With forest certification being a critical tool to maintain and enhance the world's forest resource and significantly contribute to global efforts to reduce forest degradation, PEFC is playing an increasingly prominent role in encouraging governments and other stakeholders to recognise the Rio Forest Certification Declaration.
The Rio Forest Certification Declaration is based on the idea that a common set of principles is required to provide guidance to everyone about what is needed to better promote forest certification and its continuous growth to advance sustainable forest management. It picks up on ideas that have previously emerged in other documents, including the 1992 Rio Declaration, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Agenda 21, the UN Charter and the Forest Principles, to establish a framework that all stakeholders should be able to support.
"The challenges facing the world's forests, and the inability of governments to act at the first Earth Summit in Rio twenty years ago, resulted in the birth of the idea of forest certification," says Ben Gunneberg, Secretary General of PEFC International. "This voluntary mechanism provided forest owners with the opportunity to demonstrate and validate their responsible forestry practices through independent certification. Yet the movement has stalled - only 9% of the world's forests, and only 2% of tropical forests, are certified."
"What is needed is a common set of principles, a set of principles that provides guidance to all of us about what is needed to better promote forest certification and its continuous growth to advance sustainable forest management. We need to ensure that all the well-meaning actions by the various stakeholders result in a decrease of forest degradation and an increase in understanding and awareness of the benefits that the world's forests have to offer. Countless people have already signed the Rio Forest Certification Declaration, and we ask for your support in bringing it to the table in the discussion about the zero draft of the Rio+20 Outcome document, and to sign the declaration."
So join the movement! The Rio Forest Certification Declaration will be presented with all signatures at the 2012 Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, 20 – 22 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sign at: www.rioforestcertificationdeclaration.orgThe 10 Principles of the Rio Forest Certification Declaration are:
- Human beings are at the centre of sustainable forest management
- Recognise and respect national sovereignty in the design and implementation of sustainable forest management policies and standards
- Protect the complexity of forest ecosystems, forest-dependent economies, and rural culture by adopting integrated forest management plans and policies
- Contribute to poverty reduction through empowerment of the poor
- Open and accessible stakeholder processes are essential
- Transparency, inclusiveness, and collaboration are fundamental prerequisites for global sustainability
- Utilise the benefits of renewable and climate-smart forest-based products
- Rely on science, local experience, and traditional forest-related knowledge to advance sustainable forest management
- Use a precautionary approach to prevent irreversible damage
- Promoting global acceptance of sustainable forest management through voluntary programmes and education is the fastest path to healthy forests and vibrant rural communities
- Rio Forest Certification Declaration