The American Forest Foundation (AFF) today kicked off its celebration of the 75th anniversary of the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), the largest and oldest sustainable forestry program for family forest owners. In celebration, AFF's governance, Tree Farmers, volunteers and partners have pledged to measurably increase their impact on the clean water, wildlife habitat and wood supply that comes from family-owned forests. “Our woodlands are facing incredible challenges today – a changing climate, catastrophic wildfires, insect epidemics, development pressures, and much more,” said Tom Martin, President and CEO of AFF. “Yet we continue to need the clean water, wildlife habitat and wood supply we depend on from our forests. Tree Farmers exhibit the most exceptional forest stewardship that helps protect and enhance these benefits.”
2016 was a fantastic year for the PEFC Alliance, as we welcomed six new national members to the family – but 2017 could be even better!
As has become the tradition during our General Assembly, representatives from countries actively developing national forest certification systems were invited to speak – and this year we had a very busy agenda, with Cambodia, Mexico, Nepal, Philippines, Republic of Congo and Viet Nam all taking part.
So what did they have to say?
“There was no interest in forest certification, until PEFC came to our country,” said June Alvarez from the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development.
“Since then, we have led an education campaign, started drafting our national system and begun the creation of a national governing body – all with the assistance of PEFC International.”
“PEFC supports the development of national systems, ensuring that the concerns of the country are taken into account,” said Hugues Ekani, on behalf of PAFC Congo.
“It is for this reason that the Congolese government is supporting the development of PEFC in the country.”
Others took the opportunity to highlight their progress towards PEFC certification.
“Within the next two years we hope to have a national system and a national governing body in place,” said Ghan Shyam Pandey from Green Foundation Nepal.
“In two years we might even have the highest PEFC-certified forest in the world!”
While for some, just being at PEFC Week was a great opportunity.
“I am very glad to be here to learn and get experience from the old and new members – from the whole PEFC family!” said So Lorn, from the Forestry Administration of Cambodia.
“I hope that PEFC will support Cambodia as we develop our national forest certification system.”
more at: http://pefc.org/news-a-media/general-sfm-news/2308-the-future-is-brighter-than-ever-for-pefc-s-global-reach