China and Spain Lead Progress Toward Sustainability

With an increase of more than 5.5 million hectares of PEFC-certified forest area over the past year, China has been recognized for the greatest increase in forest certification by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) during PEFC Forest Certification Week last week. PEFC Spain received the award for the highest increase in number of PEFC Chain of Custody certified companies.

The China Forest Certification Council (CFCC) achieved PEFC endorsement in 2014, and the rapid growth in PEFC-certified forest area in the country underline China’s ambition as a regional leader in sustainable forest management certification. Other PEFC members recognized for the greatest growth in certified forest area were PEFC Sweden and PEFC Canada, each increasing their area of certified forest by more than 1.3 million hectares.

“Especially in light of the ongoing negotiations at the Climate Conference in Paris, we cannot stress enough the multiple benefits that sustainable forest management provide, not only in terms of mitigating climate change, but also in terms of alleviating poverty, safeguarding biodiversity, and all their other services that we benefit from,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, following the certificate giving ceremony at the PEFC General Assembly in Montreux, Switzerland.

“It is also extremely heartening to see China as a new member, being joined by our long-term members, PEFC Canada and PEFC Sweden, to achieve such remarkable growth in PEFC-certified forest area – their hard work and dedication is what makes us the world’s leading forest certification system,” Mr. Gunneberg continued.

PEFC Spain was the clear winner for the greatest growth in PEFC Chain of Custody certificates, with 150 new certificates awarded to Spanish companies in the last year. Spain was followed by PEFC Sweden and the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC).

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