Indonesian forests to benefit from PEFC certification
9 October 2014 PEFC system news
Indonesian forests, home to some of the most biologically diverse forests in the world, can now benefit from credible, globally recognized sustainable forest management certification following the endorsement of the Indonesian Forestry Certification Co-operation (IFCC) by PEFC, the world’s leading forest certification system.
“This endorsement signifies a turning point for Indonesia, a country which is still struggling with combating high deforestation rates,” said Ben Gunneberg, Secretary General of PEFC International.
“Forest certification represents an important mechanism to verify and promote sustainable forest management, thus safeguarding the environmental, social and economic benefits that forests provide. This is especially important in a country like Indonesia given the significance of its forest resources both in terms of protecting its invaluable biodiversity and its contribution to the livelihoods of the millions of people that depend on forest resources to make a living.”
With more than 50% of Indonesia’s land area forested, the country’s rainforest is the third-largest in the world. It is considered one of the five most species-rich countries globally, home to about ten percent of all known species of plants, mammals and birds. It is estimated that 80 million Indonesians rely on forests for their livelihood. Responsible management of the country’s forest resources are also important from an economic point of view: Smallholders and industrial forestry operators, along with pulp and paper producers, depend on forests, and contribute approximately US$21 billion to the economy — around 3.5 percent of Indonesia’s GDP. More than 4 million people are employed by this industry.
“PEFC forest certification enables people to choose good wood, wood that comes from forests that have been independently verified as sustainably managed. We encourage companies and consumers alike to opt for PEFC-certified products to support forest owners in Indonesia that manage their forests sustainably,” emphasized Ben Gunneberg.
“Finding the right balance that protects forests and the people who depend on them is critical to achieving long term sustainability. We have benefitted from the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders in the development of our national forest certification system towards this ambitious goal, and the endorsement by PEFC confirms that we are in alignment with globally recognized Sustainability Benchmarks,” said Dradjad H Wibowo, Chairman of the IFCC.
“Forest owners and companies are now able to demonstrate their good practices through certification and to re-gain the trust of the marketplace that has been lost over the past decade. Indonesia recognizes the importance of sustainable forest management, and we encourage buyers globally to take a second look at certified forest products from Indonesia and to reward those who are committed to safeguarding our forest resources.”
The endorsement of IFCC by PEFC follows the most rigorous assessment process existing globally for national forest certification systems seeking international recognition. PEFC requires all standards to be developed through comprehensive, multi-stakeholder and consensus-based processes at national level with all standard requirements meeting or exceeding the environmental, social and economic requirements of PEFC’s Sustainability Benchmarks.
All standards are subjected to an independent third-party evaluation, global public consultation, a review by the Panel of Experts, and consideration by the PEFC Board of Directors before PEFC members decide about the endorsement of a particular national system. The entire assessment documentation is made publicly available to ensure full transparency of the process.