The latest Annual Review of PEFC has just been published with many key activities and achievements in Asia highlighted.
CEO Ben Gunneburg notes that Sustainable Forest Management is inherently part of most, if not all, of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN General assembly. The 2015 PEFC Annual Review demonstrates that SFM is much more than an environmental issue; it also addresses social, economic and cultural dimensions of sustainability.
Key activities around the world are reviewed; those of note in Asia include 5.6 million hectares of forests in China coming under PEFC certification, India joining the PEFC alliance, the first forests in Indonesia gaining PEFC certification, the national forest certification system of Japan being submitted to PEFC for endorsement, Malaysia celebrating 14 years of PEFC partnership, an Information and Awareness seminar in the Philippines and a workshop in Singapore exploring how responsible forest management and certification can support progress towards a haze-free future.
Among the international project highlights was the support PEFC is providing for the development of forest certification in Southeast Asia. In this region, which is home to the world’s third largest area of tropical rainforest, PEFC is developing new approaches to support SFM, making certification accessible and effective for forest owners. Standard development is well underway in Thailand and Viet Nam, while support is being provided to Laos, Myanmar and the Philippines to join Indonesia and Malaysia which have already achieved PEFC endorsement of their national systems.
Other projects underway in the region include the Asia Promotions Initiative, which is working to build supply chain capacity and increase the availability of certified timber, and the Malaysia Monitoring Procedures project, which is developing monitoring and conservation procedures for endangered tree species in Peninsular Malaysia.
Indonesia was selected among only four countries to benefit from the 2015 PEFC Collaboration Fund. The certiﬁcation of Indonesia’s community forests continues to be a challenge. Yet, with increasing levels of timber production and more than 3.4 million households relying on these forests for their livelihoods, their sustainable management is more relevant than ever. Responding to this challenge, PEFC is supporting IFCC to develop community forest certiﬁcation to lay the way for local forest communities to achieve certiﬁcation.
The top line statistics at the time of publication make impressive reading:
- 272 million hectares of forests globally PEFC-certified
North America and Asia both achieved the biggest increase in PEFC-certiﬁed forest area, growing by over 7 million and 6 million hectares, respectively
- 750,000 forest owners globally PEFC-certified
- 17,700 companies in the world benefit from PEFC’s Chain of Custody certification
The full 28 page PEFC Annual Review 2015 is available online at www.pefc.org