Nov 2, 2015
UK Government Gives PEFC Top Scores, Confirms Acceptance for Public Procurement
PEFC-certified timber and wood-derived products continue to meet the UK
government criteria for legal and sustainable timber, with PEFC demonstrating
the highest level of compliance. This is the outcome of an evaluation through
the Central Point of Expertise on Timber (CPET) and released by the UK
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) earlier last
The evaluation against the UK Government Timber Procurement Policy (TPP): Criteria for Evaluating Certification Schemes (Category A Evidence) Fourth Edition, October 2014 concluded that both the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) have achieved scores of 100% for legality criteria and over 90% for sustainability criteria and as such are recognized as continuing to deliver requirements for both legality and sustainability.
Overall, the evaluation demonstrated PEFC to have a 96% compliance with the UK criteria, with FSC achieving 94%. "These very high scores demonstrate the significant progress made in international forest certification since the first evaluation conducted in 2004. Both FSC and PEFC have made substantial improvements to their schemes since 2010, reflected in the scores awarded," Defra writes in the final report.
"The results highlight that PEFC delivers excellence," said Ben Gunneberg, Secretary General and CEO of PEFC International. "We appreciate this recognition of our work and the work of our stakeholders in undertaking sustainable forest management, in making a real difference for the people and communities who depend on forests - globally and locally."
Welcoming the positive assessment Alun Watkins, Executive Director, PEFC UK said: “The CPET review and Defra results demonstrate that PEFC is at the forefront of responsible sourcing and sustainable forestry. Both in the UK and internationally, PEFC works hard to keep up with the challenges and real life issues facing the broad range of stakeholders involved in the global forestry and wood-products supply chain. The global PEFC family is committed to continuous improvement to ensure our standards continue to reflect best practice in sustainable forest management.”
CPET has played a significant role in supporting the increased uptake of sustainable timber in the public sector and in support to government buyers and suppliers implementing the UK government TPP. The first assessment was conducted in 2004 and the most recent assessment in 2010. The 2015 update was undertaken to ensure FSC and PEFC continue to provide assurance of legality and sustainability, particularly in light of new criteria on the updated definitions of ‘legal’ and ‘sustainable’ sources.
Oct 30, 2015
Singapore Green Label Reviews Benefits of Forest Certification Systems
Recently there was a report from a media source that Singapore Environment Council (SEC) had made a conclusion on the forest certification systems of which labels would be accepted as eligible for its Green label. However, PEFC confirmed by direct communication with SEC that no conclusion had been made, yet.
Singapore’s Green label is the region’s most established ecolabelling scheme with over 2,800 unique products certified across 25 countries.
"We review and revise our product criteria regularly to ensure that the Green Label remains the best in class so that Singaporean consumers are confident that their selection of a product carrying our label is a positive choice for the environment. As a part of this robust process, we will continue to assess products that carry global forest certification systems such as PEFC and FSC, to ensure they meet the high standards on environmental sustainability," said Edwin Seah, Executive Director of Singapore Environment Council.
The governments of Netherlands and the UK have given high evaluation for a long time for forest certification systems such as PEFC and FSC. Most recently, Mr June M. Alvarez, President of the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, which is in charge of the National Ecolabelling Programme - Green Choice Philippines (GCP), also confirmed that PEFC and FSC are delivering sustainability and GCP recognises both systems as credible labelling system.
Oct 2, 2015
PEFC Milestone: We Welcome our 40th Member
“As we welcome India to the PEFC alliance, we can take this time to celebrate reaching the important milestone of 40 PEFC national members,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, as India’s Network for Certification Conservation of Forests (NCCF) joined PEFC last month.
“We would like to use this opportunity to thank all of our supporters that have enabled PEFC to outgrow our European roots and become the world's leading forest certification system and to reflect on our history.”
It was back in 1999, when national organizations from eleven countries came together to establish PEFC, responding to the specific requirements of small- and family forest owners in Europe. This was swiftly followed one year later with the endorsement of the first national forest certification systems, enabling forest owners and managers in Austria, Finland, Germany, Norway and Sweden to certify their responsible forest management practices.
The next key milestone came in 2004 when Australia and Chile became the first non-European systems to achieve endorsement. This also coincided with our name change, no longer the Pan European Forest Certification Council, but now PEFC, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification.
One year later in 2005, we became the world’s largest forest certification system with more than 100 million hectares of certified forest area, thanks to the endorsement of the Canadian forest certification system. In 2007 we reached 200 million hectares.
2009 was another important year for PEFC, as Gabon became the first African system, and the first tropical system, to be endorsed. A few months later, Malaysia became the second PEFC-endorsed system in a tropical country, and the first in Asia.
We have had many busy years since, from the first PEFC Forest Certification Week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2013, to the endorsement of the Argentina, China and Indonesia national forest certification systems in 2014.
More recently we have seen Japan and New Zealand submit their systems for endorsement, while at the other end of the scale, Finland has just become the first country to achieve the re-endorsement of its system for a record third time.
“But we won’t stop here,” said Mr. Gunneberg. “While India has just become the latest country to join PEFC, there are still numerous countries from all over the world working on the development of their own national forest certification systems – and we are looking forward to welcoming our 41st member.”
Sep 30, 2015
"Seminar and Group Discssion in Osaka"
PEFC Asia Promotiojs will hold "Seminar and Group Discssion in Osaka" on 9th October in Osaka.
The program of this seminar includes, lecture by Prof. Koji Murata from Kyoto University on "The Policy of Adoption of Sustainable Materials by Companies and the Use of Domestic Hardwood", to which follows presentations on the latest PEFC news and the current status of SGEC's preparation for PEFC endorsement.
For details of this seminar, please refer to the Seminar Popgram below and submit application to PEFC Asia Promotions, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seminar Program (Japanese only)
Sep 11, 2015
Endorsement for Russian National Forest Certification Scheme Expired
With the expiration of the Russian National Forest Certification Scheme on 31st August 2015, PEFC International advises that all certificates issued against the Russian Scheme are no longer recognized by PEFC.
PEFC limits the validity of endorsements of national forest certification systems to five years. National systems are required to revise their respective standards in multi-stakeholder processes to become eligible for re-assessment and potential re-endorsement. This allows for continuous improvement of standards through the integration of new scientific research, experience and best practices.
PEFC informs that the revised Russian National Forest Certification Scheme was submitted for PEFC endorsement in early 2014 and is currently in the final stages of its assessment process. Once compliance with PEFC's Sustainability Benchmarks is demonstrated, the scheme will be submitted to the PEFC General Assembly for re-endorsement.
Once the Russian Scheme has achieved re-endorsement status, certificates to the revised schemes will again be recognized by PEFC. PEFC will advise stakeholders accordingly.
Sep 7, 2015
India Joins PEFC’s Alliance
India has become the latest country to join PEFC – an addition that sees PEFC reach the 40 National members milestone.
With Japan joining in 2014, and China and Indonesia achieving endorsement of their national forest certification systems the same year, the addition of India’s Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF) underpins that momentum is gathering pace for PEFC in the Asia region.
“It is fantastic to see India become the fifth country in Asia, and the 40th country globally, to join the PEFC alliance,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, welcoming NCCF into PEFC. “NCCF has worked hard over the last year to engage stakeholders and establish its position to facilitate the development of India’s forest certification system.”
“Forest certification will not only help impact India's forest resources, but also assist in raising awareness of the advantages of responsibly sourced timber, which is especially important in a country with a rapidly growing middle class and demand for resources,” Mr. Gunneberg continued.
“NCCF is committed to advancing forest certification in India and to positioning our country on PEFC’s global platform. We appreciate the support that PEFC and its network has offered so far and with this formal acceptance of membership we commit to further strengthening our efforts in developing our own national certification system,” said Sachin Raj Jain, convener of NCCF.
“We would like to use this occasion to thank those stakeholders who are already part of this initiative, and we encourage everybody interested to join, support and help us in firmly establishing forest certification in India," emphasized Sachin Raj Jain.
“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 national forest certification system has great potential,” Mr. Gunneberg concluded.
Sep 1, 2015
First PEFC-certified Forests in China
PEFC has recently registered 18 Chinese forests as PEFC certified. These forest are certified to the Chinese forest certification scheme, CFCC, and the total area corresponds to 5,315,445 ha.
CFCC has been endeavoring to achieve PEFC-recognised forests in China since joining PEFC in June 2011 and being endorsed in February 2014. According to PEFC Asia Promotion Initiative China Office, more 1-2 million forests are expected to be registered shortly.
Details of the forests are available at;
August 7, 2015
Philippines: Sustainable Forestry Offers Massive Potential to Improve Livelihoodsr
“Sustainable forest management certification is at a tipping point, becoming the norm, making this an ideal time for the Philippines to join other leaders in the region to promote sustainable livelihood and forests in the Philippines and its trading partners,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, in his keynote address at the ‘PEFC and National Forestry Certification Information and Awareness Seminar’ in Manila, Philippines, earlier this week.
“This provides the Philippines with a massive potential to contribute to the expansion of sustainable forest management in the Southeast Asia region.”
“Initial work has already begun on developing sustainability standards for forestry, and we welcome the participation of all stakeholders in mainstreaming and completing this process,” said Ricardo L. Calderon, Director of the Forest Management Bureau, updating the participants on the status of the Philippine national forestry certification’s development. “The aim is to have a nationally appropriate system to give us international recognition by organizations like PEFC.”
“Given that the government has indicated its desire to develop a national forest certification system, now is the time for all stakeholders to redouble their efforts to help landowners and the forest industry on their journey towards the vision of a world in which people manage their forests sustainably,” Mr. Gunneberg concluded.
Over 90 Philippine stakeholders from the forestry industry, the Forest Management Bureau under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, industry associations, researchers, certification and accreditation experts, and companies, joined PEFC for the Information and Awareness Seminar, which was held as part of the Kalikasan GP3 Expo Conference 2015 - see Ben Gunneberg at the official opening of the Expo below. PEFC is also participating in the Expo from 23 to 25 July with a booth featuring information about the organization’s expansion and activities around the globe.
In the afternoon, PEFC South East Asia Representative Richard Laity presented on the EUTR-aligned due diligence systems of PEFC controlled sources and ongoing pilot projects in neighboring countries to assist landowners in preparing themselves for moving towards sustainable forest management. Industry associations were also very active in discussing these developments during an open forum panel discussion.
July 15, 2015
World First: PEFC and CFCC Logos Together
The CFCC and PEFC logos can now be seen together on a product for the first time in China, with the launch of Asia Symbol’s “Paper One” copy paper in early June.
By displaying both logos together, the company can now immediately demonstrate its commitment to sustainable forest management to both Chinese and international markets.
“The launching of Asia Symbol's certified products carrying the CFCC and PEFC combined logo has set a good example to companies in the paper manufacturing sector of China to pursue sustainable development,” said Mr. Wang Wei, Chairperson of China Forest Certification Council (CFCC) and Executive Deputy Director General of Science and Technology Development Center of State Forestry Administration (SFA). “We look forward to seeing many more China-made paper products going global with a green passport of forest certification.”
To mark the occasion, Asia Symbol was presented with their CFCC Logo Usage Certificate and PEFC Chain of Custody certificate during a special celebratory launching event in early June. Attended by representatives from CFCC, PEFC China Initiative, Asia Symbol (Guangdong) Paper Co., Ltd, RGE and Forest Certification Research Center of SFA, as well as media such as China Green Times, China Business News and Consumption Daily, the event came to a close with the representatives from CFCC and PEFC receiving boxes of the newly-launched copy paper as a gift from the company.
“The PEFC endorsement of CFCS will have brought about great changes in the domestic and international forest certification markets,” highlighted Benson Yu, Director of PEFC China Initiative. “Through the use of the CFCC and PEFC labels, companies will take this new opportunity to sell their certified products in both the national and international market through obtaining the green passport of forest certification.”
Currently, the PEFC and CFCC combined logo mainly applies to the premium red "Paper One" 85g copy paper series produced with 100% PEFC-certified materials. In the near future, certified materials will be used to produce "Paper One" and "Golden Paper" product series. In the coming five years, the medium and high-end branded paper products will also fully use certified materials.
“More and more buyers are increasingly not only concerned about quality and price, but also require or expect that the paper materials are from sustainably-managed forests and environmentally-responsible,” said Hsu Chung Chen, Business Director of Asia Symbol (Guangdong) Paper Co., Ltd. “Hence, passing CFCC and PEFC certification demonstrates Asia Symbol has made due contributions in promoting sustainable forest management, and the certification will help us to develop up-end user market and win their recognition and support.”
“We have all along worked hard to push ahead the certification process of Chinese forest products,” Mr. Wang concluded. “With this launch of the first batch of certified copy papers carrying the CFCC and PEFC combined logo, it is believed with full confidence that in the near future more and more paper enterprises will join forces to opt for forest certification.”
June 11, 2015
Indonesia Celebrates its First PEFC-Certified Forests
Two major pulp and paper companies in Indonesia — Asia Pacific Resources
International, or APRIL, and Asia Pulp & Paper, or APP — have become
the first in the country to achieve IFCC sustainable forest management
certification. IFCC, the Indonesian Forestry Certification Cooperation,
is the national PEFC-endorsed forest certification system in Indonesia.
“I am delighted that both APP and APRIL have achieved certification based on the stringent IFCC sustainable forest management standards. This affords their products access to the PEFC label, providing a clear message to consumers worldwide that their products come from verified sustainable sources,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International. “This achievement highlights the progress that local stakeholders have made in advancing sustainable forest management in the country.”
Certification was awarded to more than 600,000 hectares of forests following third-party audits to ensure their management practices are in line with the PEFC-endorsed IFCC standard requirements. The certificates are now valid for three years.
“IFCC certification demonstrates not only that forests are managed sustainably, but it also responds to international market demands for responsibly-sourced products. It will therefore contribute to better market conditions for Indonesia’s certified forest products, create jobs, and ultimately contribute to the economic growth of our country – while at the same time safeguarding our precious forest resources,” commented Dradjad H. Wibowo, Chairman of IFCC.
“Until now, most of the forest certification has occurred in the Western hemisphere, but the award of the first forest management certificates in Indonesia will help to reach the tipping point to mainstream certification in Asia,” emphasized Mr. Gunneberg. “With a range of other countries, including India, Philippines, South Korea and Thailand engaging in standards development activities, with PEFC-endorsed systems already existing in China, Indonesia and Malaysia, and with Japan preparing to apply for PEFC-endorsement shortly, certification as a tool to demonstrate responsible practices is poised to become available to forest owners across the entire continent within a few short years,” Mr. Gunneberg concluded.
June 8, 2015
Delta Packaging Wins KFC Award Following Switch to PEFC Material
Delta Packaging has won a KFC supplier award after switching to PEFC-certified board.
The Belfast-based printed folding carton packaging manufacturer won a Global Connectivity award at a KFC Supplier event in recognition of the company’s swift and effective transfer of KFC raw material to the PEFC process.
Delta has acknowledged the help, guidance and assistance that PEFC played in the process, helping to switch KFC material to sustainably sourced packaging.
Anna Coleman, account manager at Delta for KFC, commended raw material supplier Stora Enso’s ability to source and supply fully certified material within a relatively short time frame.
“Sustainability is an important issue for KFC, so we were keen to support their sustainability goals by suggesting certified packaging to provide their customers with assurances of responsible sourcing.
“We are the main folding carton supplier for the UK market and this sector has been the first to implement PEFC Chain of Custody certification. The Global Connectivity aspect came into it because this is something that the rest of the global markets would like to roll out.”
A KFC statement said: “We require our packaging suppliers to source wood fiber that is certified as responsibly sourced by a third party, so we can be sure it meets the most rigorous forest management standards. We also expect suppliers to demonstrate full chain of custody throughout their supply chain. The third-party certifications we accept are the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and national certification systems endorsed by the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), such as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).”
“A recent PEFC global survey showed that more than 80% of consumers globally, want companies sourcing certified material from sustainably-managed forests to use certification labels. It also showed that labels, such as PEFC’s are the most trusted means of providing consumers with confidence that wood-based products are sustainably-sourced,” highlighted Mr. Watkins.
Delta has been a key strategic supplier of packaging to KFC in the UK and Ireland for the past 10 years, and also supplies packaging material to other major brands, including Kellogg’s, McDonalds, Nestle and United Biscuits.
June 1, 2015
New WWF Study Highlights Strength of PEFC in Sustainable Forest Management
A new report released by WWF last week clearly shows that PEFC forest management requirements are to a large extent aligned with WWF’s own vision and objectives, demonstrated by PEFC meeting more than two-thirds of the WWF CAT indicators.
The WWF Certification Assessment Tool (CAT) is a formalized methodology to evaluate and compare standards and certification systems based on WWF’s views and opinions and assesses in how far forest certification systems are aligned with the mission and objectives of WWF.
The WWF CAT shows that PEFC meets 70% of the “Standard Strengths” indicators, which cover sustainable forest management related issues such as biodiversity, water and soil, worker’s rights, and community relations. “We appreciate that the results clearly demonstrate the value of the work of PEFC, thereby recognizing the efforts of hundreds of thousands of certified forest owners who promote sustainable forest management worldwide,” said Ben Gunneberg, PEFC International Secretary General.
The alignment between the WWF CAT “System Strength” indicators and PEFC requirements dealing with issues such as governance and conformity assessment is less pronounced, due to the narrow focus that WWF has applied to these indicators. PEFC utilizes globally recognized ISO processes for conformity assessment, and employs multi-stakeholder processes for its governance. PEFC also has a stated preference for the identification of the nine stakeholder groups defined by Agenda 21 (adopted by the United Nations), as opposed to the three stakeholder groups approach required by the WWF CAT indicators.
“WWF has a known preference for ISEAL for conformity assessment, and for the so-called three chamber system, so the indicators are not well suited to value PEFC’s approach,” explained Mr. Gunneberg. “However, the WWF CAT only reflects the views of one single stakeholder. For PEFC as a multi-stakeholder organization, it is important to fulfill the expectations of a wide range of stakeholders, not only WWF.”
“We hope that WWF can accept that in the same way that different routes lead to Rome, certification can be delivered in different ways and achieve the same outcomes. The WWF CAT shows that PEFC already substantially contributes to WWF’s objectives, and indicates that there are likely numerous win-win opportunities where both of our organizations could benefit by strengthening collaboration. We are looking forward to working with WWF on this.”
Japanese version of this statement is available below
PEFC Statement on WWFCAT (Japanese)
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.
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.
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: