In a report published in July 2010, Greenpeace provided information that APP, which had obtained PEFC Chain of Custody certification,
was utilizing material from illegal sources, which would constitute a stark violation of certification requirements. Based on the information,
PEFC immediately filed a formal complaint against APP with SGS South Africa (Pty) Ltd. - Qualifor Programme, the relevant certification body in this case.
Almost 20 PEFC-certified companies are expected to have their own booth and display their PEFC-certified products.
In response to this complaint, SGS commissioned an investigation to examine whether APP was using illegal material as input into APP mills certified against the PEFC Chain of Custody standard as claimed by Greenpeace. The investigation found that all material was legal.
The results were reported back to Greenpeace once they were received. There has been a delay in publishing the results to allow for follow-up discussions with Greenpeace and for further evidence to be submitted. As no further evidence has been forthcoming, PEFC is publishing the results as previously indicated.
The response letter from SGS South Africa is available on the "PEFC Statements" page of this website.
PEFC will exhibit at The 26th Japan Kenzai Fair, which will be held at Tokyo Big Sight on 26th and 27th August.
PEFC Asia Promotions was kindly invited by the organiser, Japan Kenzai Co., Ltd. to display PEFC materials and some samples of PEFC-certified products at "JK Special Booth". In addition, a lecture on PEFC will be given on both days as a part of the planned seminar programs, which will also take place during the event at a seminar room.
Almost 20 PEFC-certified companies are expected to have their own booth and display their PEFC-certified products.
Your visit is much welcomed. Please come and take a look at PEFC Asia Promotions booth.
This document, PEFC GD 2001:2011, was developed for the purpose of assisting CoC certified companies'
smooth transition to the revised CoC standard by provision of detailed explanations and
interpretations of the relevant requirements.
Please take advantage of this document fully and proceed the transition smoothly before 26 May 2012, which is the extended deadline set specially for the Japanese CoC-certificate holders.
This document is available on the "Technical Documents" page of this website.
Aug 2, 2011
Chinese forest certification system CFCC joins PEFC, Russian forest certification system RNCFC re-joined and re-endorsed!
The PEFC Council announced on 31st July that the application for a PEFC membership submitted earlier this year by Chinese forest certification system CFCC
was officially approved by the PEFC Council. Chinese participation in PEFC Internationalis much welcomed as the second member from Asia, which PEFC
believes is one of the most important markets of the world.
At the same time, Russian scheme RNCFC was re-admitted and re-endorsed by the PEFC Council.
“Gabon is among the very few tropical countries that have developed a national sustainable forest management standard, with international recognition through PEFC endorsement”, said Sarah Price, Head of Projects & Development Unit at PEFC International, at a recent workshop in Libreville, Gabon. “This makes Gabon a true leader in the tropics, offering great opportunities but also bringing with it responsibilities.” The statement was made at the recent “FLEGT and Forest Certification” workshop, organized by PAFC Gabon in Libreville. Stakeholders from more than 20 organizations, representing public and private sector as well as civil society attended the meeting.
The FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) Action Plan of the European Union provides a number of measures to exclude illegal timber from markets, to improve the supply of legal timber and to increase the demand for responsible wood products. A central element of FLEGT are Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPA) to ensure legal timber trade and support good forest governance in the partner countries. FLEGT VPA negotiations between the European Union and Gabon have started in October 2010 and are of significant interest to the timber sector.
Forest certification systems such as PEFC go beyond the scope of FLEGT by not only requiring legality of forestry operations, but also providing assurances of sustainable forest management. The objective of the meeting was therefore to discuss the relationship between FLEGT and PEFC certification, and in how far FLEGT may facilitate efforts by the forest industry to provide not only legal, but also certified, sustainable timber to international markets.
Following opening remarks from Sylvain Nze Nguema, Deputy Director General of Water and Forestry Administration and Rose Ondo,
PAFC Gabon, Ms. Price expressed her hope that “the forest sector in Gabon will take advantage of the national forest certification
system local stakeholders have already invested in and that is currently available for use”
“There are some important overlaps between forest certification and FLEGT VPAs, and local stakeholders can benefit from the lessons learnt during the development of the Gabonese forest certification system in the set-up of a potential future national timber licensing system,” Ms. Price pointed out.
Participants learned more about FLEGT from Richelieu Zue Obame the FLEGT Focal Point. Christine Nkene, PAFC Cameroon, compared various elements of the FLEGT and PEFC processes and outlined the various similarities especially in the system development process, as well as some of the main differences. The meeting concluded with a number of recommendations on ways to advance PEFC certification in Gabon.
PEFC Case Story is now available for PEFC-certified companies for sharing their PEFC-related
success stories with other PEFC stakeholders.
PEFC believes that a key part of demonstrating value to PEFC stakeholders is to share with them positive success stories and how PEFC has influenced some aspect of their work.
Please register your own stories to PEFC Case Stories and promote your support to sustainable forest management and your commitment to improve your CSR activity.
When you submit your case story, please prepare the document in English, which is the official language of PEFC Case Stories. Submission of the document both in English and Jaopanese is recommended for a future possible use in Japan.
For your reference, the PEFC Case Stories Guideline and a sample story is available by clicking here and here respectively.
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.
PEFC Spain and the Spanish Green Building Council (GBCe) are collaborating to promote best practices in construction,
including the use of certified timber products, according to an agreement that the two organizations signed
during the International Building Exhibition CONSTRUMAT in May 2011.
Both organizations are committed to working together to develop ideas and proposals promoting the benefits of forest certification and locally certified wood for the building sector. The agreement was signed by the Chairman of PEFC Spain, Francisco Rovira and GBCe President Felipe Pitch-Aguilera.
Mr. Pitch-Aguilera invited to PEFC Spain to become directly involved in the development of activities of the Green Building Council and to provide training and workshops on timber certification.
Francisco Rovira highlighted the environmental benefits that certified forest products such as wood and cork offer, which make them an indispensible material within the framework of sustainable building, including a small carbon footprint, renewability and recyclability.
Due to the impact of the recent East Japan Great Earthquake, PEFC Asia Promotions will move to the following address;
PEFC Asia Promotions,
Shinjuku Yamabukicho Bldg #302,
4-7 Yamabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-0801 Japan,
E-mail: email@example.com (no change).
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
PEFC has terminated the membership of the Partnership on the Development of Forest Certification with immediate effect
due to the non-payment of membership fee.
The Statutes of PEFC require an automatic exclusion of members that fail to pay their annual membership fee three months after the second reminder.
As a consequence, the PEFC endorsement of the Russian National Forest Certification System (PEFC-FCR) has been suspended until a new membership for the Russian Federation is approved.
Certificate holders should be aware that;
- sustainable forest management certificates issued against the PEFC-FCR are no longer recognised as of 22 March 2011,
- CoC certificates issued in the Russin Federation against the international PEFC CoC standard remain valid.
Given the strong interest of Russin Federation in sustainable forest management and PEFC certification, PEFC expects this situation to be of temporary nature.
The market share of responsibly sourced timber in Belgium should increase to 23% by the end of 2012 and 35% in 2018,
according to an agreement signed by the Belgium Minister for the Environment, Paul Magnette,
and various federations of the Belgian timber industry.
About 15% of all wood and timber products (excluding paper) in Belgium originates from certified sources, with 9% being PEFC-certified (2008 data)
"This agreement signals the importance that both government and industry attach to the issue of sustainable forest management and certification systems such as PEFC," said Vanessa Biebel, PEFC Belgium Secretary General. "With two-thirds of all timber and wood-products in Belgium already certified to PEFC, we expect this initiative to assists our efforts in raising consumer awareness of forest certification and further boost the visibility of PEFC."
Minister Magnette is satisfied that the Belgian Federation for Trade in Services (COMEOS), the Belgian Timber Importers Federation, the National Timber Trade Federation, the National Federation of Sawmills, the Belgian Federation of the Textile, Wood and Furniture Industry (FEDUSTRIA), the National Association of Furniture Dealers, the Bouwunie Joiners and Builders Union and the Construction Confederation in this way enter into commitments that the Belgian will provide consumers the assurance that more and more wood comes from sustainably managed forests
"The efforts of the Belgian timber industry supplies are important," said Minister Magnette. "This commitment demonstrates that the industry is determined to move towards a green economy that respects the environment."
PEFC Council published "PEFC Rio Declaration" in commemoration of holding the 14th PEFC Council General Assembly
in Rio de Janeiro, which is the place where UN Earth Summit was held in 1992 from
which Intergovernmental Processes were developed.
The declaration describes the responsibilities and roles of forest certification and the challenges it faces, calling for cooperation and joint efforts by various types of stakeholders for further development of forest certification and achievement of its goals.
The Japanese translation of PEFC Rio Declaration is available in the Japanese "PEFC Statements" page of this website.
The oroginal English document is available in the English "What's New?" page of this website.
PEFC Poland recently announced that an area of 315,000 hectares of the country’s state forest has just been certified to PEFC as the first case in the country. The annual harvest level of 1.5million cubic meters is expected from this forest.
More than 3.4 million hectares of forests in China are expected to become certified under
the Chinese national forest certification system, CFCC (China Forest Certification Council), in 2011,
following an agreement between the Beijing Zhonglin Tianhe Forest Certification Center
and the Yichun Forest Authority announced recently.
According to the agreement, the Yichun Forest Authority is committed to certify all fifteen forest management units under its oversight, totalling an area of 2.67 million hectares in 2011. In 2010, already more than 700.000 hectares of forests underwent CFCC certification pre-assessments and audits in Northern and Southern China.
China currently has the highest afforestation rate of any country or region in the world, increasing its forest cover from 12% twenty years ago to more than 20% in 2010. With more than 200 million hectares of forest, China is one of the most forested countries globally, and is continuing to implement policy measures to increase the quality and quantity of its forests.
The agreement was presented at a recent press conference in Beijing with participation of Mr. Zhang Yongli, Deputy Minister of the State Forestry Administration (SFA), Mr. Wang Aiwen, Mayor of the City of Yichun, Mr. Wang Wei, General Secretary of CFCC, and Mr. Benson Yu, Director of the PEFC China Initiative.
The agreement follows the expression of intention by the CFCC at the PEFC General Assembly in November 2010 that it expects to apply for PEFC membership in 2011 and submit the scheme for endorsement, a move that was very much welcomed by PEFC and its members.
PEFC Asia Promotions has just completed the Japanese version of the revised PEFC CoC standard, which was adopted by the PEFC General Assembly held November.
The principal changes include points such as those listed below;-
- Under the old version, PEFC recycled materials were treated as either neutral material (Appendix 1) or PEFC recycled material (Appendix 6). The revised version categorises PEFC recycled materials as “PEFC-certified” materials. The calculation of the content of recycled material shall be based upon ISO 14021.
- The controversial sources requirements used to be defined in the Appendix 7, which now is substituted by Appendix 2 to the revised standard as PEFC DDS.
- The PEFC DDS prohibits the use of forest-based materials which come from GMOs and forest conversion.
- Further clarification has been added to the definition of “Controversial Sources". Among those elements which have been included into consideration are conversion of forest to other use, management of areas with designated high environmental and cultural values, health and labour issues related to forest workers, use of GMOs and conversion of forest to other vegetation type.
- The definition of “supplier” of PEFC-certified materials/products has been determined in detail. Suppliers of PEFC-certified materials/products shall be a holder of either effective PEFC forest management certificate or PEFC CoC certificate. - Requirements for multisite CoC certification have been defined in detail. (Appendix 3)
- Requirements for protection of rights of forest workers have been defined in detail. (Appendix 4 )
Accordingly, a part of the current PEFC Logo Usage Rules has been amended. Under the new rule, there are two PEFC labels, namely “PEFC-certified” and “PEFC-recycled”. The use of the mobius loop is allowed as an option.
The new PEFC Logo Usage Rules will be distributed to the PEFC logo users. For details, please refer to the PEFC Logo Usage Rules (PEFC ST 2001:2008).
The Japanese version of the revised PEFC CoC Standard and PEFC Logo Usage Rules are available on the PEFC Technical Documentation page of this website.
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 is available at our Japanese page.