Industry News

Fern publishes Annual Report 2015 highlighting advances in forests protection

The environmental NGO Fern has released its Annual Report 2015, including projects, researches and achievements from 2015 and beyond.

Highlights include the launch of the campaign for an EU action plan to protect forests and respect rights and the stalling of plans to introduce biodiversity offsetting in the UK and the EU.

Fern’s activities also focus on controversial themes like the impacts of intensified bioenergy use, forest finance, climate change and reduction of fossil fuel emissions.

"2015 was an exciting year at Fern, with a number of successes thanks to our partnerships in the Congo Basin, West Africa, South East Asia, and Europe", said the organization. "Fern’s work to end illegal logging is progressing well despite heightened political tensions in several important countries."

The annual report includes a 'behind the scenes' section describing a typical day of FERN campaigners.

To download the report click here.


[News URL:]

Forestry Commission issues Annual Report and Accounts 2015-16

The Forestry Commission has released its Annual Report and Accounts 2015-2016.

The publication - available here - includes audited financial statements, which comply with statutory regulations, as well as the audit report. 

It also features recent projects, researches and key actions developed in 7 main areas:

  • Acute oak decline research
  • Urban tree canopies and ecosystem services
  • Using long-term experiments to guide future forestry
  • Evaluating the impact of Grow Wild
  • Ash trees resistant to Chalara
  • Eradication of the Asian longhorn beetle
  • Release of improved wind risk management tool

Major results achieved by the Commission include:

  • The allocation of £14.2m Rural Development Programme funding to woodland creation enabling landowners to plant 1,329 ha of new woodland through Countryside Stewardship
  • The launch of a four-year science programme under the Science and Innovation Strategy for Forestry in Great Britain (SIS) aimed to provide the context and framework for interdisciplinary research on the UK forestry sector
  • The publication of a study into the incorporation of biodiversity into the modelling of rotation length

Forestry Commission Chair Sir Harry Studholme said: "Our work to protect trees from pests, diseases, illegal felling and the effects of climate change this year has included vital monitoring, regulation and communication both locally and nationally. At cross-border level our Plant Health Service has joined the ‘One Government at the Border’ project to help monitor the movement of goods between countries, with a particular focus on monitoring wood packaging from Asia."

Mr Studholme added: "As we look to 2016-17 we will continue in our mission to protect, improve and expand our woodlands in the context of the wider Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) strategy – Creating a Great Place for Living. Striving for a cleaner, healthier environment, a thriving rural economy and a nation better protected against flood and plant diseases is at our heart, and we will work with others to achieve this."

For more information, visit


[News URL:]

PEFC launches pilot project to test feasibility of remote internal audits

The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) has launched a pilot project to test the feasibility of conducting internal audits remotely.

The PEFC Chain of Custody standard currently requires that the internal auditing program of a multi-site certification includes the physical, onsite auditing of every site annually, before the external audit is conducted by an independent certification body.

This initiative will allow participating organizations to establish and utilize their own computer assisted auditing techniques in order to conduct the internal audits of their sites remotely.

The results from this pilot project will then be taken into consideration in the ongoing revision of the PEFC Chain of Custody standard.

Any organization holding a valid PEFC Chain of Custody multi-site certificate - where the sites have largely homogeneous chain of custody processes - can apply to participate in this pilot project by completing this online registration form.

There will be an administration fee of 500 CHF (£384) for all the organizations chosen to take part in the pilot project.

For more information click here


[News URL:]

FAO FLEGT Programme launches Call for concept notes in VPA countries

The FAO Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Programme (FAO FLEGT Programme) is now accepting concept notes from government institutions, civil society and private sector organizations in timber-producing countries engaged in Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) with the EU.

Eligible VPA Countries include: Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam, Guyana, Honduras.

In addition to a continuing focus on private sector, this Call will also value proposals seeking innovative and effective methods to integrate gender issues in the context of the forest governance aspects that are addressed.

Grants of up to US$ 110 000 are available through the project. The selection of proposals will be done through two phases. In the first phase, all eligible applicants are invited to submit concept notes. In the second phase, proponents of selected concept notes will be asked to submit full project proposals.

The deadline for submission of Concept Notes is 15 September 2016.

The Guidelines for the Call are available here, together with the Concept Note template that can be downloaded here.


[News URL:]

Myanmar national logging ban to run until Spring 2017

The new Government of Myanmar has agreed a temporary national logging ban and a 10-year logging ban in the Pegu Yoma region.

The national logging ban will run until the end of March 2017, in effect closing the forests for one complete logging season. All exports of round logs from the country have been banned since April 2014.

For the duration of the new national ban, Myanmar will rely on stockpiled timber to supply its domestic wood processing industry and the international market; current stockpiles are sufficient to meet current demand for up to three years.

Access to these stockpiles will be controlled by the Myanmar Timber Enterprise (MTE), a Government entity, and the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) stressed the importance of having controls in place to ensure full chain-of-custody for all stockpile sales to prevent illegally logged timber being laundered through the system.

As denounced by the EIA, between 2010-15, Myanmar lost 546,000 hectares of forests, about 8.5 per cent of its forest cover; only Brazil and Indonesia have worse rates.

A further reform expected to be announced by the Government will prohibit private companies from logging in the country. The MTE previously sub-contracted to private sector firms to carry out logging, many of which had close ties to the former military government and which played a key role in over-harvesting.

Faith Doherty, Team Leader of EIA’s Forests Campaign, said: “This is a decision that demonstrates clear intent to tackle corruption within the forestry sector by Myanmar’s National League for Democracy-led Government, which only came to power in March. Of course, there is no one-policy solution to the problem and much work remains to be done, but this is a hugely encouraging and an optimistic place to start.”


[News URL:]