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PEFC, Bamboo and Rattan: Towards Meeting the SDGs and the Bonn Challenge together

Jun 28 2018

“For forest certification to be affordable and successful in meeting the needs of smallholder bamboo communities, it needs to be risk based, regional, nationally appropriate and internationally recognized,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, at the Global Bamboo and Rattan Congress (BARC2018 ).

BARC2018“PEFC can provide this.”

BARC2018, held recently in Beijing China, brought together stakeholders from around the world to discuss how bamboo and rattan can contribute to South-South cooperation, climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals, among many other issues.

Early days of forest certification

Speaking at the ‘Driving Bamboo and Rattan Development through Sustainability Standards and Certification’ side event, Ben brought the experiences of PEFC in developing and running national forest certification systems to conference.

“The bamboo and rattan sector reminds me of the early days of forest certification, but the sector can learn from and avoid the mistakes we made,” Ben highlighted.

“We must adopt landscape approaches to certification - something that we at PEFC are already moving towards with our new ‘Trees outside forests’ approach to certification, currently under development.”

More than a market mechanism

With only 12% of the world’s forests certified after 25 years, forest certification as a ‘market driven instrument only’ is not delivering as well as it should.

“What we need is a combination of public subsidies, to help smallholders manage their areas sustainably for the good of society as well as for their own sustainable livelihoods; private incentives, in the form of market demand for example; and local stakeholder engaging in developing, owning and delivering on sustainable forest management practices in a way that is internationally recognised – the Public, Private, Stakeholder Partnership (PPSP),” Ben continued.


The cost of the 44 INBAR member governments’ commitments for the bamboo sector’s contribution (establishing some 5 million new hectares) towards the Bonn Challenge (300 million hectares restoration of degraded lands by 2030) is estimated at 500 million USD.

“A very small sum when compared to the governments’ military spending, considering it addresses one of the greatest security risk to mankind - climate change!”