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 over 800 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, it is now possible for Chinese forest owners and managers to gain PEFC certification of their sustainable forest management practices. Japan is not far behind, with the Sustainable Green Ecosystem Council (SGEC) becoming a PEFC National member in 2014, and expected to submit 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, and in 2015, both the PEFC China office and the China Forest Certification Council (CFCC) will be meeting with the big CFCC/PEFC certified companies in China to encourage them to use the PEFC label of their products.
Looking back to 2014, it was another busy year for the China office as they participated in numerous tradeshows and conferences, including the China Pulp & Paper Week in Shanghai, Green Paper Procurement seminar in Hong Kong, Paperworld China, and China Paper Industry Sustainable Development Forum 2014 in Ningbo. 2015 will be no different, with the China office already planning to organize and participate in a wide range of conferences and workshops.
Along with market outreach, the PEFC China office continues to support CFCC - following the endorsement of their system at the beginning of 2014. This will include 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.
As part of their 2015 plan, the PEFC Japan office is targeting the wood and paper sector, with the goal of increasing Chain of Custody certification. In particular, they will 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, 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 will also continue to organize and attend a range of seminars and exhibitions throughout 2015. Five seminars are already planned, including a range of seminars targeted at brand owners. As with previous years, the Japan office will participate in a variety of events, such as the Japan Kenzai Fairs.
With SGEC joining PEFC as a National member in 2014, the PEFC Japan office continues to support them in their final preparations before submitting the national forest certification system to PEFC later in 2015.
While the initiative’s core focus has been in China and Japan, interest and demand for PEFC is growing rapidly throughout Southeast Asia. PEFC therefore expanded the scope of the Asia Promotions Initiative in 2012, 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 Vietnam. Recent events include CIFOR’s Forest Asia Summit in Indonesia, as well as a series of seminars and outreach events in Thailand and Vietnam. 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, Myanmar, Nepal, South Korea and Thailand.
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