not only to increase the share of certified wood products on the Belgian market but also to increase the awareness of the general public to the importance of sustainable forest management. Despite meeting their goal several years early, the timber federations plan to continue their work to further increase the share of these products on the market.

Mar 6, 2014
China’s National Forest Certification System Achieves PEFC Endorsement!

“The endorsement of the China Forest Certification Scheme by PEFC represents a significant milestone for safeguarding global forests given the importance of the country in the forest products value chain and its substantial forest area,” commented Ben Gunneberg, Secretary General of PEFC, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification.

“China is not only the world’s largest manufacturer of forest products, but also among the five countries with the largest forest area in the world,” emphasized Mr. Gunneberg. “We understand that China is interested in actively promoting both forest management and Chain of Custody certification to ensure the long-term sustainability of its forest sector, especially considering the millions of people it employs and the natural resources it relies on.”

China currently has the highest afforestation rate of any country in the world, increasing its forest cover from 12% thirty years ago to more than 21% in 2013. The country is continuing to implement policy measures to increase the quality and quantity of its forests and aims to bring forest coverage to 23%, or 223 million hectares, by 2020.

“We are proud to be endorsed and part of PEFC, the world’s leading forest certification system,” said Mr. Wang Wei, Chairman of the Chinese Forest Certification Council (CFCC). “PEFC represents best practice in forest management and is unique in considering the needs of the specific forest ecosystems present in a particular country, the legal and administrative frameworks, and the socio-cultural context, which is important for China.”

“This endorsement by PEFC does not only have the potential to substantially increase the demand for, as well as the supply of, PEFC-certified material, but we hope that it will also inspire other countries in the region supplying China to follow our example and promote sustainable forest management through PEFC certification,” emphasized Mr. Wang.

China is the second Asian country after Malaysia to successfully achieve PEFC endorsement for a national certification system, and the Indonesian Forestry Certification Cooperation (IFCC) submitted its scheme for PEFC assessment in November 2013. A range of other countries in the region, including India, Japan, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, South Korea and the Thailand are advancing in national system development and exploring options for eventual international recognition by PEFC.

There are already about 2 million hectares of forests in China CFCS-certified, and more than 200 professionals have participated in the CFCC auditor training over the past years to be able to respond to the expected increase in demand for certification services following the endorsement by PEFC.

The relevant PEFC News is available below. (English)

Jan 31, 2014
The Sweet Side of Sustainability: “Eurochocolate” Meets Sustainable Forest Management

While enjoying the huge variety of chocolate on show, visitors to the 20th Eurochocolate, an International Chocolate Exhibition held in Perugia, Italy, could clean their hands with PEFC certified paper napkins. This ten day event dedicated to 900,000 chocolate lovers took sustainability to heart, with the celebratory 20th edition called ‘Evergreen: The Sweetness of Being Sustainable’.

The paper napkins visitors found on the shelves of all the stands were made from PEFC certified pulp. Lined up end to end, these napkins would reach from the center of Perugia to that of Assisi and back again – a distance of fifty kilometers. In figures, 468,000 napkins, each with the logos of the three protagonists: PEFC, Eurochocolate and BulkySoft (the brand name of the Gruppo Carrara paper mill), with a total weight of about 633 kilograms.

Furthermore, thanks to the Memorandum of Understanding between by Eurochocolate and PEFC Italy, a Green Procurement Policy was adopted and all the printed material used throughout this festival, including posters, brochures, programs, flyers and paper bags, was made from PEFC certified paper.

"This agreement not only helps to reduce the environmental impact of one of the most anticipated events for gourmands from all over Italy, but it also sends a crucial message to the consumers and producers of our paper industry," said Antonio Brunori, Secretary General of PEFC Italy. "It increases the awareness of citizens to the fact that it is possible to combine development and protection of Italian forest resources. It allows the forestry industry to take a step forward on the path of sustainability."

“The reason is simple - it's all a matter of supply and demand,” continued Mr. Brunori. “In the end, when the demand for certified paper increases, paper companies must adapt or they risk losing out in a lucrative market. And consequently, pulp producers and managers of forests must also adapt. This closes a virtuous circle that could make one of the most relevant industries to the future of the country more clean and competitive.”

Moreover, the paper napkin dispensers, created by Gruppo Carrara di Lucca, adopted an innovative delivery system that reduced paper waste by 40%. These savings led to a lower consumption of cellulose fibers and, thanks to the commitments of a PEFC certified paper mill, six trees will be replanted in PEFC certified forests.

Jan 8, 2014
Forestry Agency’s Wood-use Point Program Recognises American Douglas Fir as Eligible

On 24th December 2013 Forestry Agency of Japan (FAJ) announced that Douglas Fir produced in the USA is added to the list of the tree species eligible to its Wood-use Points Program. FAJ made the decision based upon its recognition that the resource volume of this species is on the increase in the country of origin and that the use of this species contributes to the economic development of the user’s local community.
As the eligible local species have been limited practically only to some selected Japanese domestic species under this program, this action expands the possibility into other imported woods. Last year PEFC submitted a letter of solicitation to FAJ and other related organisations asking for their acceptance of PEFC-certified imported woods, and welcomes this FAJ’s decision.
In the USA, PEFC-endorsed forest certification systems such as SFI and ATFS are widely spread and it is quite probable that the woods your company deals are certified to either one of such systems.
For more details of the program, please refer to the under-mentioned website and contact directly to Wood-use Points Program Office.

With regard to the woods from other countries such as Canada and Europe which have reportedly submitted the similar solicitation to FAJ, no decision has been made to-date.

Jan 6, 2014
Following London, 2012, Certified Wood and Paper Shall be Used for Rio 2016

According to National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology (INMETRO), the Sustainability Management Plan of Rio 2016™ Olympic and Paralympic Games (page 96) defines "All timber used in permanent or temporary constructions for Rio 2016™ must come from legal and responsible sources. Both forest management and chain of custody shall be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Brazilian Forest Certification Programme (INMETRO/CERFLOR) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) system."

* CERFLOR is PEFC-endorsed Brazilian national forest certification system.

Dec 3, 2013
Q&A on Webinars on Revised PEFC COC Standard

Japanese translation of "Q&A on Revised PEFC COC Standard" is now available for supporting the Japanese COC certificate holders in their transition to the revised COC. This is a document which presents all the answers to the questions asked during the series of COC webinars provided by PEFC in June 2013.

改正PEFC-COC規格に関するQ&A(Q&A on Webinars on Revised PEFC COC Standard)

Nov 26, 2013
PEFC Week Report

PEFC Week, organized by PEFC International, was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for four days starting from 13 November with participation of over 300 global stakeholders who have interest in the sustainable management of the region’s forests. PEFC Week consisted of Part 1: 18th PEFC General Assembly and Part 2: PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue. Throughout the event, active discussions and information exchanges developed addressing themes such as importance and necessity of promoting sustainable forest management in the Asian but especially that of tropical forests, its approaches and methodology, expectation for the PEFC ‘s role and its diffusion and the latest information on the move of establishing national forest certification schemes in the Asian countries.
<18th PEFC General Assembly>
This Asia-based PEFC General Assembly was characterized by a series of introductory presentations made by the representatives from Asian counties such as Chinese Forest Certification Council which reported that the process of its acquisition of PEFC Endorsement was near to the conclusion, Indonesian Forest Certification Cooperation which had just submitted an application for PFFC Endorsement, Sustainable Green Eco-system Council which is the Japanese scheme and had just expressed its intent of joining PEFC International. In addition to it, the representatives from India, Turkey, Philippines, Myanmar and Republic of Congo reported on the current moves of establishing national forest certification scheme in each country.
There was a strong impression that the evident likeliness of CFCC’s acquisition of PEFC endorsement in the near future is fueling the moves of establishing national schemes with the purpose of acquiring PEFC membership and endorsement in Asian countries which have huge volume of forest-based products with China.
<PEFC Stakehoplder Dialogue>
The welcome addresses by PEFC Chairman and MTCC Chairman opened Part 2 of the Dialogue, to which the welcome and congratulatory address by Minister of Plantations and Commodities of Malaysia followed. Minister emphasised in his presentation the importance and necessity of promoting sustainable management of tropical forests and whilst referring to the role played by and contribution made by Malaysia in this area. In the PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue sessions, participants representing various interests were divided into several groups under specific themes of their choice for detailed discussions.

PEFC WEEK Report is available below.
PEFC WEEK Report (Japanese)

Nov 26, 2013
Revised PEFC CoC Seminar

With the lecturer from PEFC Council, PEFC Asia Promotions will hold PEFC-COC Seminar for providing explanation on the pricipal changes from the old standard and the interpretation of the revised COC Standards.

The details of the seminar are as follows;

Date and Time: 17th December (Tue) 10:00am -12:00am
Venue: Sokuryonenkinkaikan Medium Conference Rm 11-1 Yamabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo (03-3235-7211)
Edogawabashi Station on Yurakucho Line, Kagurazaka Station on Tozai Line
Seminar Fee:2,000 Yen
* Lecture will be given in English with Japanese interpretation
Please submit application for attendance to PEFC Asia Promotions with name, title and company title.

Oct 30, 2013
Cooperatives Meet to Discuss the Potential for PEFC in Thua Thien Hue Province, Vietnam

“Trees can sustain livelihoods and provide families with a secure income, but being trapped in a circle of poverty means that people are forced to make decisions based on short-term needs rather than longer term prosperity,” said Mr. Ngo Viet Quyt in relation to the short cutting cycle often employed by forest owners throughout Vietnam.

While short cutting cycles may contribute to household income, consideration to forest product optimization and sustainability requirements can increase the social, environmental and economic benefits derived from forest resources.

As Director of the Thua Thien Hue Cooperative Alliance (HCA), an alliance of over 200 cooperatives scattered throughout the Thua Thien Hue province in Vietnam, Mr. Quyt’s comments concluded the workshop held in Hue, Vietnam on 9 September which introduced PEFC certification to representatives from HCA, the provincial Department of Forestry, cooperatives, private companies and NGOs.

“If we can share the vision with our members and show them the way towards sustainable forest management, we can help them find a way to capture the real value of their trees,” Mr. Quyt continued. “We must not forget our main objective: increase the living standard of our members by increasing their long-term profit from forestry.”

The workshop was one activity within the ongoing twinning support program between Finnish forest owners and cooperative alliances in Vietnam. The program seeks to share experiences between small forest owners from drastically different parts of the world. Drawing on the Finnish experiences, the program supports the strengthening of forest owner organizations – cooperative alliances (operating at the provincial level) and individual cooperatives (operating at the local commune level). Moreover, the project is aiming to increase the capacity of cooperatives and smallholders to implement sustainable forest practices and build stronger business models around their forest resources.

“Despite the many differences between forests in Finland and Vietnam, as forest owners we actually have a lot in common,” commented Rauno Karpinnen, forest expert and Finland’s representative to the project. “We want to know where to get seedlings, how to best plant them, and when to harvest them to ensure the best value for our resources. In Finland PEFC is the solution for affordable forest certification for smallholders.”

Following on from the introduction and discussions around PEFC certification amongst stakeholders in Thua Thien Hue Province, project partners will continue working together to design a certification approach that could deliver more cost-effective solutions to what is currently available in Vietnam.

“Forest certification should help people gain more value and benefits from their forest resources – not take it away,” stated Sarah Price, PEFC’s Head of Projects and Development, commenting on PEFC involvement in the project and PEFC pilot testing. “By cooperating on this pilot project, we hope to inject some new ideas and approaches into how certification can be affordable and profitable for companies and family forest owners alike, while safeguarding the environmental benefits that forests provide. Clearly, forest resources have the potential to lift people out of poverty in Vietnam and it is our imperative to make certification an opportunity and not a market barrier.”

To discuss how you can get involved in this project or other PEFC International development projects, contact
New supporters and partners are always welcome.

Sep 19, 2013
First Forests Become PEFC Certified in Slovenia

The Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry of Slovenia (CAFS) has become the first organization in the country to be awarded with a PEFC sustainable forest management certificate. With CAFS the regional representative of forest owners in the area, this new certificate means 320 forest owners and almost 10,000 hectares of forest are now managed in accordance with PEFC’s internationally accepted Sustainability Benchmarks

The certificate was presented to CAFS at an award ceremony held as part of the International Fair of Agriculture and Food (AGRA) in August. During the ceremony, Cvetko Zupančič, the President of CAFS, spoke of the hard work taken to achieve certification ever since the Institute for Forest Certification was created in 2004 with the aim of introducing PEFC certification into Slovenia.

"This is an important moment for the Slovenian farmers and forest owners managing small forest estates,” said Mr Zupančič. “The PEFC system enables small forest owners to achieve certification, as group certification allows them to share the cost of becoming certified. This is an important step towards improving the functioning of the forest-wood chain, since it lays the foundation of monitoring the traceability of wood and better marketing.”

Also present at the award ceremony were Tanja Strniša, State Secretary for Agriculture, Doroteja Ozimič, Director of the certification body KON-CERT and Mihael Koprivnikar, Director of the Institute for Forest Certification in Slovenia. Ljudmila Pavlič and Marko Suhodolnik, two private forest owners who participated in pilot project for individual certification, were also presented with their certificates.

Certification builds on the centuries-old knowledge that the land was only given to us so we can manage and look after it for our grandchildren,” said Mr Suhodolnik. “I want to encourage private forest owners to join forest certification.”

Sep 10, 2013 (New Zealand News Again!)
The Drive Towards Forest Certification in New Zealand

“International customers are increasingly demanding wood to be sourced sustainably,” said Ben Gunneberg, Secretary General of PEFC, during a recent interview with Radio New Zealand’s Morning Rural News. “Not only are a growing number of countries demanding verification that timber has been sourced legally, but international companies are also playing a big role in the push for sustainability

One of these main drivers for certification is the Consumer Goods Forum, a body representing over 400 companies collectively worth around $US3 trillion, including the likes of Proctor and Gamble, Unilever and McDonald’s. Together these companies make up 4% of global GDP and they’re advocating for legality as well as sustainability throughout their supply chains.

Responding to this increasing demand, Standards New Zealand has begun consulting on a draft voluntary standard for sustainable forest management. Based on the standard used in Australia, the New Zealand standard would certify both the legality of the timber and that it was produced in a sustainable way.

During his recent trip to New Zealand Mr. Gunneberg spoke to the National Business Review highlighting how crucial it is to the local timber industry that the New Zealand standard is adopted. “The big interest to have a New Zealand standard is to provide assurances to those key important markets that legality elements have been assessed as well as sustainability,” he continued.

With forests making up 3% of New Zealand’s GDP and about 17,000 employees and their families dependent on this sector, forestry plays an important role within the country. But without certification, timber suppliers are vulnerable to claims of illegally sourced wood and New Zealand-made timber could be blocked from foreign markets in the future.

“This is where certification systems such as PEFC can ensure that anybody exporting materials from New Zealand, or importing them to those companies in New Zealand, can provide evidence that they are only being sourced from sustainably managed forests,” concluded Mr. Gunneberg.

Aug 6, 2013
New Zealand considers adoption of Australian Standard® for forest management

According to the newsletter issued by the Australian Forestry Standard in August 2013, Standards New Zealand has formed a technical committee to consider adoption of the Australian Standard® for forest management (AS4708) as a New Zealand Standard.

If the committee ultimately supports the proposal and AS4708 is adopted as a New Zealand Standard, forest managers will be able to seek certification against the Standard by an independent certification body accredited by the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ). Standards New Zealand has procedures for the development, review and adoption of Standards which are similar to those of Standards Australia and Australian Standards Development Organisations (SDOs) such as Australian Forestry Standard Limited..

These procedures require public consultation and committee consensus. If the Australian Standard for forest management (AS4708) is adopted in New Zealand Australian Forestry Standard Ltd has undertaken to work with stakeholders in New Zealand to evaluate the potential expansion of the Australian Forest Certification Scheme and PEFC endorsement to cover New Zealand.

Jul 12, 2013
PEFC and FSC Joint Statement on Proposed New ISO Work Item

FSC and PEFC, the two organisations together accounting for some 98% of the world's certified forests and chain of custody certificates, called upon members of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to not support a proposal for an ISO standard to be developed for certified forest products as it stands

ISO members have until the end of August to vote on such a proposal. In a joint statement to the ISO members, PEFC and FSC express their "sustained opposition" to the proposal.
FSC and PEFC state that they "strongly believe that an ISO chain of custody standard would not add value to global efforts to promote sustainable forest management through forest certification...... The fundamental principles of PEFC and FSC chain of custody certification are closely aligned, allowing companies to obtain dual certification to both FSC and PEFC in an efficient and straightforward manner at minimal additional costs.... Dividing the supply and production chains results in sub optimal results".

This joint statement is available by either clicking the under-mentioned document name or on PEFC Statement page of this website.

Japanese: FSCおよびPEFCによる共同声明書 ― ISO加盟メンバーに対し、林産品のCOC要求事項に関する新業務項目提案への反対投票を提言
English: PEFC and FSC Joint Statement on Proposed New ISO Work Item

Jul 19, 2013
PEFC the Preferred Choice for Certified Timber in the Netherlands

Almost two thirds of all certified timber on the Dutch market originates from PEFC certified forests, making PEFC the most popular forest certification scheme in the Netherlands. According to a Probos study, in 2011 over 2.4 million cubic meters of PEFC certified wood was brought onto the Dutch market; enough timber to fill nearly 1000 Olympic sized swimming pools.

The study showed increasing consumption of certified wood in the Netherlands; by 2011 nearly two-thirds of the wood on the Dutch timber market was from a demonstrably sustainable origin. The overall market share of PEFC certified wood has also seen a significant increase, almost doubling between 2008 and 2011.

This increase is due in part to the Dutch government’s Biodiversity Program which set the target for timber with a demonstrably sustainable origin to make up 50% of the Dutch timber market by 2011.

The Probos study was carried out to determine if this target had been reached, and with 65.7% of timber on the Dutch market certified as originating from sustainably managed forests, they found that this target had not only been achieved, but exceeded.

This success is the result of the combined efforts of the Dutch government and the timber sector, with special mention to the companies who chose to purchase sustainably produced products before there was any demand from the market.

However, despite this achievement, progress must continue. The Dutch market share of sustainably produced sawn softwood increased to 85.9%, but the share of sawn tropical hardwood and temperate sawn hardwood was only 39% and 22.8%, respectively. Work remains to reach the ultimate goal of 100% market share of certified sustainably produced timber and timber products in the Netherlands.

Jul 12, 2013
PEFC and FSC Joint Statement on Proposed New ISO Work Item

FSC and PEFC, the two organisations together accounting for some 98% of the world's certified forests and chain of custody certificates, called upon members of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to not support a proposal for an ISO standard to be developed for certified forest products as it stands

ISO members have until the end of August to vote on such a proposal. In a joint statement to the ISO members, PEFC and FSC express their "sustained opposition" to the proposal.
FSC and PEFC state that they "strongly believe that an ISO chain of custody standard would not add value to global efforts to promote sustainable forest management through forest certification...... The fundamental principles of PEFC and FSC chain of custody certification are closely aligned, allowing companies to obtain dual certification to both FSC and PEFC in an efficient and straightforward manner at minimal additional costs.... Dividing the supply and production chains results in sub optimal results".

This joint statement is available by either clicking the under-mentioned document name or on PEFC Statement page of this website.

Japanese: FSCおよびPEFCによる共同声明書 ― ISO加盟メンバーに対し、林産品のCOC要求事項に関する新業務項目提案への反対投票を提言
English: PEFC and FSC Joint Statement on Proposed New ISO Work Item

Jun 21, 2013
Announcement on PEFC Seminar-in Osaka 2013

PEFC Asia Promotions will hold PEFC Seminar in Osaka 2013 with the cooperation from Chuetsu Pulp and Paper Co., Ltd. This event was organized in response to the demands from stakeholders that such seminars should be held also in other cities than Tokyo. The main theme of the seminar is the basic elements of forest certification and PEFC. Presentations by two stakeholder companies are planned, too.
We encourage and welcome attendance from those companies and individuals who are interested in learning more about forest certification and PEFC.

Theme: Basic Elements and Latest Information on PEFC
Presentations by Sekisui House Co., Ltd, and Imura Envelope Co., Inc.
Date: 19th July 2013
Time: 14:00 – 16:45
Venue: Osaka Kaikan E-Hall
4-1-52 Honmachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka 06- 6261-9351
Fee: Free of Charge

For details and application, please contact PEFC Asia Promotions by e-mail. (

Apr 26, 2013
Meeting EUTR Requirements through PEFC COC Certification

As already reported to PEFC stakeholders, EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) came into effect from 3 March 2013. PEFC has been engaged in developing new COC Standard (PEFC ST 2002:2013) by adding small but smart changes to the current standard for facilitating PEFC-COC certificate holders and stakeholders, who will be affected by the Regulation, in meeting the related requirements. The development of the new standard is now at the final stage and will be ready for introduction in May.

In this respect, preceding the presentation of the new COC standard PEFC International has issued “Meeting EUTR Requirements through PEFC COC Certification” which could be used as COC certificate holders’ guidance for easy adaptation to EUTR.

This document and its Japanese translation are available either by clicking the document below or accessing to the PEFC Statement Page of this webpage.

Japanese: 「PEFC-COC認証でEUTR(欧州連合木材規制)の要求事故に対応を!」
English: 「Meeting EUTR Requirements through PEFC-COV Certification」

Apr 19, 2013
PEFC Introductory Seminars in Your City ?

PEFC Asia Promotions has been holding PEFC Introductory Seminar on bi-monthly basis sstarting from last year for both certified and non-certified companies/organisations. However, due to the limited financial and human resources, the site was limited to in and around Tokyo.

Meantime, we hear voices from our stakeholders demanding that the seminars be held in other areas, as well. We take it seriously and would like to plan to organise the seminars in other cities as much as possible.
For realizing the plan we will need cooperation from local companies and stakeholders and call for your kind support.

Details of the Plan
1. Areas: Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kansai (around Osaka), Chugoku/Shikoku, Kyushu
2. Time: Around June or July
3. Targeted Audience: 10-20 people (your staff, customers and other related stakeholders)
4. Required Cooperation:
a. Suggestion/preparation on/of appropriate venue
b. Invitation and attraction of attendants
c. Other: preparation of seminar materials, assistance in reception and registration, etc

For the sake of further promotion of PEFC and the benefit of your PEFC-related business, we would much appreciate your kind consideration and offer of support.
Please contact PEFCA Asia Promotions for further details or offer of cooperation.

Mar 28, 2013
PEFC Publishes Results of Complaints Against APP

In response to information provided by Greenpeace indicating potential non-compliances with PEFC International's Chain of custody requirements, PEFC filed formal complaints against APP with SGS South Africa (Pty) Ltd. - Qualifor Programme, the relevant certification body in these cases.

In response to the complaints, SGS commissioned investigations to examine PP's implementation of PEFC Chain of Custody requirements. The investigations confirmed that APP implemented PEFC requirements correctly.

More information on this matter is available on the "PEFC Statements" page of this webpage.

Mar 26, 2013
PEFC-certified Timber is applicable to Forestry Agency’s Timber Use Point Programme

Forestry Agency of Japan plans to introduce Timber Use Point Programme starting from 1st of April 2013. This two-years’ programme aims at making contribution to the improvement and conservation of nation’s forests, prevention of global warming and development of cycle-based society and promoting use of domestic and local timber.
However, it has been confirmed that timber that is certified to a forest certification such as PEFC will be also applicable to the programme.

The programme outline, description of applicable materials/products, procedure of the application for the points, the goods to be swapped and other details are available by either direct inquiry to the Forestry Agency or the under-mentioned website.

Direct inquiry:
Timber Use Point Promotion Office, Wood Product Trade Office, 81-3-6744-2496

Feb 27, 2013
Stakeholders Show Strong Interest in Forest Certification in China

href="" target="_blank">The China Forest Certification Council (CFCC) has established a platform to facilitate interaction with and between Chinese stakeholders interested in promoting forest certification.

The CFCC Stakeholder Forum, which was inaugurated recently in Beijing, will meet several times per year to provide information and updates about the continuous development of the China Forest Certification Scheme (CFCS). The Forum is designed as a mechanism to encourage knowledge and information exchange, enhance transparency, foster discussions, and ultimately aims to ensure that forest certification requirements address the unique Chinese conditions and are aligned with local management practices and culture.

The inaugural meeting of the Stakeholder Forum, which was chaired by the Secretary General of CFCC, Ms. Yu Ling, was attended by a wide range of organizations, included NGOs, companies, certification bodies, forest industry associations, researchers as well as government representatives.

CFCC Chairman, Wang Wei, outlined progress, key developments and next steps in the development of the national Chinese forest certification system. Participants welcomed the presentation of two draft standards on Plantation Management and Bamboo Management by Mr. Lu Wenming, who leads the standard setting working group, and offered a number of suggestions and potential improvements, which will be considered by the working group in due course. Technical discussions also focussed on the impact of PEFC International's 2013 Chain of Custody standard on its Chinese equivalent.

In an open exchange, stakeholder representatives shared their views on various issues and brought forward comments and suggestions concerning the future of forest certification in China. In his concluding remarks, Mr. Wang Wei expressed his desire for future CFCC Stakeholder Forum meetings to be conducted in a similar cooperative spirit and for the vitality and enthusiasm that participants have shown to be sustained.

In an open exchange, stakeholder representatives shared their views on various issues and brought forward comments and suggestions concerning the future of forest certification in China. In his concluding remarks, Mr. Wang Wei expressed his desire for future CFCC Stakeholder Forum meetings to be conducted in a similar cooperative spirit and for the vitality and enthusiasm that participants have shown to be sustained.

CFCC joined PEFC International in 2011, and submitted the China Forest Certification Scheme for PEFC endorsement and mutual recognition in 2012. The endorsement process is ongoing.

Participants of the CFCC Stakeholder Forum Meeting included representatives from
• MeadWestvaco China
• Bayer Crop Science China Co.,Ltd
• UPM China
• Stora Enso Guangxi Forestry Co., Ltd
• APP China
• Bureau Veritas China
• Beijing ZhonglinTianhe Forest Certification Center
• Heilongjiang Forestry Industry Group
• Jilin Forestry Industry Group
• Inner Mongolia Forestry Industry Group
• WWF China Office
• The Nature Conservancy (TNC) China Office
• International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) China Office
• China Wildlife Conservation Association
• Team of Green Field Ark, Beijing Green Cross Center of Ecological Cultural Communications
• PEFC China Initiative
• European Forest Institute FLEGT Asia Program
• China Timber & Wood Products Distribution Association
• Anti-counterfeiting Packaging Committee of China Packaging Federation
• Chinese Academy of Forestry
• Beijing Forestry University
• Hebei Agricultural University • Forest Survey and Planning Design Institute, State Forestry Administration
• Division of Certification Management, Science and Technology Development Centre of State Forestry Administration, China
• China Forest Certification Council (CFCC)

Feb 12, 2013
Forests Win with PEFC at 2013 Nordic Ski World Championships

From the 2012 London Summer Olympics to the 2013 Fiemme Nordic Ski World Championships to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics: The sports world is becoming increasingly conscious of its potential contribution to sustainable forest management, with wood-based materials at the 2013 Nordic World Ski Championship originating from PEFC-certified forests.

With Nordic sports taking place in and around forests, the move to promote sustainable forestry is a natural one for the organizers of the 2013 Championships, which will be taking place in Val di Fiemme, the Fiemme Valley, in the Trentino region in Northern Italy. In fact, PEFC-certified forests will provide the backdrop for the 2013 Championship events, making the link between the sports and responsible forestry ever more obvious.

"The Nordic World Ski Championships are an excellent opportunity to inform the public about the benefits of sustainable forestry and highlight the importance of forest certification. Millions of people will be able to see – on TV and live at the events - the beauty of the PEFC-certified spruce forests of Val Di Fiemme, and they will be able to contribute to safeguarding them by looking for the PEFC logo next time they buy wood-based products," said Francesco Dellagiacoma, Vice President of PEFC Italy. "We therefore commend the organizers of the 2013 Nordic World Ski Chamionships in Val di Fiemme for committing to procuring certified, sustainably sourced material, including brochures, posters, stationary, tissue as well as toilet paper.

Fiemme 2013, as the event is coined, will be taking place from 20 February to 3 March at various locations in Val di Fiemme and includes cross country skiing, ski jumping, and Nordic combined. A Memorandum of Understanding signed by the President of the Fiemme 2013 Organising Committee, Peter Degodenz, and the Chairman of PEFC Italy, Pier Luigi Ferrari, further specifies the use of local materials and companies to minimize carbon emissions and in support of the economy of the Trentino region. To this end, PEFC Italy will calculate the CO2 savings made possible thanks to the use of locally-sourced, certified material.

Prominent wooden structures, including sports facilities and the awards stage where athletes will receive their medals are made of wood from local PEFC-certified forests and are in the process of obtaining PEFC Project Chain of custody certification. The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic will follow the examples set by the 2012 London Olympics and the 2013 Nordic World Ski Championships and specify certification for wood-based materials.

Jan 21, 2013
Japanese Translation of EUTR Requirements

PEFC is currently working on a minor revision of the COC standard in order to facilitate PEFC COC holders to meet the EUTR requirements, which will be enforced from coming March. For facilitating Japanese PEFC COC holders and other companies related to this matter to understand the requirements better, PEFC Asia Promotions has prepared a Japanese translation of the document which provides the details of the requirements and available in the UK government webpage.
Please note that the document is an extraction from the UK government (CPET) webpage and should be used only as a referential material and that PEFC Asia Promotions does not take responsibility for the content and the translation. The URL of the relative webpage is the following;

「欧州連合木材規制要求事項」(EUTR Requirements)

Jan 7, 2013
Chinese Forest Management System Open for Public Consultation

“We identified PEFC as our partner of choice for international recognition after careful consideration of available options,” said Wang Wei, CFCC Chairman. “The PEFC standard represents best practice in forest management, is based on the latest scientific findings, and respects national sovereignty. PEFC is unique in considering the needs of the specific forest ecosystems present in a particular country, the legal and administrative frameworks, and the socio-cultural context, which is important for China. ”

“PEFC is the only global forest certification system that verifies the compliance of national forest certification systems with PEFC’s globally recognized Sustainability Benchmarks through independent assessments,” emphasized Mr Wang. “It is this combination of consideration of local circumstances on the one hand and national ownership on the other hand, coupled with rigour in implementation, which makes PEFC attractive to us.”

PEFC rules stipulate that national forest certification systems that want to be recognized by PEFC must comply with its Sustainability Benchmarks, a suite of requirements for a range of issues related to forest certification, from standards development processes and sustainable forest management requirements themselves through to Chain of Custody, logo use and accreditation requirements. Compliance is verified through an independent assessment. The global stakeholder consultation is an important part of the assessment, enabling all interested parties to provide insights and information on the system’s compliance with PEFC requirements.

Stakeholders are encouraged to submit comments using PEFC's Online Consultation Tool by 19 February 2013.

The toolkit is available at PEFC Council's website. (

Dec 27, 2012
Report on PEFC General Secretary’s Visit to Japan

On this trip to Japan, Mr. Gunneberg emphasized and left the following three messages to the Japanese stakeholders;-
1. Japanese stakeholders should be aware that Japan, being one of the world’s largest importers of wood, has a huge potential for playing the key role in the global promotion of sustainable forest management and exercise leadership in this movement.

2. For promoting forest certification in Japan, it is essential that the society’s and consumers’ demand for forest certification should increase based upon the proper knowledge and understanding of the forest values and forest certification. For this purpose PEFC logo must be used more actively and frequently by PEFC-certified companies.

3. There are some cases where only one specific forest certification system is accepted in an organisation’s procurement policy. However, such organisation should be aware that an exclusive policy like that contains a risk of discouraging the orderly global expansion of forest certification as a whole and putting a brake on the further promotion of sustainable forest management and maintain an inclusive policy which accepts all certification systems equally.

Dec 6, 2012
Report from Italy: Mangas with PEFC Logo

PEFC Italy was established in April 2012 in Perugia, which is well known for chocolates, but best known among Japanese as a city where famous soccur player Hidetoshi Nakata used to play.

PEFC Italy’s activities aim to increase the social awareness of forest products with legal and sustainable origin through such certified products and play the role of bridge between sustainable forest management and consumers. As an example of consumer products that are easier for consumers’ understanding, we promote PEFC-certified Non Wood Forest Products (such as Truffles, Honey, Essential oils, beer with forest aroma) in addition to certified wood products. We are promoting wood eye-glasses made with wood coming from PEFC certified Dolomite forests. PEFC also develops promotion activities through many fairs and contests. Among such events, one particularly famous is Lucca Comics &Games where the Japanese culture is very present. Many of the local Mangas are inspired by Japanese Mangas and PEFC certified paper is used.

It is expected that PEFC-certified paper is used for Mangas in Japan, too.

Nov 29, 2012
DELAFORESTA: It’s about the Ham!

A specific type of Mediterranean forest found in the Iberian Peninsula is the dehesa, old forest dominated by holm oaks and cork trees. Dehesa forests resulted from the conversion of forests by human activity over the course of history where instead of representing a negative or exploitative force, man’s influence has played a positive role in the development of the ecosystem. In a well-managed dehes, livestock farming, hunting, cork production and tourism, exist alongside and are compatible with biodiversity conservation, habitat preservation and protection of species.

For many years, Acción Forestal has been acting as a consultant to livestock farmers in southern Spain advising them on how best to care for forests so that they yield top-quality forest products. In 2007, the organization set up a PEFC group forest certification system that includes more than 80 plantations, covering an area of more than 30,000 ha. Under this system private dehesa forests are managed according to PEFC requirements.

“The PEFC certification of d Dehesas has promoted soil conservation and regulation of the water cycle by preventing erosion, maintaining higher environmental humidity, preserving the fauna and flora and using forests as a carbon sink. Taken together these offer high levels of sustainability and stability in ecological and productivity terms,” explained forestry engineer and company manager, Andrés Domínguez, who has more than 20 years’ experience of ecosystem management. Among the several products yielded by a well-managed d Dehesa, the Iberian pig is one of the most sought after. It is coveted for its fine breed, selection and feed which includes nutritious acorns rich in sugar, fibre and protein. These characteristics combine to offer a jamón ibérico which is distinguished not only by its unequalled texture, aroma and taste but also by its beneficial anti-oxidant properties.

Today, there is growing demand among consumers for healthier and natural products typical of the Mediterranean diet, and produced using environmentally friendly practices. This has inspired Acción Forestal to develop a project for the certification and commercialization of non-timber products from certified forests: DELAFORESTA: IBÉRICOS PROCEDENTES DE BOSQUES SOSTENIBLES (Delaforesta: Iberian Products from Sustainable Forests).

One of the first products to achieve certification is the hams made from the Iberian pigs that roam the pastures and oak groves and feed on naturally produced acorns. This is the world’s first certified ham. In the future, Acción Forestal plans to expand the range of certified forest products to offer game meat and honey. “For us, obtaining PEFC chain of custody for Iberian products offers guarantees of better quality environmentally friendly products. It also sets them apart from other similar products making them potentially more attractive to consumers,” comments Segundo Rodríguez, head of forest certification at Acción Foestal.

According to Andrés Dominguez, PEFC Chain of Custody certification offers guarantees about the sustainable management of the dehesas and assurances that forest-based products can be traced throughout the value chain from the forest to the market. “We are leading all processes from selecting of the livestock right up to the final product. We work closely with local Spanish ham specialists who are responsible for processing and curing hams in a cellar.The best way to boost traditional Iberian production and safeguard rural employment is to integrate sustainable forest management with local livestock producers’ interests.” More information about certified hams and other certified non-timber forest products is available on the Acción Forestal website.

The manufacturer of this PEFC-certified ham recommends Japanese consumers to choose and purchase this environmentally-friendly "green" ham.
Please contact PEFC Asia Promotions for more details of this ham.

Nov 7, 2012 (PEFC International News 24/10/2012)
EU Timber Regulation: PEFC to Hit the Mark

The EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), which enters into force in March 2013, prohibits illegally harvested timber from being placed on the EU market. It sets out mandatory procedures for those trading in timber within the EU designed to minimise the risk of illegal timber being sold and applies to both imported and domestically produced timber and is therefore relevant for companies globally. To comply with the requirements, the operator’s (companies that are the first placers of timber on the European market) due diligence approach must comprise three elements inherent to risk management:
• access to information
• risk assessment
• mitigation of the risk identified

Companies seeking to meet these requirements are well advised to opt for PEFC, which currently is the only global forest certification system requiring that 100% of the material in certified products originates from known sources. PEFC certified companies therefore can minimize and mitigate the risk of any components coming from unknown sources.

A comprehensive gap analysis of PEFC’s Chain of Custody standard earlier this year indicated that small yet smart changes are required to align to it with EUTR requirements. The revision work in the multi-stakeholder working group is well advanced, with the revised Chain of Custody standard expected to become available for public consultation in December 2012. Approval of the final standard is scheduled for February 2013.

Companies will be able to benefit from smart changes to the standard, which will ensure that:
1. The PEFC Due Diligence System covers all material flows, certified as well as uncertified, on a mandatory basis.
2. The information requirements the PEFC Due Diligence System cover all information needs of legislative and regulatory processes such as the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), the U.S. Lacy Act and the Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill now in process
3. The PEFC Due Diligence System is an integral part of the PEFC Chain of Custody delivering to the principles and requirements of the EUTR and the legal obligation calling for a systematic approach to due diligence.

“The PEFC system will be well aligned with the EU TR when it enters into force in March 2013,” said Ben Gunneberg, Secretary General at PEFC International. “PEFC Chain of Custody certification is expected to become a preferred mechanism for any company that seeks to be in compliance with EU requirements. In addition, companies benefit from PEFC certification as it provides them with access to the largest supply of certified timber at a time when markets are increasingly requesting sustainability over and above legality.”

Moving towards implementation, the EUTR requirements will be the topic of a European Commission stakeholder meeting for companies that will have to comply with the EU Timber Regulation on the 9th November. The meeting will provide focus on further clarifications, which the Commission is intending to publish at the end of October. PEFC will participate in the meeting.

Download FAQs developed by EFI's EU FLEGT Facility

Importing and Exporting
Due diligence, certification and enforcement of the EUTR

Oct 18, 2012
PEFC’s Robustness Confirmed

The details of this PEFC News are available on the following PEFCAP website "PEFC Statements" page.

Sep 13, 2012
Understanding the Traditional Knowledge and Resources of Indigenous People

Equally important is the potential loss of their traditional forest-related knowledge and practices that have supported the livelihoods and cultures of local and indigenous communities for centuries, while sustaining and enhancing biological diversity in forests and associated agro-ecosystems.

To access and better understand this traditional knowledge and to identify opportunities for forest certification to contribute to indigenous peoples communities, PEFC selected a project by Kadioan for support by the 2011 PEFC Collaboration Fund. Kadioan is a Philippines-based indigenous people’s organization tasked with promoting indigenous resource systems. The Malaysian Timber Certification Council provided additional support to the project.

The project recognized that indigenous communities have limited knowledge of forest certification yet that indigenous peoples are potentially interested in forest certification given the benefits that it provides them with, specifically in terms of rights recognition. This includes criteria concerning free, prior and informed consent, recognition of customary and traditional rights such as outlined in ILO 169 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the protection of sites with recognized historical, cultural or spiritual significance.

The project, which included indigenous communities in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, also raised awareness of group certification as a mechanism best suited for their particular needs. “There is now certainly a better understanding of the linkages between forest certification and the sustainability of indigenous forest management systems, “ said Minnie Degawan from the International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal People of the Tropical Forests (IAITPFT) and member of the PEFC International Board of Directors. “Equally important, it has strengthened collaboration, which is an important enabler for group certification, among indigenous communities, though more work is certainly needed.”

Going forward, KADIOAN intends to continue its activities – notably forums and training workshops – with indigenous communities to promote the value of certification to their livelihoods. KADIOAN will also work to link its activities to the Smallholder Group Certification project which may offer a mechanism for small indigenous forest dwellers to become certified.

Aug 29, 2012
IEA Bioenergy Strategic Study of Certification Systems

The survey specifically investigates the operational experiences of people actively involved with any aspects of bioenergy production systems. IEA Bioenergy, an organization established by the International Energy Agency (IEA), is keen to hear from those engaged in biomass feedstock production, conversion into primary and secondary biofuel and bioenergy products, markets and trade.

Venue : Sokuryo Nenkin Experts familiar with bioenergy based on agriculture, forestry and dedicated energy crops, and governance mechanisms that include binding and voluntary standards, legislation, regulations and certification schemes - such as PEFC - are welcome to share their experiences. The survey places a particular focus on the input of stakeholders on how systems can be improved to be more effective.

The survey is part of a study that aims at monitoring the actual implementation process of sustainability certification of bioenergy, evaluate how stakeholders are affected by certification initiatives, quantify the anticipated impact on worldwide bioenergy trade, assess the level of coordination among schemes, and make recommendations to remove barriers which may depress markets and reduce sustainable trade.

This IEA Bioenergy activity coincides with the forthcoming PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue (14 November 2012, Vienna, Austria), which will explore sustainability issues related to expanding use of forest biomass for energy & other industries, and the application of forest certification. The event ultimately seeks to build stronger relationships and understanding between sectors on sustainable forestry and promote the exchange of knowledge and available tools.

Naturally, PEFC is exploring in how far the activities of both organization on sustainable biomass and certification may benefit from each other, with the IEA Bioenergy Annual Conference and the PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue being organized back to back in Vienna in November 2012.

July 9, 2012
Response from NCSI to PEFC Complaint Requesting Investigation on "Unsustainable Harvesting" by Forestry Tasmania"

Last April, PEFC submitted a complain regarding an assertion of "unsustainable harvesting" by Forestry Tasmania to the relative certification body NCSI.
In response to PEFC's request for an investigation, NCSI submitted a report on the result of the investigation on 29th June 2012.
The report pointed out that the assertion of the unsustainablity found in the Report of the Chairman of the Independent Verification Group was based upon a misuse of some comments made by the writer of the report out of the original context and the writer of the report admitted it in the process o fthe investigation, and concluded that the assertion was incorrect and there was no breach of AFS Standard by Forestry Tasmania.
The response letter from NCSI is available both in English and Japanese. (See below)
Please note that the Appendix A to the report is available only in English.
・English:Response from NCSI to PEFC Complaint on “Unsustainable Harvesting” by Forestry of Tasmania
・English:Appendix A

June 22, 2012 new
Australian consumers give preference to Eco-Labels

These are some of the outcomes of the most recent Living LOHAS survey, an annual general population consumer research programme that has been researching the "green" market in Australia since 2005, surveying over 40,000 Australians.
"LOHAS" stands for "Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability" and describes individuals who seek to integrate healthier, more sustainable product and service options into their lives. Globally, LOHAS accounts for more than 120 million consumers estimated to be worth in excess of US$ 550 billion annually.
The survey results send a clear signal to companies that adding the PEFC label to certified products provides them with competitive advantages over uncertified, non-labelled products: If two products were alike, yet one had an eco-label, almost 80% of Australians would be "strongly" or "somewhat" influenced in their purchasing decision if they were considering environmentally friendly options.

• The survey results were presented at the recent 2012 National Wood Products Forum and Workshop, on the eve of PEFC International's Australian Certification Roadshow, which will be featuring PEFC Secretary General Ben Gunneberg at six events across Australia from 12-21 June 2012
• Sydney, Tuesday 12 June, PEFC Certification Seminar for Pulp, Paper, Packaging & Printers
• Perth, Wednesday 13 June, PEFC Certification Seminar for Architects,Developers, Builders & the Timber Industry
• Adelaide, Thursday 14 June, PEFC Certification Seminar for Architects, Developers, Builders and the Timber Industry
• Hobart, Friday 15 June, PEFC Certification Seminar for Forests and the Timber industry
• Melbourne, Tuesday 19 June, PEFC Certification Seminar for Pulp, Paper, Packaging & Printers
• Sydney,Thursday 21 June, PEFC Certification Seminar for Architects, Developers, Builders & the Timber Industry

May 23, 2012
PEFC Calls on FSC to Focus on Sustainable Forest Management!

PEFC Council calls on FSC to focus on sustainable forest management, rather than continuing argues about minutia based upon misunderstanding, and work together for addressing the twin problem of poverty and deforestation through promoting sustainable forest management into the world.
The details of this call is available below in both English and Japanese.
- English
- Japanese

May 7, 2012
SFI Open Letter - Top Ten Reasons Why USGBC Should Recognise All Credible Forest Certification Standards

North America's PEFC-endorsed forest certification Standard,SFI, encourages all stakeholders to participate in the public comments which is currently undergoing with regard to the revision of USGBC's LEED credits for requesting LEED to recognise all forest certification schemes such as SFI and ATFS.
The SFI statement is available on "PEFC Statements" page of this website.

April 16, 2012
Leading European Paper Diostributor Takes Stock of Certification and PEFC

The Antalis Group is the European leader and fourth largest distributer of paper, printing supplies and packaging in the world. The company's Director of Marketing and Sustainable Development at Antalis France takes stock of PEFC certification based upon his experience during the past 4 years.
The report of this story is available on "PEFC Case Stories" Page of this webpage.

April 11, 2012
PEFC Files Complaint Based on Report of the Independent Verification Group of the TFIA

PEFC notes with concern assertions made in the Report of the Chairman of the Independent Verification Group of the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement (TFIA) concerning unsustainable harvesting yields carried out in the forestry holdings of Forestry Tasmania.(3 Apr 2012)
A claim of unsustainable harvesting is a serious matter and requires urgent investigation concerning potential non-compliances with the requirements set out by the PEFC-endorsed Australian Forestry Standard (AFS).

The PEFC complaint letter is avaialable both in English and Japanese. (below)

- PEFC Complaint Letter(English)
- PEFC Complaint (Japanese)

Upon receipt of the result of the research, PEFC will publisize it in its website.

April 4, 2012
Fashion Retailer Zara's New Store Furnished with PEFC Certified Wood

Earlier this month, global fashion brand Zara inaugurated its most sustainable shopping outlet to date in New York City.
Located on Manhattan's iconic 5th Avenue, the new shop spans more than 32,000 square feet, spread over three floors. As part of the company's long-term commitment to sustainability, the store includes a wide range of eco-friendly fixtures and fittings
All the wood fixtures and fittings – panels, changing room walls, shelves – used in the new shop are made from PEFC-certified wood ensuring that it comes from sustainably-managed forests. Its paper-based shopping bags also bear the PEFC seal while its plastic bags are biodegradable. The shop's brochures and catalogues will also be printed on certified paper
Other 'green' features of the shop include motion detectors in the store room which dim the lights by up to 80% when no-one is present; similar detectors are also installed in the toilets and corridors, leading to important savings in energy. Similarly, the shop's lighting will dim to 66% of its capacity outside of trading hours and during deliveries ensuring further savings. In addition to these features, the shop is equipped with efficient heating and air-conditioning systems and includes special thermostats to prevent energy spikes at times of heavy demand. Electronically-regulated curtains at the shop's entrances will prevent influxes of cold or hot air from outside, depending on the season.
As a result of all these measures, it is predicted that the shop will consume 30% less energy per annum than a conventional shop, use 70% less water and prevent atmospheric emissions Zara is part of the Inditex Group of retailers that has developed a long-term strategy for sustainable development that includes measures for reducing energy consumption both in its products and in its retail outlets. In addition, as part of this strategy, the Group will seek to encourage environmental awareness and promote reuse and recycling of its paper and packaging. The design and outfitting of the new Zara retail outlet dovetails with the measures set out in the Inditex Group's Corporate Social Responsibility Strategic Environmental Plan for the 2011-2015 period.

Mar 14, 2012
From Rio to Aichi to Rio:10 Principles to Maximize Benefits of Forest Certification

Based upon the recognition of the slowed pace of growth of forest certification, PEFC calls for collaborations among those who represent different interests for further development of forest certification in its statement included in PEFC Newsletter of January 2012.
PEFC emphasises on the importance of the balance among the three pillars of sustainability (environmental, social, economic), instead of focusing primarily on one pillar.
For viewing this document, please access to "PEFC Statement" page of this website.

Mar 7, 2012
PEFC Submits Complaint For Requesting Investigation on COC Certification Issued in Indonesia

For clarifying the concerns of the stakeholders, PEFC Council submitted an official complaint against the relevant certification body SGS, based on recent Greenpeace’s allegation about the presence of logs from Ramin trees in APP’s PT Indah Kiat Pulp and Paper mill in order to request an investigation. The result of the investigation will be publicized once it has become available. The PEFC complaint is available below;

- PEFC Complaint (English)
- PEFC Complaint (Japanese)

Mar 5, 2012
The Future’s Looking Greener in Ireland

PEFC International is pleased to announce the endorsement of the Ireland Scheme for Sustainable Forest Management, which has become the first Irish forest certification system to gain global recognition.
“Irish stakeholders have for years been engaged in the development of requirements and criteria for responsible forestry, yet it has been difficult to find consensus between the different interests,” explain William Merivale, Secretary General of PEFC Ireland. “This is why we are so proud to have been able to successfully establish a national standard, drafted in a multi-stakeholder, participatory process
National forest certification systems that have developed standards in line with PEFC requirements can apply for endorsement by PEFC International. To achieve endorsement, they need to meet PEFC's Sustainability Benchmarks, which are based on broad societal consensus expressed in international, intergovernmental, multi-stakeholder processes and guidelines. Compliance is confirmed through third-party assessment of national requirements with the international benchmarks, with a global public consultation seeking input from stakeholders worldwide.

The endorsement of the PEFC Irish standard coincides with private Irish forestry coming of age. Over the past 25 years 240,000 hectares of private woodland in the country has been established, and this considerable area of forest, planted in the 1980s and 1990s, is now reaching prime harvesting age. This will provide a huge increase in the private sector’s timber supply. With this potential increase in supply, the major panel and sawmills have expressed the view that private forest owners need to become certified as quickly as possible, and indicated that they were taking steps towards applying for PEFC certification.
“With more and more companies and public sector organizations requiring certification as evidence for sustainable sourcing, gaining international recognition through PEFC is a much needed development in support of the Irish forest sector,” emphasized Mr. Merivale.

Feb 27, 2012
Spanish Electricity Market Benefits from PEFC-Certified Biomass

Electricity consumers in Spain are shortly to take advantage of renewable energy produced from PEFC-certified biomass. Valoriza Energía has recently obtained PEFC Chain of Custody certification for three of its plants in Andalusia with a combined capacity of 33.8 megawatts, sufficient to provide electricity to an equivalent of more than 23,000 households per year.

For viewing the full text of the statement, please refer to the document below.
Valoriza Energía, which is part of the Sacyr Vallehermoso Group, is committed to utilizing forest biomass in a responsible manner and obtained PEFC certification to demonstrate the sustainability of the high volume of biomass it procures.

"We have noticed that energy companies are becoming increasingly interested in ensuring that the biomass they are using is PEFC-certified," said Michael Berger, Head of Technical Unit, PEFC International. "This is an important development: For forest biomass to be renewable, it must originate form forests that are managed sustainably."

Forest biomass in electricity production decreases carbon emissions because the carbon in biomass is regarded as part of the natural carbon cycle: trees take in carbon dioxide from he atmosphere and convert it into biomass and released it back into the atmosphere when they decompose naturally or are burned for biomass production.
"PEFC certification ensures that the forests from which the biomass originates are managed in a responsible manner, maintaining their capacity to deliver environmental, social and economic benefits, " Mr. Berger emphasized.

Feb 10, 2012
PEFC Expresses Expectation for China at Asia Pacific Forestry Week (Nov. 2011:Beijing)

Dato'Dr. Freezailah, Chairman of the Malaysian forest certification scheme, MTCC, gave a presentation representing PEFC at Asia Pacific Forestry Week held last November in Beijing and expresesed PEFC's expectation for the potential important role that China could play for developing new approaches for sustainable forest management based upon its over 5,000 years' hstory and culture.

For viewing the full text of the statement, please refer to the document below.
-PEFC Statement

Feb 8, 2012
PEFC to Ensure Alignment with EU Timber Regulation

PEFC’s International Chain of Custody standard will ensure that PEFC-certified companies meet the requirements of the forthcoming EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), which will enter into force in March 2013.
he EUTR will make it illegal to place illegally harvested timber and timber products on the EU market. The legislation will require that due diligence is applied to all timber first placed on the EU market and also that traders, further down the supply chain, keep track of who timber or timber products were bought from, and where applicable, who they were sold to. The regulation will apply to everyone trading timber and timber products in the EU, including paper, furniture, wood fuel etc., therefore affecting thousands of companies of any size producing timber domestically or importing it from outside the EU.
The PEFC Board of Directors decided to revise the PEFC International Chain of Custody Standard to ensure that all certified companies meet the EU TR requirements. In close coordination with the EU Commission, PEFC has performed a gap analysis as input for the Chain of Custody working group on the 1st February 2012.

“PEFC-certified companies can be confident that the EUTR requirements will be covered through their Chain of Custody certification,” said Michael Berger, Head of Technical Unit at PEFC International. “PEFC certification may also be the most straightforward option for currently uncertified companies to meet the EUTR requirements.”

Jan 14, 2012
PEFC-Certified Forests Growing in Poland

PEFC Poland proudly announced that by the end of 2011 the total area of PEFC-certified forests reached 4 million HAs and this figure will grow more in 2012.

Jan 10, 2012
PEFC International Supports Recent AFS Statement (Japanese Version)

PEFC International released PEFC Statement dated 23rd December 2011 to express its support to the statement issued by the Australian Forestry Standard (AFS) on 22nd December 2011.
The AFS statement introduced the standard’s requirements which are related to the protection of forest biodiversity values. Referring to the claim recently made by a local NGO in relation to this subject, the statement pointed out that much of such claim is based upon misunderstanding and presented the definition of AFS’s concept of Significant Bio-diversity Values and Old Growth Forests such as the following;
1. There is no common clear definition of “High Conservation Value” or “Primeval Forests”, therefore these words are not used in AFS which is a national standard. However, the concept which is likely represented by such words are recognised and protection of such concepts are included in the standard.
2. AFS adopts its own concept of Significant Bio-diversity Values (SBDV) with regard to the protection of forest biodiversity.
3. There is a specific definition of “Old Growth Forests” adopted in the standard. This allows an agreed national interpretation of Old Growth Forest, which is not equivalent to “primeval forests”.

For Japanese translation of these document, please refer to the document below.

-AFS Statement
-PEFC Statement

Kindly note that the Japanese translations of these documents are for a referential use only and not the formal documents.

Sep 26, 2011
The Sweet Taste of Italian Beer

Although better known for its wines, Italy is also home to many small artisanal breweries producing high quality beers. One of these, the Foglie d'Erba brewery in Forni, Friuli Dolomites, has chosen to use only PEFC-certified raw materials and fair trade spices in its beers as part of efforts to combine quality and taste with environmental protection and human rights.
Situated on the border between Friuli and Alto Adige in the Dolomites, the Foglie d'Erba brewery is a small artisanal operation producing high quality, home brewed beers. It has an annual production of about 6,000 bottles of four different beers: What sets these beers apart from others is that all are made from ingredients sourced from the Friulian Dolomites Natural Park and its certified forests.
The owner of the Foglie d'Erba brewery, Gino Perissutti notes, "The products we use are strictly sourced locally. With this beer, I want to demonstrate that quality products, environmental protection and social awareness can go hand-in-hand." It is this which motivated the beer producer to use only resins and pine needles from two PEFC-certified forests. The certification provides assurances that the forests are sustainably managed.
"In my industry, this choice alone has no immediate commercial impact. But it creates curiosity among customers, and increases their desire to taste the product and to assess its quality. While we still need to explain the unique ingredients and philosophy of our beer, it helps people understand that it is possible to make good use of the land and resources that nature has given us," Mr. Perissutti explains.
In addition to taking on-board environmental concerns, the brewer has also considerate of social issues: the sugar and spices used in the beers come from fair trade sources. This has earned the brewery a special mention in the recently published 2011 Slow Food guide dedicated to the best Italian artisanal beers where its beers were singled out as products that "get closest to the concepts of good, clean and right". And it was awarded "Best Anglo-American origin hoppy beers" in early 2011. construction_and_building_materials

June 16, 2011
Netherlands Rejects Complaint by NGOs, Confirms Positive Judgement of PEFC

The Dutch Timber Procurement Assessment Committee (TPAC) confirmed yesterday that PEFC International complies with the Dutch Public Procurement Criteria for Timber. The Committee rejected a complaint filed by five Dutch non-governmental organizations as unsubstantiated and concluded that there are “no grounds for revising its final judgement on PEFC International” and reconfirmed that “PEFC International provides the guarantee that national systems comply with the TPAS criteria.”

TPAC was set up by in 2007 to assess certification systems for sustainable forest management against the Dutch Procurement Criteria for Timber within the context of the Dutch Public Procurement Policy. It assessed PEFC as conforming to the Dutch Procurement Criteria for the Dutch market in 2010. Out of eighteen principles, PEFC achieved a score of 2 (the highest score) for fifteen principles and a score of 1 for three principles.

Five Dutch civil society organisations filed a complaint against this judgement, WWF Netherlands (Wereld Natuur Fonds), Greenpeace (Stichting Greenpeace), Netherlands Centre for Indigenous Peoples, NCIV (Stichting Nederlands Centrum voor Inheemse Volken), the Dutch Interchurch Organisation for Development Cooperation (ICCO), and Friends of the Earth Netherlands (Vereniging Milieudefensie).

TPAC writes that “it has thoroughly assessed PEFC International […]. Based on this thorough assessment, TPAC concludes that indeed PEFC International provides the guarantee that national systems comply with the TPAS criteria.”

The response to the complaint also highlights that certification systems cannot be held responsible for issues beyond their control. TPAC responds to the complaint that PEFC decision making bodies do not comprise certain interested groups that “interested groups often voluntarily choose not to participate in the PEFC decision making bodies in spite of being invited. This may also be caused by the fact that FSC International does not allow its Board members to also participate in the decision making bodies of another certification system.”

While TPAC did not comprehensively assess the revised PEFC standards, the Committee noted that they represents a further strengthening of the PEFC requirements especially concerning two of three principles for which PEFC did not score full points, the rights of indigenous peoples (TPAS Principle 2) and the protection of biodiversity (TPAS Principle 4).

Both parties are entitled to lodge a complaint against the decision within six weeks.

April 25, 2011
PEFC Chairman's Message on PEFC Rio Declaration

PEFC Council Chairman Mr. Bill Street encouraged stakeholders' particiaption in promotion of global dialogue on sustainable forest management, and published the following message.

Almost 20 years ago, the world's governments failed to protect our forests. Their failure has been our challenge, and millions of people around the world have been working harder to save the world's green lung.
The Rio Forest Certification Declaration is based on the idea that a common set of principles is needed, a set of principles that provides guidance to all of us about what is needed to better promote forest certification and its continuous growth to advance sustainable forest management.
Much like forests, ideas sometimes take a long time to grow. Over time, they become more complex and diverse and eventually reach maturity. The sustainable management of the world’s forests is one of these ideas.

The Idea of ‘Sustainability’

The idea of sustainable forest management is based on the concept of ‘sustainable development’ and rests on three integrated and equally important pillars: environmental soundness, social justice, and economic viability.
We know now that missing out or not paying sufficient attention to any one of these crucial elements will seriously undermine the chances of success of achieving sustainability in forest management just as in development.
The concept of ‘sustainable development’ and the interrelationship of its three pillars was originally popularized in the 1987 Brundtland report, yet it was at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 where the idea finally took hold.

Spreading the Word

The message coming out of the Rio Earth Summit — that nothing less than a transformation of our attitudes and behaviour would bring about the necessary changes — was heard by millions around the world. The message reflected the complexity of the problems facing us, and governments recognized the need to redirect international and national plans and policies to ensure that all economic decisions fully took into account environmental and social impacts.

The Summit’s Outcomes

The Summit resulted in a total of five documents that have fundamentally influenced the way our global society views sustainable development.
The overarching document, the Rio Declaration, defines the rights of people to development, and their responsibilities to safeguard the common environment.
The Agenda 21 has become a blueprint for action by all types of organizations and initiatives globally, nationally, and locally. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have become legally binding documents.

The Birth of Forest Certification

The fifth document, the Forest Principles, is the least known one, yet with its preamble stating that «Forests are essential to economic development and the maintenance of all forms of life», its relevance to the overall concept of sustainable development appears self-evident. Governments, however, could not agree on a globally enforceable framework for sustainable forestry.
The challenges facing the world’s forests, and the inability of governments to act, resulted in the birth of the idea of forest certification. This voluntary mechanism provided forest owners with a framework to implement the spirit of the Forest Principles, with guidance of how to manage forests sustainably, and with the opportunity to demonstrate and validate their responsibly practices through independent certification.
Over time, forest certification has become one of the most important tools for global society to promote sustainable forest management. Yet the movement has stalled: Only nine percent of the world’s forests are certified, and the United Nations have warned that the once-rapid growth of forest-certification efforts has stagnated during the past years.

Rio Forest Certification Declaration

The Rio Forest Certification Declaration, launched in 2010 in Rio, is based on the idea that a common set of principles is needed, a set of principles that provides guidance
It recognizes in its preamble that "The challenge of safeguarding the environmental, social and economic benefits that the world’ s forests provide is critical for life on Earth. It requires a world in which people manage forests sustainably, a world that recognizes the integral and interdependent nature of our planet, a world that acknowledges and values the significance of rural communities, indigenous peoples, and families that depend on forests for their livelihoods" and states ten principles as a common framework to maximize the benefits that forest certification can offer to society.
The Rio Forest Certification Declaration picks up on ideas that have previously emerged in other documents, including the 1992 Rio Declaration, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Agenda 21, the UN Charter, and the Forest Principles, to establish a framework that all stakeholders should be able to support.

Join the Movement

It is supported by amongst others the PEFC, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, the world’s largest forest certification organization and the certification system of choice for small- and family forest owners.
I invite all of you - as individuals or as representative of civil society, business, or governments, to support the Rio Forest Certification Declaration with your signature. The Rio Forest Certification Declaration will be presented with all signatures at the 2012 Rio Earth Summit. to all of us about what is needed to better promote forest certification and its continuous growth to advance sustainable forest management.

Bill Street, PEFC Chairman

November, 2009
PEFC Comment on FSC's Comparison Between FSC Control Wood and PEFC

PEFC Council criticized the recent FSC's comparative analysis of PEFC criteria against FSC Control Wood criteria. PEFC Council Secretary General, Ben Gunneberg said, "There are differences in approaches by the world's leading forest certification organizations, but this should not distract from their core missions, the promotion of responsible forestry."
For viewing PEFC's comment, please go to
PEFC Council website.

The Japanese translation of this document PDF is available at our Japanese page.

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