This August, Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF), the national member of PEFC from India, has released the voluntary certification standard for Trees Outside Forests (TOF) in India after three years' development. In the Indian context, TOF refers to agroforestry, urban trees and forests and scattered trees in farmland and homesteads, trees along roads, canals, railway lines and in orchards and gardens. These trees are mostly privately owned, even by small and marginal farmers. TOF resources play a very important role in meeting the demand for wood fibre in India, especially for the pulp and paper, plywood and composite products, handicrafts and furniture industries. Currently, TOF resources are estimated to meet more than 85% of the industrial wood requirements. We anticipate that NCCF will seek the endorsement of TOF certification standard by PEFC and will keep following its development.
Collected news links from external sources related to topics concerning the Book Chain Project.
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resource of Australia has decided that certified businesses are required to maintain an equivalent due diligence system under PEFC Chain of Custody standard, and also AFS (Australia’s PEFC-endorsed national forest certification system), which means that PEFC-certified companies in Australia are now recognized as automatically meeting the due diligence requirements in the illegal logging regulation of Australia, and no separate due diligence system prepared for the illegal logging regulation specifically is not required.
India, through their national scheme the Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF), is the latest country to join PEFC. It is the fifth Asian country to join and can now continue the process of fully developing a national certification scheme and then receiving PEFC endorsement.
Indonesia has long been accused of not managing forests in a sustainable manner and of failing to curb illegal logging and trade in regard to the export of forest-sourced products. The demand to implement sustainable forest management policies is getting stronger. The voluntary PEFC/IFCC (the Indonesia Forest Certification Co-Operation) certification has been seen as a “passport” for the companies to allow their products to entre countries that set sustainable forest management preconditions. Forestry companies’ policies need to be tested on the ground.
PEFC Italy, along with Conlegno, RiSSC, Risk Monitor and CNVP have launched a project aimed at preventing criminal organizations infiltrating into the EU timber market. The TREES project (Timber Regulation Enforcement to protect European wood Sector from criminal infiltration) aims at promoting standard procedures to prevent the risks of criminal infiltrations into the European market. By the end of the project, a standardized set of guidelines, actions and strategies to overcome difficulties in Due Diligence implementation will be developed, providing market operators with suggestions on how to carry out risk assessments and risk procedures.
The China Forest Certification Scheme (CFCS) has been endorsed by the PEFC General Assembly. There are already about 2 million hectares of forests in China CFCS-certified, and more than 200 professionals have participated in the CFCC auditor training over the past years to be able to respond to the expected increase in demand for certification services following the endorsement by PEFC. According to PEFC’s website China is not only the largest manufacturer of forest products, they are also the ‘among the five countries with the largest forest area in the world’.
APRIL still holds chain-of-custody certificates granted through the industry-led PEFC forest certification scheme.
Unlike FSC, PEFC does not have a policy of association or a process to dissociate itself from companies engaging in large scale deforestation.
Report from the Guardian looking at the increasing use of DNA tracking for imports of solid wood of at risk species.
The report questions why FSC and PEFC aren’t adopting such technology but, as the FSC spokesperson points out, ‘at this point, the cost effectiveness and the science aren't quite there, you can't do testing on paper or lots of composite wood products because the DNA is generally removed. For some tropical species, there are many closely related relatives, which also makes it difficult.’
Commentary from Scott Poynton, Founder & Executive Director of The Forest Trust, highlighting the conflicts of interest faced by voluntary certification schemes who are "protecting income streams rather than the world's forests". To solve the problem, Scott recommends certification schemes adopt a new funding model that does not rely on issuing certificates.
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has published a report, Wood for Good: Solutions for Deforestation-Free Wood Products, analyzing tropical wood production’s effect on deforestation and offering solutions for sustainable production. The report identifies a threefold solution to meet the global demand for sustainable tropical wood: 1) turn to responsible plantation forests; 2) governments to develop policies that make sustainable forest management an attractive business prospect; and 3) all stakeholders should demand products certified by FSC or PEFC.
PEFC has cleared Forestry Tasmania of unsustainable harvesting practices and re-certified the company for another three years. The audit came after allegations that the company was logging native forest at twice the rate of sustainable yield. The outcome was met with criticism from Kim Booth of the Australian Green Party who said, “the PEFC auditing that's done on Australian forestry standard harvesting methods is not worth the paper it's written on because the market's rejected it and that's the essential problem that Forestry Tasmania has fallen into”.
In advance of the entering into force of the EUTR, the UK Contractors Group has stated that all timber products purchased for either temporary or permanent use on UKCG member sites will be certified as legally and sustainably sourced through FSC or PEFC.
Allegations made against Tasmania’s state-owned forestry company of unsustainable harvesting of its native forests. PEFC is now investigating whether the company has breached its standards on managing its forests sustainably.