The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) International is convening a mediation process to bring together stakeholders in a spirit of collaboration, to address issues raised recently in Canada, particularly in Quebec and in Ontario, about FSC certification. Over the last two years, significant areas of FSC certified forests were suspended in Canada mainly because of lack of consent from First Nations, and also because of inadequate forest management plans for species at risk, namely woodlands caribou in the Canadian boreal forest. Most of these suspended or terminated FSC certificates are held by Resolute Forest Products (Resolute FP).
This year saw our members smash through past records for new PEFC-certified hectares!
In Australia alone, more than 16 million hectares of forest became PEFC-certified – an achievement that won Australian Forestry Standard (AFS) the top prize for growth during our PEFC Forest Certification Week award ceremony.
“I am both ecstatic and delighted to have received this award today,” said Simon Dorries, National Secretary of AFS. “These new hectares are in fact from just one certificate holder, bringing over 16 million hectares of additional forest within Australia.”
“What is really interesting is their motivation to gain PEFC certification – to demonstrate responsible land management to society, not simply the ability of produce certified wood for the market. This shows the great flexibility and multi-faceted nature of the PEFC system to be able to deliver such outcomes.”
Second and third place did not do badly either, with Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and PEFC Russia adding 8.2 million and 8.1 million hectares of certified forest, respectively – an amount that in previous years would have easily given them first place!
“It is fantastic to see such brilliant growth this year,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, following the certificate awards ceremony. “As the world’s leading forest certification system, with 300 million hectares of forest certified to PEFC, we normally experience more steady growth, with any large increases due to newly-endorsed members.”
“This year was different, with all three of the winning countries in fact being long-established members. This shows the true strength and dedication of our organization: we never stand still, all of us throughout the PEFC alliance are constantly striving to do better, to reach more people, and get more forests managed sustainably.”
We also award the top three members to grow their Chain of Custody certificates.
This year the honor went to PEFC Germany, which added 91 Chain of Custody certificates. In second place came PEFC Spain and China Forest Certification Council (CFCC) in third.