Forests are very important to the world’s population, economy, and environment. Not only do they help reduce the effects of climate change and natural disasters, but they are also home to some of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. They also give us food, make many of our products possible, and give millions of people a way to make a living. For this and a multitude of other reasons, it’s vital that our forests are around for years to come.
The PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) is the most important and influential global alliance of national forest certification systems. The PEFC is an international organisation that operates on a not-for-profit basis and is not affiliated with any government. They are committed to advancing sustainable forest management by means of third-party certification.
Sustainable forest management can be defined as “a dynamic and changing concept that aims to maintain and improve the economic, social, and environmental values of all types of forests for the benefit of both current and future generations.”
In Australia, Responsible Wood represents the PEFC and is a member of the Global Alliance in support of the PEFC objectives for sustainable forest management internationally.
What does the PEFC do?
The PEFC is committed to the conservation of forests on a global scale and seeks to advance sustainable forest management by means of certification. Forest certification gives us a way to make sure that our forests are managed in a way that doesn’t hurt them, and it makes sure that products made from trees come from forests that are managed in a way that doesn’t hurt them.
The PEFC supports forest certification systems that are developed through multi-stakeholder processes and are adapted to the specific needs and priorities of individual communities. While the concept of sustainable forest management is global, its implementation is local. This is why the PEFC aims to work with local organisations to advance responsible forestry through the respective national forest certification systems. in order to promote responsible forestry.
Forest Certification is at the heart of the PEFC’s work on an international scale. We give forest owners, both large and small, a tool that they can use to demonstrate that they follow responsible practices, while also giving consumers and businesses the ability to buy in a more sustainable manner. The PEFC works across the forest supply chain to promote good practises in the forest and make sure that products made from forests are made with the highest environmental, social, and moral standards in mind.
How the PEFC works to protect forests internationally and locally
When it comes to forest certification, one size does not fit all. The diversity of forests around the world requires a well thought out certification system for the respective local forests, and as such, one international certification standard will not work. Instead, they work through national forest certification systems, which let countries tailor their sustainable forest management requirements to their own forest ecosystems, legal and administrative frameworks, sociocultural context, and other relevant factors.
Part of making sure that each country’s national forest certification system works well is making sure that local stakeholders are involved in figuring out what “sustainable forest management” means in their country and how it can be done best there.
Having stakeholders from different backgrounds also makes sure that one interest can’t take over the process, since everyone needs to agree on the final requirements. Collaboration with local and global organisations to promote the growth of sustainable forest management and forest certification is vital to the PEFC’s international goals.
This is important to the success of the PEFC because it gives small and private forest owners, communities, and companies the power to manage forests in a way that meets the standards they helped create.
Even though each stakeholder makes their own national systems, they must all meet the PEFC outlined international standards. These standards have strict rules about what has to be in the respective national standards and what has to be done while they are being made.
So, when consumers buy a PEFC-certified (and/or a Responsible Wood certified) product, they can rest assured that it came from a forest that was managed to the highest standards, no matter where it came from.
Many national systems go above and beyond our international requirements by adding their own, country-specific requirements.
The PEFC ensures that all respective national forest certification systems around the world meet the international standards through a process called endorsement. Once national systems are made in each country, they go through a strict evaluation process that takes about nine months. The assessment is done by a third-party assessor, not by the PEFC, to make sure the process is fair. When this process is completed successfully, a system is said to be “PEFC-endorsed.”
PEFC certification has been acheived by hundreds of thousands of forest owners around the world, from small communities to large companies all with the shared goal of sustainable forest management. For more information about the PEFC and the PEFC representative for Australia – Responsible Wood, get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!
Find out how you can get PEFC and Responsible Wood certified today.
Visit : https://www.responsiblewood.org.au/