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Philippines: Sustainable Forestry Offers Massive Potential to Improve Livelihoods

Jul 23 2015

philippines meeting 22“Sustainable forest management certification is at a tipping point, becoming the norm, making this an ideal time for the Philippines to join other leaders in the region to promote sustainable livelihood and forests in the Philippines and its trading partners,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, in his keynote address at the ‘PEFC and National Forestry Certification Information and Awareness Seminar’ in Manila, Philippines, earlier this week.

“This provides the Philippines with a massive potential to contribute to the expansion of sustainable forest management in the Southeast Asia region.”

“Initial work has already begun on developing sustainability standards for forestry, and we welcome the participation of all stakeholders in mainstreaming and completing this process,” said Ricardo L. Calderon, Director of the Forest Management Bureau, updating the participants on the status of the Philippine national forestry certification’s development. “The aim is to have a nationally appropriate system to give us international recognition by organizations like PEFC.”

“Given that the government has indicated its desire to develop a national forest certification system, now is the time for all stakeholders to redouble their efforts to help landowners and the forest industry on their journey towards the vision of a world in which people manage their forests sustainably,” Mr. Gunneberg concluded.

Over 90 Philippine stakeholders from the forestry industry, the Forest Management Bureau under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, industry associations, researchers, certification and accreditation experts, and companies, joined PEFC for the Information and Awareness Seminar, which was held as part of the Kalikasan GP3 Expo Conference 2015 - see Ben Gunneberg at the official opening of the Expo below. PEFC is also participating in the Expo from 23 to 25 July with a booth featuring information about the organization’s expansion and activities around the globe.

Opening of GP3 Expo

In the afternoon, PEFC South East Asia Representative Richard Laity presented on the EUTR-aligned due diligence systems of PEFC controlled sources and ongoing pilot projects in neighboring countries to assist landowners in preparing themselves for moving towards sustainable forest management.

Industry associations were also very active in discussing these developments during an open forum panel discussion. Panelists included:

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