First Latvian private forest owners achieve PEFC certification!
3 August 2016 News
Private forest owners in Latvia have reason to celebrate as the private forest association MA Krāslava becomes the first in the country to achieve PEFC sustainable forest management certification through PEFC Group Certification. Thanks to this, 23 individual forest owners have been able to certify their forests – together covering 417 hectares.
“We are extremely happy that the first forest owners have begun to benefit from the possibilities offered by PEFC Group Certification,” said Martins Ailts, Board member of PEFC Latvia.
“PEFC certification enables them to demonstrate sustainable forest management, gives them access to the certified timber market, and provides them with the possibility to attract some support from the government,” Mr. Ailts continued.
“A wish to be the best and the opportunities that certification offers were the driving force for us to achieve our certificate,” said Valērijs Drozdovs, group manager, explaining their reasons for gaining PEFC certification.
PEFC Group Certification
The 23 forest owners have achieved their PEFC certificate through group certification, with Valērijs Drozdovs acting as the group manager.
Group certification was developed by PEFC to enable small-forest owners to organize themselves, pool their resources and work together to achieve certification. The group manager has overall responsibility for ensuring that all forest owners within the ‘group’ certified area manage their forests in line with the PEFC requirements.
“Now that MA Krāslava has become the first to achieve PEFC certification, we hope it will act as an example for Latvia’s other forest owners, associations and cooperatives that are still only considering certification,” concluded Mr. Ailts.
2013 PEFC Collaboration Fund
The successful certification of MA Krāslava is the direct result of three years of hard work by PEFC Latvia, as they focused on the development of group certification in the country. This work was supported by the 2013 PEFC Collaboration Fund, helping PEFC Latvia to run a pilot project and awareness raising campaign directed at small- and family forest owners.