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National Forest Certification System of Gabon Achieves Re-endorsement

Nov 24 2014

GabonThe Gabonese forest certification system has successfully achieved re-endorsement by PEFC, confirming that it continues to meet PEFC’s globally recognized Sustainability Benchmarks.

"We spent two years working very hard to revise our system and meet PEFC benchmarks and deadlines, so we are extremely proud to have achieved endorsement of our system for a second time," said Rose Ondo, President of PAFC Gabon. "I would like to give a special thank you to ECOFORAF who financed the revision of our system, as well as all our partners and stakeholders who were involved throughout the process."

Ms. Ondo was among several other PEFC National Members to receive a certificate for endorsement during the 19th PEFC General Assembly held last week in Paris, France. In addition to Argentina, China and Indonesia who achieved endorsement of their national forest certification systems for the first time this year, the national systems of ATFS, Gabon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland were all successfully re-endorsed.

PAFC Gabon joined PEFC in December 2004, and in 2009 its system became the first in Africa to meet PEFC's sustainability benchmark requirements. Five years later, PAFC Gabon submitted its revised system - which was developed with the technical support of TEREA - to PEFC for re-endorsement.

PEFC requires the regular revision of all national systems in order to ensure that latest scientific research, practical experiences and best practices from the field are systematically incorporated in these revisions and then implemented at national, regional and local level. In addition, regular revisions enable the inclusion of evolving values, expectations, and aspirations of society towards sustainable forest management.

PEFC International remains the only global forest certification system to limit endorsements of national systems to five years, requiring standards revisions before a system can re-apply for endorsement, which is only granted after a comprehensive, third-party assessment of compliance with PEFC’s Sustainability Benchmarks.

With more than two-thirds of Gabon covered in forest, as well as home to some of Africa's most biodiverse rainforests, the Gabonese system is an important step towards the development of sustainable forest management throughout the Congo Basin region. Following this lead, Cameroon is already in the process of developing their national system, and more recently the Republic of Congo has also expressed an interest in the process.

ECOFORAF

The ECOFORAF initiative, funded by the French Fund for the Global Environment (FFEM), aims to encourage and enhance sustainable forest management in Central Africa and to extend forest certification, especially in the Congo Basin region.

The three-year project, which is coordinated and managed by ATIBT specifically targets local communities and forest managers, NGOs and corporations.  It promotes the exploitation of wood resources while ensuring the preservation of forests and forest-related services so that present and future populations at local, national and global levels will be able to benefit from them.

ECOFORAF provided funding for PEFC International for its support to the revision of the Gabonese national forest certification system.

Assessment Report

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PEFC Certified

Forests area: 304 million ha
Forest owners: > 750,000
Companies (CoC): > 19,800

(as of September 2017)
Global Stats | Read more...

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