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Groundwork for Forest Certification in Montenegro Facilitated by PEFC Collaboration Fund

Jun 17 2014

montenegroA PEFC Collaboration Fund supported project to evaluate the potential of developing sustainable forest management certification in the Balkans reached its conclusion with a seminar in Podgorica, Montenegro, summarizing the achievements and elaborating on potential next steps.

This project, entitled “Mobilizing and Combining Efforts for PEFC SFM Certification in Balkan Countries, Pilot Cases Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro”, aimed at increasing awareness of the need for certification among private forest owners, securing the participation and involvement of interested stakeholders in the national standard-setting process and the creation of a management/administrative organization otherwise known as a National Governing Body, to prepare the development of national PEFC systems in both countries.

“Sustainable forest management certification was officially introduced as a part of the Government ‘Strategy of Forest and Wood Industry’ priorities. In my view, EUTR requirements and the certification of forest resources are a ‘must’ for the selling of wood material to Europe“, said Mr. Adem Fetic , Vice Minister for Forests of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, expressing a strong interest in developing forest certification in the country.

This was mirrored by the President of National Private Forest Owners Associations, Mr. Bakic, who also emphasized a desire for certification, particularly on group certification together with the state forests.

The seminar was opened by Antonio Brunori, Secretary General of PEFC Italy - the project’s implementing organization who guided the audience through the project steps and achievements, supplemented by presentations from two local PEFC consultants, Zehra Demic and Mensura Nuhodzic, explaining the activities developed in the field.

Franc Ferlin, an international consultant who has been developing the technical basis for the sustainable forest management standard in Montenegro, then presented the working draft of this standard and the possible future steps to be implemented for the development of PEFC certification in the country.

Remi Sournia, Projects & Development Officer at PEFC International, provided further information about PEFC International requirements that any final national certification sytem would need to meet, guiding participants through the endorsement process. “Participants have come far in laying the groundwork for a future national forest certification system. We are hopeful that stakeholders will be able to make the necessary resources available to continue the process, and we are looking forward to future opportunities for collaboration.”

Numerous stakeholders from Albania and Montenegro also attended the seminar including the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the President of the Private Forest Owners’ Association of Montenegro and a representative from the Montenegrin Forest Administration. Other stakeholders included:

  • Forest Administration District Units
  • State forest concession holders
  • Forestry inspection service (as independent Government organization)
  • Montenegrin Forestry Institute
  • Montenegrin Institute for standardization
  • NGOs
  • University of Tirana
  • Business sector; and
  • National Parks.

PEFC Certified

Forests area: 313 million ha
Forest owners: > 750,000
Companies (CoC): > 19,800

(as of December 2017)
Global Stats |

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