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PEFC helps cities get their Christmas festivities started!

Dec 22 2017

Sapin Grand Place nov 2017Christmas is round the corner. Time for us to head into town, to a Christmas market or to see the festive lights.

But what city square would be complete without a Christmas tree?

“These stunning trees, several meters tall and often over a hundred years old, are certainly special,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International.

“And thanks to PEFC certification, we can all rest assured that these giants come from sustainably managed forests that will produce such trees for generations to come.”

Where can you find PEFC-certified Christmas trees this year?

London’s festive season kicked off in sustainable style with the lighting of the iconic Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree on 7 December. The traditional gift from Norway to the UK is the 70th in the series of trees donated by Oslo to London.

Trafalgar Square Christmas tree 2017Oslo has sent a tree to London every year since 1947 as a token of gratitude, celebration and commemoration of Britain’s support during WW2. The annual gift of has come to symbolize the deep and long-lasting friendship between Norway and the UK.

The 70-year old, 21m tall tree, came to London from a PEFC-certified forest in Oslo, by road and sea. The ‘Queen of the Forest’ as she is affectionately known by the forestry workers, was selected from a shortlist of particularly fine trees in a process that started back in May.

Every year, an enormous Christmas tree sits proudly on the Grand-Place of Brussels during their famous Winter Wonders celebrations. Like 2011, 2013 and 2015, the tree is once again from the PEFC-certified forests of the Walloon region of Belgium.

Sapin Grand Place nov 2017“We are very happy to receive this tree, it is clearly an honour for the people of Brussels to see it in the Grand-Place!” said Philippe Close, Major of the City of Brussels.

“It is an ambassador of the Walloon forests that sits enthroned in the most iconic Grand-Place of the country, during the end of year celebrations,” said René Collin, Walloon Minister for Agriculture, Tourism, Nature and Forests.

In Italy, PEFC-certified Christmas trees can be found around the country, from Piazza San Pietro in Rome to Piazza del Duomo in Milan.

“Choosing certified trees to celebrate Christmas sends an important message in favor of the correct use of the world's forest heritage and raising the awareness of a wider public,” said Antonio Brunori, National Secretary of PEFC Italy.

“We are proud to have contributed to the sustainable beautification of so many Italian squares.”

Why stop with just one tree?

Though PEFC Week left Helsinki a month ago, PEFC is still there! If you head to the Finnish National Museum, you will find a forest of PEFC-certified Christmas trees.

Helsinki Christmas forest 2017

Almost 1000 volunteers, including pre-school children, school groups and other communities, decorated the trees with self-made ornaments. This year’s theme for the event is friends and family who live far away or around the world.

You can have a stroll in the forest, think about them and listen to the sound installation of people around the world describing their Christmas traditions and ways to spend the festive season.

All of the 60 trees are from PEFC-certified forests owned by the state, and the forest can be visited until 6 January 2018.

Previous PEFC Christmas Trees:

PEFC Week 2017 logo 160 incl top bottom 10px margins

PEFC Certified

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

(as of September 2017)
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