The new online forest certification system aims to provide a simple and cost-effective solution to assist the UK’s small and medium-sized private forest owners to become PEFC-certified. The new tool is designed to help increase the UK’s certified forest area and boost the supply of certified material to the UK primary processing sector and its customers. The online tool was launched at a special Press Lunch in central London during a rare UK gathering of major figures from PEFC, including PEFC International Chairman, William Street, and CEO Ben Gunneberg, to discuss key issues surrounding the global forestry, construction, paper and packaging industries. While PEFC forest certification has been established in the UK for five years, it has long been recognized that a cost-effective certification solution was required to enable smaller woodland owners to participate in certification.
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.
Equally important is that it encourages ongoing social dialogue among stakeholders, thereby enhancing mutual understanding, support and further development of the concept of sustainable forest management at national level.
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.