PEFC turns 20!

2019 is a very special year for the PEFC family as together we celebrate our 20th anniversary. In 1999, European small-forest owners came together to create an international forest certification system that had their needs at heart: PEFC!

PEFC turns 20!

January 21, 2019 News

2019 is a very special year for the PEFC family as together we celebrate our 20th anniversary.

Before the birth of PEFC, forest certification was designed primarily for large-scale forest owners, managing huge areas of land and able to shoulder the burden of certification. But this meant the millions of small-, family and community forest owners were shut out, unable to afford a certification that was not created for them.

It was back in 1999 when European small-forest owners came together to create an international forest certification system that had their needs at heart. On 30 June 1999, PEFC was created!

“Having no certification system suitable for smallholders was a serious issue back in the 90s,” said Ben Gunneberg, the CEO of PEFC International since the very beginning. “Not only for the many small-forest owners that could not benefit from certification, but also for the world.”

Having no certification system suitable for smallholders was a serious issue back in the 90s. Ben Gunneberg, CEO, PEFC International

“Families and communities own 25% of the world’s forests, so it’s vital for all of us that these forests are managed sustainably. By providing these forest owners with the opportunity to gain certification, PEFC led a great leap forward for sustainable forest management, and we continue to work hard to ensure PEFC forest certification continues to be accessible and relevant to forest owners worldwide.”

A year of celebrations

Over the next 18 months, we will be celebrating our achievements from 20 years of caring for forests globally and locally. We have uncovered all our old photos to give you a glimpse of what PEFC looked like at the beginning and how we have changed over time.

Through a series of chapters, we will tell the PEFC story, from 1999 to 2019, highlighting some of the key events and challenges that have shaped our organization. You’ll also get the chance to hear from voices of the past and present, and see a few of our old communications.

In April, get your cameras and phones ready for the third instalment of our international photo contest, and if you see the PEFC label, make sure you take a picture of it and share it online with the hashtag #myPEFCmoment.

In November, the whole PEFC alliance heads to Würzburg, Germany, where one of our very first meetings took place, for the 2019 PEFC Forest Certification Week. Under the theme ‘Certification and Sustainability: from Niche to Mainstream’ our Stakeholder Dialogue will be looking to the future to see where the next 20 years will take us.

Get involved!

There will be many opportunities for everyone to get involved in our anniversary celebrations! Online, make sure you follow the hashtag #20yearsofcaring to see what we and all our members around the world are doing. You can also sign up to our newsletter for all the latest news and activities.

If you are a PEFC-certified company then you can get involved in our celebrations by using our special 20-year logo! It’s already available for you to use on the Label Generator (and if you don’t yet have access, contact the national PEFC member in your country). If you’re not certified, but would like to use the 20-year logo, let us know at t.arndt@pefc.org.

PEFC contact

Thorsten Arndt

Head of Communications

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