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Uruguayan Forest Certification Scheme Achieves PEFC Endorsement

Jul 29 2011

uruguay-medPEFC International is pleased to announce that its General Assembly has endorsed the Uruguayan Forest Certification Scheme, following a comprehensive independent assessment for compliance with PEFC's International Sustainability Benchmarks, a Panel of Experts review, and deliberation by its Board of Directors.

"This is an important milestone for forest management in Uruguay," said Ben Gunneberg, PEFC Secretary General. "This scheme is the only national forest certification system which exists in Uruguay that has been developed in a participatory, consensus-driven process by stakeholders for stakeholders."

"With the forest sector playing an important role in the socio-economic development of the country, the additional market acceptance and market access that PEFC certification provides will contribute to further strengthening the sector and benefitting society," Mr Gunneberg continued.

Uruguay is one of the few countries in the world whose forestry development relies extensively on renewable forestry plantations. The country has made forestry a national priority, utilizing land previously used for grazing and areas with marginal farming potential for forests.

Forestry has created a wide range of direct and indirect job opportunities providing five times more jobs on a per hectare basis than farming, and in addition forestry wages are 25% higher. This has benefitted women especially as much of the land now under forest cover was previously used for livestock and agriculture, which offered fewer employment possibilities for women.

Weyerhaeuser, one of the world's largest forest products companies, established a presence in Uruguay in as early as 1996, with a land base of now almost 150.000 hectares. John Guerin, Managing Director for Weyerhaeuser Europe, welcomed the opportunity of being able to obtain PEFC certification for their supply base in Uruguay.

"Weyerhaeuser is committed to sustainable forest management, and certification to nationally developed forest certification systems offers the most credible method to demonstrate sustainability. With customers in Europe and elsewhere demanding PEFC certification as evidence for responsible sourcing, we are eager to both benefit from and promote the certification of forests in Uruguay to the new standard," Mr. Guerin said.

The Uruguayan Forest Certification Scheme achieved PEFC endorsement on 29 June 2011.

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Image Copyright: Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University,

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Forests area: 304 million ha
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