Industry News

Republic of Congo joins PEFC as a national member

The Republic of Congo has joined the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) as a national member.

Since 2011, PEFC has been engaged in a number of initiatives to promote uptake of forest certification in Africa, with a particular focus on Central Africa.

Working under the common name PAFC – Pan-African Forest Certification, there are now three PEFC members in the region: PAFC Cameroon, PAFC Congo and PAFC Gabon.

“The forests in the Congo Basin are home to more than 10,000 species. They provide food, water and shelter to more than 75 million people, and are of significant economic importance,” commented Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International.

“With PAFC-Congo becoming a member of PEFC and their work on developing a national forest certification system, we are taking a huge step towards safeguarding the benefits the forests in the region provide. We are thrilled to welcome PAFC-Congo into the PEFC alliance.”

“We have been working in the Congo Basin for several years, and the addition of the Republic of Congo marks an important move forward for the development of certification in the basin,” Mr. Gunneberg concluded.

Mr. Brice Séverin Pongui, Chairman of PAFC-Congo, added: “There have been strong evolutions in the way forests are managed in the Republic of Congo, but certification is struggling to develop and become widespread.”

“PAFC is set to help promote sustainable forest management, making it more accessible and inclusive, thanks to its development respecting the local context.”

“With its careful balance of the environmental, social and economic benefits forests provide to the local forest owners and communities as well as society at large, we are convinced that PEFC certification is the right choice for our country.”

Further info can be found here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/republic-congo-joins-pefc-national-member]

Double certified forests on the rise, joint PEFC / FSC data report

The two largest forest certification schemes - PEFC and FSC - have agreed to jointly collect and publish data on double certification, starting from 2016 onwards.

More than 69 million hectares (or 16%) of all certified forests globally are double certified to both PEFC and FSC. This is an increase of 30 million hectares compared to data collected by PEFC in 2012.

Double certification exists because foresters in different parts of the world have chosen to use both PEFC and FSC certification for their forest management units to prove their sustainable forest management practices. As their respective certified forest area appears in both the PEFC and the FSC statistics, this has led to inflated numbers of the total global certified area. 

PEFC and FSC therefore decided to work together to provide a more accurate and mutually agreed estimate for the total global certified area.

"From a global point of view, resources invested in certifying already certified forest area are resources that are not invested in certifying new forest area as sustainably managed," said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International.

"Our common goal should be to expand sustainable forest management and to increase the availability of certified forest products. Adding one label on top of another label doesn't help us in achieving this objective," added Mr. Gunneberg.

"One cause of double certification is market access, and here companies have a role to play: by accepting both PEFC and FSC, they remove the pressure on forest owners to double certify.”

“In turn, this will help precious financial resources to be focused on expanding certification to forests that are not yet certified to either system," Mr. Gunneberg concluded.  

The mutually agreed data on double certification provides reliable information on the extent of the total global certified forest area to intergovernmental processes and global initiatives such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other interested parties.

The data collected for 2016 shows that double certification exists in 28 countries. Removing double certification from the statistics shows that a total of 429 million hectares of forests are certified globally. 70% of these forests have a PEFC certificate.

With this agreement, FSC and PEFC also wish to avoid misunderstandings about the current statistics on forest certification when the data from FSC and PEFC are added up.

An estimate of PEFC&FSC certified forest area in 2016 by country is available here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/double-certified-forests-rise-joint-pefc-fsc-data-report]

PEFC issues its Annual Review 2016

The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) has released its Annual Review 2016 featuring the most recent achievements of the organization.

2016 saw 300 million hectares of PEFC-certified forest and several new national certifications schemes - from Ghana, Hungary, Macedonia, Republic of Korea, Romania and Thailand - joining PEFC.

Moreover a dozen countries - including Cameroon - are now developing national systems and preparing for PEFC membership.

PEFC also launched the revision process of its Sustainability Benchmarks – the standards that form the basis for nearly all PEFC activities.

"As the world changes, best practices and knowledge evolve and society’s expectations grow, we must make sure our standards are the best they can be. The process that will take more than two years, affect the majority of our standards, and involve hundreds of experts and thousands of stakeholders", the organization highlights.

Download the PEFC Annual Review 2016 here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/pefc-issues-its-annual-review-2016]

PEFC International launches '2017 Experience Forests' photo contest

PEFC International has launched a photo contest, '2017 Experience Forests', aimed at promoting the importance of forests worldwide.

Photographers can enter a wide variety of pictures: from forest landscapes to close ups within the forest, also including people living, working or playing in woodlands.

The competition - open for entries until Monday 5th June 2017 and limited to 5 photos per person - can be joined on Instagram, Facebook or by accessing www.pefc.photo

The best photos from the contest will enter the international contest and compete for the 2017 PEFC Photographer of the Year Award!

The winner will receive a trip to Helsinki, Finland to attend the 2017 PEFC Forest Certification Week or a cash prize of 3000 CHF.

The top 12 photos will be publicly exhibited at the 2017 PEFC Forest Certification Week at the Scandic Park hotel in Helsinki, Finland in November 2017 and potentially in other places around the world throughout 2017/2018.

Moreover, the top 12 photos will be featured in the 2018 PEFC ‘Experience Forests, Experience PEFC’ photo calendar

For more info, click here. Follow the trend on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook at #PEFCUKIRE. 

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/pefc-international-launches-2017-experience-forests-photo-contest]

PEFC opens public consultation on Cameroonian national forest certification system

PEFC stakeholders around the world are invited to comment - through the Online Consultation Tool and by the 9th July 2017 - on the Cameroonian national forest certification system.

This is the first time Cameroon submits its national forest certification system to PEFC, joining Gabon as the second African country to seek PEFC endorsement.

The public consultation is also open for Canada and Uruguay national forest certification schemes with a deadline set for 3 July 2017. This is the third and second time, respectively, that these countries have applied for endorsement by PEFC. 

The global public consultation is a vital part of the PEFC endorsement process. All comments received during the 60 day consultation will be provided to the independent organization carrying out the assessment. This valuable information will help determine whether the national system is in compliance with PEFC international requirements.

To ensure that the national systems continue to meet best practices, scientific advances and society’s expectations, PEFC limits the validity of endorsements to five years. After this period, national systems can apply for re-endorsement to continue benefitting from PEFC recognition.

View the open PEFC stakeholders' consultations here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/pefc-opens-public-consultation-cameroonian-national-forest-certification-system]

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