In a pioneering move to promote forestry conservation, a group of Filipino advocates have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will move the country towards the establishment of a national forest certification system. “We need a bolder and more ambitious transformation of stakeholders to embrace sustainable forestry, and the very structure of the forestry sector, ranging from governance to industry, through a national forestry certification system,” said Sec. Neric Acosta, Presidential Adviser for Environment Protection, during his opening speech. He also went on to challenge the forestry sector to contribute to the country’s sustainable development.
“We must embrace curiosity and rejoice in the alchemy of innovation to come up with new ideas, products, and solutions to develop different ways to promote our vision of a world in which people manage forests sustainably,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, as he opened the 21st PEFC General Assembly.
“As the needs and expectations of the world change, it is vital that we keep up, or better still stay ahead, always thinking how best we can serve our customers, from forest owners, to companies along the supply chain, both now and in the future, in safeguarding the world’s forest resources.”
“To do this, we need to ensure that we empower our members, that we ensure they can reach their full potential,” Ben continued.
“PEFC has come a long way, we are a growing family, but we need to look after each other – we must never forget this. We need to strengthen each other’s ability to do our utmost best in maintaining and enhancing the many benefits the forests provide and their role in sustaining livelihoods and contributing to rural development.”
“The way our members support each other is inspiring; whether that is the older members helping new members as they begin on their PEFC journey, to better resourced members helping out those with lower budgets. We can also look to those members taking part in the various initiatives around the world, from South America to Southeast Asia.”
“We are growing together, and we’re growing strong,” Ben concluded.
Sticking with the fantastic work that our members do, Ben also highlighted just a few of the activities they have undertaken over the year. From unique and innovative events to get the public involved, celebrating newly certified area and recently earned endorsements, to new partnerships and projects. If you want to know more, take a look at our special PEFC Week newsletter!