Asia Promotions Initiative
As an important hub for global production and trade, the Asia region has a strong influence on the environmental sustainability of international forest products, making it vital to build supply chain capacity and increase the availability of certified timber across this region.
The Asia Promotions Initiative, with offices in China and Japan, therefore works to raise awareness, build capacity and encourage the uptake of PEFC certification throughout Asia.
Increasing the recognition of PEFC and the growth of Chain of Custody certification in China and Japan is one of the objectives of the initiative. Since it began in 2007, ambitious promotional programs have been implemented annually, combining company visits, seminars, training sessions and exhibitions, together with ongoing public relations activities. Thanks to this work, there are now more than 900 PEFC Chain of Custody certificates in the region.
Another objective is to enable PEFC sustainable forest management certification in both China and Japan. Given the volume of wood imported, domestic forest production and the large exportation of wood products to international markets, providing forest owners with a viable option to obtain PEFC certification is a strategic priority for the organization.
With the endorsement of the Chinese Forest Certification Scheme (CFCS) in 2014, Chinese forest owners and managers can gain PEFC certification of their sustainable forest management practices. There are now more 5.6 million hectares of PEFC-certified forest area in China. Japan is not far behind, with the Sustainable Green Ecosystem Council (SGEC) becoming a PEFC National member in 2014, and submitting their national system for endorsement in 2015.
Market outreach is an important aspect of our work in China, with a strong focus on promoting Forest Management and PEFC Chain of Custody certification throughout the country.
A key aspect of this work is increasing the visibility of the PEFC label within the Chinese market, with both the PEFC China office and the China Forest Certification Council (CFCC) meeting with the big CFCC/PEFC certified companies in China to encourage them to use the PEFC label on their products. A breakthrough came in 2015 as Asia Symbol’s “Paper One” copy became the first product in China to carry both the PEFC and CFCC logos.
Looking back to 2015, it was another busy year for the China office as they participated in numerous tradeshows and conferences, such as the 2nd Global Timber Forum and the Sylva Wood Exhibition. The China office also hosted several training sessions and seminars, including training for internal auditors and for representatives from the Singaporean pulp and paper company RGE.
Along with market outreach, the PEFC China office continues to support CFCC - following the endorsement of their system at the beginning of 2014. This includes carrying out certain administrative responsibilities, such as the issuance of logo licenses and the registration of certificates, as well as organizing training sessions for auditors.
The PEFC Japan office continues to target the wood and paper sector, with the goal of increasing Chain of Custody certification. In particular, they work with the major brand owners in Japan to encourage them to use PEFC-certified paper for their packaging and printed material – not only increasing the demand for PEFC-certified material but also increasing the visibility of the PEFC label within the Japanese market.
With the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games getting ever closer, the Japan office continues to work with SGEC to promote the use of certified materials to the Games organizers. In response to the work already done in 2014, including a visit by Mr. William Street, the then Chairman of PEFC International, to the Tokyo Government, the governments of both Tokyo and Japan appear to be considering this proposal positively.
The PEFC Japan office also continues to organize and attend a range of seminars and exhibitions, targeting brand owners, industry, researchers and government. As with previous years, the Japan office participates in a variety of events, such as the Japan Kenzai Fairs.
With SGEC joining PEFC as a National member in 2014, the PEFC Japan supported them in their final preparations for the submission of the national forest certification system to PEFC in early 2015.
While the initiative’s core focus has been in China and Japan, interest and demand for PEFC is growing rapidly throughout Southeast Asia. In 2012, we decided to expand the scope of our Asia Promotions Initiative, delivering the support needed to increase certification in the region.
Outreach activities are now conducted on a regular basis in several Asian countries, such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea and Viet Nam. Recent events include Kalikasan GP3 Expo Conference 2015 in Philippines and Vietnamwood in Viet Nam. These high profile events are complemented with a range of training events, seminars and workshops that PEFC delivers in cooperation with our partners in the region.
PEFC’s presence continues to expand, with the Indonesian Forest Certification Cooperative (IFCC) achieving endorsement of their national forest certification system in October 2014. IFCC joins the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC), a member since 2002, which has already achieved the PEFC certification of 4.6 million hectares of natural forest. Further Asian countries are developing their national forest certification systems currently, including India, which joined PEFC as a National member in August, as well as Myanmar, Nepal, South Korea, Thailand and Viet Nam.
To continue the expansion of PEFC’s uptake in Asia we are currently looking for new funding partners to join our efforts.
For more information, please contact:
Head of Projects & Development, PEFC International
- CMPC Celulosa S.A.
- Celulosa Arauco Y Constitución S.A.
- Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd (Canada)
- Malaysia Timber Certification Council (MTCC)
- Paperlinx Singapore
- PEFC UK
- Purinusa Ekapersada (APP)
- Swedish PEFC Co-operative
- Sustainable Forestry Inititative
- PEFC Asia Promotion Japan
- PEFC China Promotions Office
- PEFC International