May 19, 2015
Japanese Forest Certification Scheme Open for Public Consultation
Japan’s Sustainable Green Ecosystem Council (SGEC) has applied for the endorsement and mutual recognition of the Japanese Forest Certification System by PEFC. Stakeholders globally are invited to provide feedback on its compliance with PEFC International’s Sustainability Benchmarks by 13 July 2015.
SGEC, which joined PEFC only in November 2014, is the largest forest certification system in Japan. Established in 2003, SGEC focusses on promoting sustainable forest management and forest certification especially among the 2.5 million small- and family owners who own at least 0.1 hectares of forests. While the average forest holding is 2.7 hectares, some 1.5 million forest owners own less than 1 hectare of – often fragmented – forests.
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 on the SGEC Certification Scheme using PEFC's Online Consultation Tool by 13 July 2015
＜Public Consultation Summary＞
Consultation Name：International Public Consultatiopn on SGEC
Description：All interested parties are invited to submit comments on the Japanese SGEC Certification Scheme by 13 July 2015. The SGEC Certification Scheme's documentation was submitted to PEFC International by the Sustainable Green Ecosystem Council (SGEC), the PEFC National Governing Body in Japan, for assessment against the PEFC sustainability benchmarks for national forest certification systems. After a tendering process PEFC International will appoint one of the PEFC Registered Assessors for the assessment, which is expected to be started in June 2015. Part of this assessment is the consideration of all comments on the SGEC Certification Scheme submitted by stakeholders during this international stakeholder consultation
Dates：From 12 May 2015 at 00:00 to 13 Jul 2015 at 23:59.<br>
World Trade Centre 1
10 route de L'Aeroport
Tel: +41 (0)22 799 45 40
Fax: +41 (0)22 799 45 50
Participation in the Consultation
May 11, 2015
Help Green Foundation Nepal Deliver Community Relief (PEFC News dated 30th April)
"Our small team of Green Foundation Nepal, the Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN) and Association of Family Forestry Owners Nepal (AFFON) went to the Shankhu, northern part of the Kathmandu City this week. There was massive damage of the earthquake. Thousands of houses are completely damaged, hundreds of peoples are still missing, thousands are homeless and taking shelter in open spaces below the sky, school and public building.
Nearly hundred dead body found in this area only. Search and rescue is going on. Nobody knows how many days will take the search and rescue. There is rain fall going on. No electricity and no basic needs such as tent, drinking water, food, health care etc. The situation is so terrible.
The people we spoke to during our visit are desperate for tents (Tripal), blankets and food. This is the immediate necessity of these peoples. We provided some dry food and fruit in one camp but this is not sufficient. In this area only, they need nearly one thousand tents. If we receive about USD 25000, we can distribute more than 1000 tents and blanket immediately. This is really heart beating situation."
These words are from Ghan Shyam Pandey, Chairperson of Green Foundation Nepal/Advisor to FECOFUN/Coordinator for Global Alliance for Community Forests. PEFC International wants to support the important relief efforts of our NGO partners in Nepal and have set up this site on their behalf. We will transfer all funds received to Green Foundation Nepal so that they can procure the tents and other urgent supplies.
Green Foundation Nepal, FECOFUN and AFFON are non-governmental organizations dedicated to supporting local communities to achieve well-being and prosperity through policy advocacy, capacity building and sustainable management of forest resources. While providing humanitarian relief is not their usual function, they have no choice but to do all they can to help the affected people.
Update 5 May 2015: Additional locally based organizations have joined the efforts and jointly established the ‘Green Relief and Rehabilitation Fund for the Earthquake Victims 2015’ - consisting of well-established non-profit organizations working in Nepal. The organizations are: Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN), Himalayan Grassroots Women's Network (HIMWANTI) Nepal, Global Alliance on Community Forestry (GACF), Community Based Forestry Supporter's Network (COFSUN), NRCTC, Association of Family and Farm Forestry Network (AFFON), Rastriya Dalit Network (RDN) , Forest Action Nepal, Nepal Permaculture group, and Green Foundation Nepal along with help from RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests.
With the help of the contributions received so far, these organizations have managed to distribute 1000 tents and get food supplies (rice, pulses, etc.) to people in areas severely impacted from the earthquake, including Sankhu, Thankot, Kavre, Dolakha and Sindhupalchowk.
＜How to donate＞
You can either pay online with PayPal or credit/debit card by clicking on the following link: http://www.youcaring.com/emergency-fundraiser/help-green-foundation-nepal-deliver-community-relief/346610
Alternatively directly send deposits to the accounts below.
Following your donation to these accounts, please scan and email a copy of your transfer slip, along with your name and address, to Ganesh Karki, email@example.com, Bhola Khatiwada, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Ghanashyam Pandey, email@example.com so that they can send you a receipt.
Gamesh Karki: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, contact:
• Ghanashyam Pandey, Coordinator, GACF, email@example.com, +977 9851002110
• Bishnu Hari Poudyal, Country Programme Coordinator, RECOFTC Nepal, Bishnu.firstname.lastname@example.org, +977 9851179242
• Caroline Liou, Communication Manager, RECOFTC headquarters, Bangkok, email@example.com, tel +66 86 067 3228
Apr 30, 2015
PEFC in the Spotlight in South America
Current and future opportunities for PEFC in South America to expand forest certification and the uptake of PEFC-certified products was the focus of PEFC Regional Conference held on 21 April at Montevideo in Uruguay. This conference with the tile “Forest Certification: Current Situation and Prospects”
updated participants with the present status of PEFC in South America, setting the stage for a discussion about current and future market opportunities for PEFC-certified products.
The conversation explored how the various stakeholders can best contribute towards increased demand and visibility of PEFC, also in light of fact that consumers demand certification – the recent PEFC/GfK Global Consumer Survey found that more than 80% of consumers globally want companies sourcing certified material from sustainable managed forests to use certification labels
Furthermore, representatives from national PEFC members in South America – CERFOAR (Argentina), CERFLOR (Brazil), CERTFOR (Chile) and PEFC Uruguay – will share their experiences of developing and running PEFC certification systems with practitioners from across the continent.
“Our goal is to bring more forests under sustainable forest management, and with this first regional gathering we aim to enable internal and external stakeholders to join forces to better reach out to everybody along the timber value chain: from forest owners to companies to consumers,” said Atilio Ligrone, National Secretary of PEFC Uruguay and the Manager of the Society of Forest Producers. “For our country, and in particular PEFC Uruguay, it is an honor to host this first regional meeting.”
The conference is part of a larger, four-day PEFC Regional Workshop bringing together the South American-based PEFC organizations, external stakeholders and countries interested in developing their own national forest certification system, such as Guatemala. By coming together in this way, current and potential South American PEFC members are looking to further their level of collaboration and cooperation, enabling the development of a much strong presence of PEFC on the continent.
Apr 17, 2015
PEFC Introduced by Radio
PEFC was introduced in Rainbow Town FM radio program titled "Cristal Rainbow Shower" on 8th April 2015.
Usually this talk show covers stories related to Austria's Vienna Culture. But, PEFC was specially featured on this day.
Though this is radio program, you can see the studio scene by You Tube
The process to develop India’s forest certification system was launched at the “Int’l Conference on Forest Certification– Positioning India”,
co-hosted by NCCF and PEFC International. The conference brought together business, government and civil society stakeholders to discuss the status of forests in India and to learn from international experts about the benefits of functioning national forest certification systems in other countries.
Chairman of NCCF, KK Singh stated, ”With forestry in India being at a critical crossroad, the decision to develop our own forest certification system will be an important driver to pro- mote sustainable management of our forest resources. While India is among the world’s most forested countries, we also have a growing demand for wood products, and unsustainable use of forests such as wood fuel, is a significant challenge. Forest certification will help us not only in mainstreaming sustainability in forest management, but in raising awareness with companies and consumers about the importance of sourcing and buying responsibly sourced wood products.”
The organizations which support this initiative are ITC, EPCH and 5 others, State Forest Dept also supported for the development of an Indian national system and Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Govt. of India.
Sarah Price, Head of Projects and Development of PEFC International mentioned, “We appreciate the commitment by government officials, industry stakeholders, civil society representatives and forest owners and managers to collaborate on moving this process forward, and we strongly believe that a future PEFC-endorsed Indian forest certification system will have a positive impact on forest management far beyond India, given the country’s strategic position in international markets.
On 27th March SGEC, Japan’s unique forest certification system, which became a formal PEFC member scheme last August, submitted an application for
PEFC Endorsement to its newly revised standards.The completion of this PEFC-certified house is calling much attention from the relevant industries as pioneer of such moves.
The new standards and rules which comply with those of PEFC will be effective from 1st April 2015 and certification under ISO-based new procedures will start accordingly.
Once the application for the endorsement is accepted by PEFC Secretariat, the conformity of SGEC’s standards and rules to the PEFC requirements will be assessed by a consultant chosen by bidding in accordance with the relevant PEFC rule.
When the conformity is confirmed by the assessment and agreed by the PEFC members, a status of PEFC-endorsed scheme will be granted to SGEC, which will enable SGEC-certified products/materials to make PEFC claim thereon.
For more details, please contact PEFCAP or SGEC secretariat.
According to on-line news article reported last August by Malaysian media, Borneo Post, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Resource Planning and Environment, Datu Sudarno Osman, called for a collaboration at a seminar titled “Forest Management Certification (Natural Forests) in Sarawaku and Wat Forward”, among local major forestry operaters including Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation in order to achieve the goal of acquiring forest management certification by 2017 for improving the reputation of Sarawak
in the international community.
Among the proposed certification schemes were PEFC, MTCC and FSC, which welcomed this initiative as an effective motivation for the local forestry to promote forest certification within Sarawak where certification had not been much advanced so far.
PEFC welcomes this initiative as a drive for promoting sustainable forest management in Sarawak where certification has not necessarily expanded much.
In January this year, the wooden residence of Mr. Yamakawa, who is an employee of PEFC-certified company, Haga Lumber Co., Ltd., was completed as the first PEFC-certified house in Japan. The house is of the width of 187M2 for two households and located in Chuo-ku, Sapporo City, Hokkaido.
Recently the benefits of wood as construction material is being re-recognized and the preference for use of wood for public constrictions and buildings is increasing, especially toward 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The completion of this PEFC-certified house is calling much attention from the relevant industries as pioneer of such moves.
PEFC Asia Promotions has completed the translation of PEFC-COC User's Guide PEFC GD 2001:2014 into Japanese.
The Japanese version of this guide is available by clicking on the under-mentioned document name or accessing to the "Technical Documents" page of this website.
This document provides explanations, clearance and interpretation of the requirements included in the PEFC COC Standard PEFC ST 2002:2013, which especially features DDS which is the mechanism applied for avoiding the use of materials from contrversional sources.
PEFC GD 2001:2014 PEFC COC User's Guide Japanese Version
PEFC International is extremely pleased to welcome New Zealand as the newest member of the PEFC alliance. With the acceptance of the New Zealand Forest Certification Association (NZFCA)
as the PEFC National Member for New Zealand, the country’s forest growers gain visibility in the world’s leading forest certification system.
“We are delighted to be accepted into membership of PEFC and to represent PEFC in New Zealand,” says Dr Andrew McEwen, chair of NZFCA.
“We are pleased for New Zealand to join PEFC, and its commitment to support sustainable forest management,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International. “We appreciate the tremendous efforts of stakeholders in New Zealand in establishing NZFCA, and we are looking forward to a long and fruitful collaboration advancing responsible forestry and trade in forest products.”
Many of the countries that purchase New Zealand forest products (or compete with New Zealand exports) are already PEFC members, including China, Japan, Indonesia, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Russia, and the USA. Other major markets such as India are also looking at joining.
“It makes sense for New Zealand forest growers to be in a position to supply PEFC certified forest products to all these markets,” says Dr McEwen.
NZFCA hopes to have a PEFC endorsed certification system based on the New Zealand Standard for Sustainable Forest Management (NZS AS 4708:2014) in place later this year. The New Zealand Standard is an adoption of the Australian Forestry Standard (AS 4708:2013) which is the basis for the PEFC endorsed Australian Forest Certification system. NZFCA is working closely with Australian Forestry Standard Ltd. (AFS), in order to benefit from the close relationships between the two countries with many forest owners, managers and processors operating in both.
“We acknowledge the assistance we have had from Australian Forestry Standard Ltd., financial assistance from the Wood Council of New Zealand who initiated the project, support from Standards New Zealand, financial assistance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the support of PEFC,” said Dr McEwen. “Without their support we could not have so much progress in such a short time.”
An increasing number of companies in New Zealand are taking on PEFC Chain of Custody certification, enabling them to manufacture and trade PEFC-certified products and utilize the PEFC label, which has been found to be the most trusted forest certification label globally. Until now, this only has only been possible with imported material. Endorsement by PEFC of a New Zealand forest management certification system will allow New Zealand forest owners to obtain certification for their responsible management practices and allow processors and others along the forest products supply chain will be able to procure PEFC-certified material from local, sustainable managed sources.
“This will be beneficial for all those along the forest products value chain, from forest growers to manufacturers and exporters as it opens up opportunities for new markets for forest products produced from New Zealand forests,” said Dr McEwen.
After IOC ‘s selection of Tokyo as the host city for 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2013, PEFCAP, jointly together with other forest certification systems such as SGEC,
has developed an appeal for use of certified wood and paper for 2020 Tokyo Games to various relevant decision making organisations (under-mentioned), referring to 2012 London Games as the model case of this great environmental achievement.
- Forestry Agency of Japan
- The Cabinet Office
- Agricultural and Forestry Committee of Liberal Democratic Party
- Olympic/Paralympic Preparation Bureau of Tokyo Metropolitan Government
The responses from these organisations to our appeal were positive in general. The trend of environmentally-friendly Olympic Games is likely inherited by 2016 Rio Games and the use of certified materials has become a “legacy”
Admitting that the responses from the relevant organisations were good in general, there are many challenges that must be overcome for achieving 100% use of certified materials, such as expansion of the domestic certified forests and increase of COC certificates among suppliers of relevant materials. A strong backup from the whole society is critically important for moving it forward and we are committed to continue the appeal to the society in general.
Cooperation from all stakeholders is much appreciated.
Government officials, forestry experts and certification bodies in Vietnam had the very first opportunity to see PEFC’s brand new Vietnamese version of the System Development Toolkit,
following its launch today. On the occasion of PEFC CEO Ben Gunneberg’s trip to Vietnam, this new language version of the toolkit was officially launched during the Forestry Certification Workshop 2014, held in Hanoi and organized jointly by the Vietnamese Academy of Forest Sciences and PEFC international
The event gave government officials and other stakeholders the opportunity to learn first-hand the advantages of bottom-up, nationally controlled forest certification systems with presentations given by representatives of both Malaysia and China.
“Malaysian stakeholders chose PEFC as it ensured international accountability and access to global markets for certified wood, whilst at the same time ensuring the sovereignty of a national system owned and managed by local stakeholders - an option only available through PEFC,” explained Sabrina Wu, PR and Marketing Manager at MTCC (Malaysian Timber Certification Council).
Professor Wenming Lu, Deputy Secretary General for CFCC (China Forest Certification Council), emphasized the importance of independent national systems and encouraged the Vietnamese, who have recently developed a national standard, to now develop the supporting delivery systems. These systems could be supplied by the Vietnamese accreditation body, part of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), which would enable Vietnamese certification bodies and auditors to deliver world quality certification at competitive prices, making certification more affordable to more land managers than is currently the case without a national system.
The PEFC event was oversubscribed and a further event is planned in Ho Chi Minh City, tomorrow Tuesday 9 December.
PEFCAP Newsletter Vol33 Features "Promotion of Forest Certification System for the Future in Japan Forum" held last October
PEFCAP Newsletter Vol33 has been issued featuring the captioned forum.
For viewing the newsletter, please click "Forum" button below.
Indonesian forests, home to some of the most biologically diverse forests in the world, can now benefit from credible, globally recognized sustainable forest management certification following the endorsement of the Indonesian Forestry Certification Co-operation (IFCC) by PEFC,
the world’s leading forest certification system.
“This endorsement signifies a turning point for Indonesia, a country which is still struggling with combating high deforestation rates,” said Ben Gunneberg, Secretary General of PEFC International. “Forest certification represents an important mechanism to verify and promote sustainable forest management, thus safeguarding the environmental, social and economic benefits that forests provide. This is especially important in a country like Indonesia given the significance of its forest resources both in terms of protecting its invaluable biodiversity and its contribution to the livelihoods of the millions of people that depend on forest resources to make a living.”
With more than 50% of Indonesia’s land area forested, the country’s rainforest is the third-largest in the world. It is considered one of the five most species-rich countries globally, home to about ten percent of all known species of plants, mammals and birds. It is estimated that 80 million Indonesians rely on forests for their livelihood. Responsible management of the country’s forest resources are also important from an economic point of view: Smallholders and industrial forestry operators, along with pulp and paper producers, depend on forests, and contribute approximately US$21 billion to the economy — around 3.5 percent of Indonesia’s GDP. More than 4 million people are employed by this industry.
“PEFC forest certification enables people to choose good wood, wood that comes from forests that have been independently verified as sustainably managed. We encourage companies and consumers alike to opt for PEFC-certified products to support forest owners in Indonesia that manage their forests sustainably,” emphasized Ben Gunneberg.
“Finding the right balance that protects forests and the people who depend on them is critical to achieving long term sustainability. We have benefitted from the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders in the development of our national forest certification system towards this ambitious goal, and the endorsement by PEFC confirms that we are in alignment with globally recognized Sustainability Benchmarks,” said Dradjad H Wibowo, Chairman of the IFCC. “Forest owners and companies are now able to demonstrate their good practices through certification and to re-gain the trust of the marketplace that has been lost over the past decade. Indonesia recognizes the importance of sustainable forest management, and we encourage buyers globally to take a second look at certified forest products from Indonesia and to reward those who are committed to safeguarding our forest resources.”
The endorsement of IFCC by PEFC follows the most rigorous assessment process existing globally for national forest certification systems seeking international recognition. PEFC requires all standards to be developed through comprehensive, multi-stakeholder and consensus-based processes at national level with all standard requirements meeting or exceeding the environmental, social and economic requirements of PEFC’s Sustainability Benchmarks.
Consumers trust certification labels and expect companies to label products, PEFC research shows
More than 80% of consumers globally want companies sourcing certified material from sustainable managed forests to use certification labels, according to the first PEFC Global Consumer Survey, released today.
The survey shows that certification labels, such as the PEFC label, are the most trusted means of giving confidence to consumers that wood-based products are sustainably sourced.
Consumers globally believe that it is important to make ethical choices, with 60% of all those surveyed agreeing that their shopping choice for a labeled product can make a positive difference to the world’s forest. Only a small minority, 10%, felt that their choice for a sustainably sourced product would not make a difference.
Moreover, nearly 30% of all consumers responded that they actively look for forest certification labels. “As the leading forest certification organization, we are encouraged that consumers recognize the benefits of forest certification, with the PEFC label enabling them to consume responsibly and to reward companies that label,” said Ben Gunneberg, Secretary General of PEFC International.
The research shows that over half of all consumers (54%) consider certification labels as the most reassuring proof that environmental and sustainable development considerations have been taken into account. Other means of proof include country of origin (30%), brand (24%) and recommendations by family/friends and media (17% and 16% respectively).
The overwhelming majority of consumers globally - more than 80% - want companies to use labels on products to communicate their responsible sourcing practices to them. Only 4% disagreed that companies should use labels.
“With labels being the most trusted source of information by consumers about whether a product is environmentally and socially responsible, the PEFC label demonstrates to consumers that a company is addressing their expectations,” emphasized Mr. Gunneberg. “In short, the PEFC label adds real value to a company’s brand.”
The survey shows that PEFC is the most trusted global forest certification label, slightly ahead of FSC, the Forest Stewardship Council. Internationally, 40% of consumers know a global forest certification label; the label recognition of PEFC is at 21%.
The first PEFC Global Consumer Survey was undertaken by German-based GfK on behalf of PEFC International with a sample of a total of 13,000 people in 13 countries, 1,000 men and women aged 16+ years per country, in Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Sweden, UK and USA.
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.
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:
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.