Talking PEFC and Forest Management – Michael Berger on Original Thinkers
29 August 2023 Opinion
“The core element of sustainable forest management is to try to find a balance for society – how to go forward and not just freeze something or to go backwards,” said our CEO Michael Berger in a recent episode of the Original Thinkers podcast.
In his conversation with Tasmania-based podcast host and Communications professional Claire Bennet, Michael discussed the benefits of forests for climate change mitigation and beyond, and how PEFC continues to meet evolving expectations through local involvement.
“PEFC wants to be a dialogue platform for different stakeholder groups to find solutions, to find ideas, to find concepts, to find visions, how to manage forests, how to use a forest for different purposes in society, how to live with forests,” he explained.
PEFC follows a bottom-up approach, meaning that national standards are developed by national stakeholders in alignment with the PEFC international benchmark. This ensures national and international expectations are met.
“PEFC comes to life through national initiatives. Those stakeholders are responsible for the implementation of our international umbrella standards,” Michael clarified.
“It’s a high responsibility and flexibility for local people under the PEFC umbrella. In a world with so many different forests, so many different conditions, ecologically and socially, the bottom-up approach is the basic element in PEFC’s DNA.”
Continuous development is key
“Today people talk very differently about climate change than ten years ago. Although forest management has always been about climate change mitigation, today it has a different meaning, so you will find different wording, different requirements in today’s PEFC standards.”
The interview followed Michael’s recent trip to Oceania, including Tasmania, where he met with Australian industry- and forest owner associations, manufacturers, retailers and politicians, and spoke at several events.
Photo credits: Vilma Issakainen, Finnish Forest Association