PEFC and PAFC at the One Forest Summit
24 February 2023 Upcoming event
This March, world leaders will gather in Gabon for the One Forest Summit to advance our collective ambition regarding the preservation and sustainable management of rainforests. And PEFC will be there.
The forests of the Congo Basin are one of the last truly untouched forest areas in the world. But there is increasing pressure on these forests as the region’s population grows and looks to the forests as an important driver for economic development.
PEFC is present in the Congo Basin through our three PAFC national members: PAFC Cameroon, PAFC Congo, and PAFC Gabon. Together, under the name of PAFC Congo Basin, these members have jointly developed a regional forest certification system.
“The One Forest Summit was launched at COP 27 by Gabonese President Ali Bongo and French President Emmanuel Macron. They both recognised the environmental and economic value of the Congo Basin Forest and the urgency to act to preserve it,” said Thomas Seyvet, Development Officer, part of the PEFC international team travelling to Gabon for the Summit.
“PAFC puts sustainability at its heart by offering an internationally recognised operational tool tailored to the subregion for forest owners and operators.”
The PAFC regional system seeks to enable the three countries to use and benefit from their forest resource, but doing so in a way that is responsible, that ensures the forests are not just protected, but enhanced.
And forestry is not just about the environment, people are a vital element, and people are at the centre of this regional system.
The internal social requirements mean that forest workers and their beneficiaries living on-site have access to health care, schooling, clean drinking water, and all basic necessities. Externally, the requirements cover a range of social issues, including stakeholder engagement plans and FPIC (free, prior, and informed consent) with indigenous peoples and local communities.
The regional system also goes further, being the first PEFC endorsed forest certification system to require mapping of carbon stocks, and performing of greenhouse gas emissions assessments.
The sustainable exploitation of forests and the valorisation of wood products
Michael Berger, PEFC International CEO, will take this message to the Summit. Participating in the ‘The sustainable exploitation of forests and the valorisation of wood products’ session, Michael will discuss the difference certification can make in terms of sustainability and market opportunities.
The panel, which also includes representatives from Precious Wood, FSC, and Rougier Gabon, will look at the opportunities and challenges of certification in the Congo Basin, how to fight deforestation and guarantee economic development, and the obstacles and solutions.