Industry News

AHEC unveils interactive map showing US Hardwood Forests' volumes, growth and removals

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has launched an interactive map showing hardwood forests' growth, removal and volume in the United States.

The map displays data collected by the U.S. Forest Service on a national, state and county level providing regularly updated information for most of the main commercial American hardwood species.

“It’s a dynamic tool that accurately reflects what’s going on in the forest and it will dramatically change the way we promote the sustainability of American hardwoods,” said Mike Snow, AHEC executive director.

It’s a new way for communicating environmental credentials and will make it easier for architects, designers and wood industries to demonstrate the sustainability of the timber they use.”

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/ahec-unveils-interactive-map-showing-us-hardwood-forests-volumes-growth-and-removals]

Double certified forests on the rise, joint PEFC / FSC data report

The two largest forest certification schemes - PEFC and FSC - have agreed to jointly collect and publish data on double certification, starting from 2016 onwards.

More than 69 million hectares (or 16%) of all certified forests globally are double certified to both PEFC and FSC. This is an increase of 30 million hectares compared to data collected by PEFC in 2012.

Double certification exists because foresters in different parts of the world have chosen to use both PEFC and FSC certification for their forest management units to prove their sustainable forest management practices. As their respective certified forest area appears in both the PEFC and the FSC statistics, this has led to inflated numbers of the total global certified area. 

PEFC and FSC therefore decided to work together to provide a more accurate and mutually agreed estimate for the total global certified area.

"From a global point of view, resources invested in certifying already certified forest area are resources that are not invested in certifying new forest area as sustainably managed," said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International.

"Our common goal should be to expand sustainable forest management and to increase the availability of certified forest products. Adding one label on top of another label doesn't help us in achieving this objective," added Mr. Gunneberg.

"One cause of double certification is market access, and here companies have a role to play: by accepting both PEFC and FSC, they remove the pressure on forest owners to double certify.”

“In turn, this will help precious financial resources to be focused on expanding certification to forests that are not yet certified to either system," Mr. Gunneberg concluded.  

The mutually agreed data on double certification provides reliable information on the extent of the total global certified forest area to intergovernmental processes and global initiatives such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other interested parties.

The data collected for 2016 shows that double certification exists in 28 countries. Removing double certification from the statistics shows that a total of 429 million hectares of forests are certified globally. 70% of these forests have a PEFC certificate.

With this agreement, FSC and PEFC also wish to avoid misunderstandings about the current statistics on forest certification when the data from FSC and PEFC are added up.

An estimate of PEFC&FSC certified forest area in 2016 by country is available here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/double-certified-forests-rise-joint-pefc-fsc-data-report]

PEFC issues its Annual Review 2016

The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) has released its Annual Review 2016 featuring the most recent achievements of the organization.

2016 saw 300 million hectares of PEFC-certified forest and several new national certifications schemes - from Ghana, Hungary, Macedonia, Republic of Korea, Romania and Thailand - joining PEFC.

Moreover a dozen countries - including Cameroon - are now developing national systems and preparing for PEFC membership.

PEFC also launched the revision process of its Sustainability Benchmarks – the standards that form the basis for nearly all PEFC activities.

"As the world changes, best practices and knowledge evolve and society’s expectations grow, we must make sure our standards are the best they can be. The process that will take more than two years, affect the majority of our standards, and involve hundreds of experts and thousands of stakeholders", the organization highlights.

Download the PEFC Annual Review 2016 here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/pefc-issues-its-annual-review-2016]

FSC national forest stewardship standard for UK gains conditional approval

At the beginning of May, the draft of FSC national forest stewardship standard for the UK (aka UK Woodland Assurance Standard or UKWAS) was conditionally approved by FSC International’s Policy and Standards Committee (PSC).

The conditional approval of the standard means that there is no further requirement for it to be considered by the PSC. All subsequent discussions about the contents of the standard will be with FSC Policy and Standards Unit (PSU) staff in Bonn, who will have the final say over when conditions have been met. 

The standard has undergone a thorough revision process which began in 2013 and was not approved in first instance by FSC International. Therefore it was resubmitted in February this year.

In terms of the contents of the revised standard, the main condition set by the PSC is that general references to compliance with the law, such as health and safety or workers’ rights legislation, must be replaced with readily auditable, outcome-oriented requirements. 

The PSC has also stipulated that changes be made to the UK standard development group before the next revision of the standard, to ensure representation of economic, environmental and social interests is chamber-balanced in accordance with FSC requirements. 

“This is terrific news,” said FSC UK Forest Standards Manager Dr Owen Davies. “This positive decision from the PSC has been made possible by the hard work and commitment of the UKWAS Steering Group, whose members responded so constructively to FSC feedback on the previous draft. There are still challenges to overcome, but I’m confident that, with continuing constructive collaboration between FSC UK, FSC International and the UKWAS Steering Group, the outstanding conditions can be resolved.”

UKWAS Steering Group chair, Peter Wilson, said: “The revision exercise has been a long haul but the completion of our work is in sight and the steering group will meet shortly to work on closing out the remaining concerns raised by FSC. The revision process has been thorough and radical and, once these conditions are met, we hope that users will find the updated version to be more logical in its approach and much easier to use than earlier versions. Praise is due to steering group members for their tenacity and the dedication they have brought to the task of revising and improving the UKWAS”.

For more info, it is possible to contact Owen Davies at [email protected].

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/fsc-national-forest-stewardship-standard-uk-gains-conditional-approval]

PEFC International launches '2017 Experience Forests' photo contest

PEFC International has launched a photo contest, '2017 Experience Forests', aimed at promoting the importance of forests worldwide.

Photographers can enter a wide variety of pictures: from forest landscapes to close ups within the forest, also including people living, working or playing in woodlands.

The competition - open for entries until Monday 5th June 2017 and limited to 5 photos per person - can be joined on Instagram, Facebook or by accessing www.pefc.photo

The best photos from the contest will enter the international contest and compete for the 2017 PEFC Photographer of the Year Award!

The winner will receive a trip to Helsinki, Finland to attend the 2017 PEFC Forest Certification Week or a cash prize of 3000 CHF.

The top 12 photos will be publicly exhibited at the 2017 PEFC Forest Certification Week at the Scandic Park hotel in Helsinki, Finland in November 2017 and potentially in other places around the world throughout 2017/2018.

Moreover, the top 12 photos will be featured in the 2018 PEFC ‘Experience Forests, Experience PEFC’ photo calendar

For more info, click here. Follow the trend on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook at #PEFCUKIRE. 

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/pefc-international-launches-2017-experience-forests-photo-contest]

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