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2312
25.02.2009р.
PEFC calls on global forest leaders to engage in forest certification

"The world's forests - if managed sustainably - have a vast potential to contribute to tackling urgent societal issues such as climate change, but unified global action is required to realize this opportunity", says Ben Gunneberg, Secretary General of PEFC International. "Forest certification is the only market-based tool available to verify and promote sustainable forest management, and we need the involvement of all stakeholders to optimise its performance and meet society's needs, and aspirations."

The Stakeholder Forum offers a unique opportunity for international non-governmental and governmental organisations, companies, UN agencies and others to collaborate on forestry-related issues and to provide positive contributions to the workings of PEFC, the world's largest forest certification scheme. In addition, it also has direct impact on the governance of the organisation as it holds one-third of the total votes and will provide a minimum of two members to the board.

"The Stakeholder Forum is a key recommendation of the Governance Review, which was published in July 2008", remarks Mr. Gunneberg. "That PEFC established it as an integral part of its structure within only a few months demonstrates the importance and the value that our members place in it."

Outlining the way forward, Claire Blenkinsop, who recently joined PEFC from WWF as Head of Development, explained that initial feedback suggests strong interest in the Stakeholder Forum. Mrs. Blenkinsop is currently working with various parties to ensure that diverse interests are represented in this new body.

"Given the importance of forests, nobody can afford to not engage. The potential contributions that sustainable forest management can make to solving challenges such as climate change are vast, but it requires us to work together in partnerships. Civil society, business and governments need to collaborate if we are going to succeed", Mrs. Blenkinsop said.

"The Stakeholder Forum is a unique platform in this respect as it provides a neutral meeting place for global forest leaders to collaborate, influence and advance the agenda on issues related to sustainable forest management (SFM) in general and its certification in particular. It differs from other important fora such as The Forest Dialogue or WWF's Global Forest Trade Network by enabling participants to directly influence the strategic direction of the world's largest forest certification organization."

Editor Notes

PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes)

PEFC is a framework for the assessment and endorsement of national forest certification systems that have been developed based on internationally recognised requirements for sustainable forest management. Since its launch in 1999, PEFC has become the largest forest certification umbrella organisation covering national systems from all over the world, delivering hundreds of millions of tonnes of wood to the processing industry and then onto the market place from currently more than 200 million hectares of certified forests. This is an area which is larger than the combined forest area of all European Union member states. PEFC has strong grass roots support from many stakeholders including the forestry sector, governments, trade associations, trade unions and non-governmental organisations.

Forest Certification

Forest certification is a process which provides an assurance to purchasers of wood and paper products that the wood used in the products comes from sustainably managed forest. It involves the certification of forests (Sustainable Forest Management certification) and the certification of the wood flow via processing, manufacturing and trading enterprises (Chain of Custody certification) to the final consumer.

http://www.pefc.org/

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