Published on 18 November 2016
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.”
Chain of Custody grows too
We also award the top three members to grow their Chain of Custody certificates.
As PEFC Forest Certification Week enters its last day, we look forward to another interesting day focusing on the topic of sustainable landscapes for sustainable livelihoods at the PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue – stay tuned on our event website, Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news!