Stakeholder Dialogue – Revision of PEFC Requirements for Forest Certification Systems

26 May 2010 in Geneva, Switzerland

Dear PEFC Members and Stakeholders

The PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue that took place on 26th May in Geneva was focused on the revision of PEFC’s core documentation and requirements for sustainable forest management and forest certification schemes. You may be aware that this is the second time in its ten year history that PEFC has embarked upon a comprehensive revision of its documentation governing the Sustainability Benchmark requirements for certification systems seeking endorsement by PEFC. As a service provider, PEFC is constantly mindful of the wider social, environmental and economic debates on the challenges facing society in terms of sustainability, and in particular sustainable forest management practices. As the world's largest forest certification system and the certification system of choice for hundreds of thousands of small- and family-forest owners, it is our collective responsibility to integrate best practice, new scientific knowledge, stakeholder and customer expectations, as well as practical experiences on the ground into standards that are globally relevant and locally applicable. Therefore, PEFC is comprehensively reviewing and revising its benchmarks, and to do this most effectively stakeholder engagement and input is essential. This stakeholder dialogue built on the work of a multi-stakeholder working group comprising representatives from a broad range of sectors including forest owners, industry, customers, the scientific community, environmental groups and trade unions. Their work has been complemented by a serious of workshops, in which specialists in topics including labour rights, free and prior informed consent, biodiversity conservation, pesticide use and GMOs participated by contributing expert knowledge to the revisions process. I would also like to use this opportunity to thank all those individuals who have so generously volunteered their time and expertise. After many months of hard work by many stakeholders we now have first enquiry drafts which are undergoing a global public consultation process.


The event provided an ideal opportunity for stakeholders to meet one another and share views, opinions and suggestions on critical issues such as how to: • Make sure there is balanced stakeholder participation in developing national standards; • ensuring the recognition of indigenous peoples’ rights relating to forest resources; • guarantee basic labour, health and safety standards in all forestry operations; and • stop forest conversions, and what approach is best to limit the use of herbicides. PEFC’s continuing success in delivering certified sustainable forest management globally depends upon stakeholders’ continuing participation, and the resultant requirements will apply to over two thirds of the world’s certified forest area. I look forward to welcoming you to future Stakeholder Dialogues, the next of which is in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, in November. Yours sincerely

Ben Gunneberg PEFC International Secretary General



PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue La Maison des Associations, Geneva, Switzerland 26 May 2010, 0900 - 1700

Plenary session - Chaired by Hans Drielsma, PEFC International Board Member and Chairman of the Revision Working Group Welcome - Bill Street, PEFC International Chairman • Global challenges in PEFC certification - Ben Gunneberg, PEFC International Secretary

Introduction to the revision process - Hans Drielsma • • • Draft requirements for standard setting - Sarah Price, PEFC International Head of

Draft requirements for group forest certification - Ben Gunneberg Draft requirements for sustainable forest management - Jaroslav Tymrak, PEFC
International Head of Technical Unit

Roundtables • • • Standard setting Group forest certification Sustainable forest management

Plenary session - Chaired by Hans Drielsma • Presentation of roundtables results




Summary of Roundtables
Standard Setting Roundtable (PEFC ST 1001:20XX, ED)
Summary Roundtable discussions focused on the four critical issues identified in the Standard revision process (PEFC ST 1001:20XX, ED): • scope of standard; • ensuring balanced representation in the process; • incorporating disadvantaged & key stakeholders; and • requirements for building consensus and decision making. In general, participants suggested that the requirements presented in the enquiry draft would encourage a robust, inclusive standard setting process. Specific suggestions for improvement put forward by participants included: • incorporating a work flow diagram to graphically explain the different stages of the process (with reference to the relevant requirements in the Standard), • reference to the nine major groups identified in Agenda 21 to provide additional guidance for balanced representation from Civil society in the process, and • finally, to streamline text recommending specific methodologies towards building consensus and decision making to ensure we don’t unintentionally limit the methods that can be effectively utilised.

Group Certification (PEFC ST 1002:20XX, ED)
Summary The roundtable on group forest certification discussed the enquiry draft (PEFC ST 1002:20xx, ED). Participants highlighted a number of issues that the PEFC Standards Revision working group should consider in finalising the document, amongst them • the link between the requirements for “group organization” and requirements for certification bodies and their auditing methodology for group forest certification; • the term “regional certification” should be used throughout the document as it has an important communication value for forestry community; • involvement of contractors in group forest certification; and • overlaps of different certified groups operating on the same territory.



Dr. Hans Drielsma, Chairman of the Stakeholder Dialogue Working Group

SFM Roundtable (PEFC ST 1003:20XX, ED)
Summary The roundtable on sustainable forest management discussed the enquiry draft (PEFC ST 1003:20xx,ED), and due to time restrictions prioritized those issues of the most importance for the stakeholders present: • Forest conversions, prohibition as well as recognition of situations where small scale conversions might be justifiable; • Indigenous peoples, identification, clarification, and respect to legal, traditional, and customary rights; • Climate change; SFM was considered to play an important role in climate change mitigation as well as climate change adaptation; the climate change issue was seen as an important consideration for defining the number of requirements relating to SFM; • Public availability of information, especially in relation to small scale forestry and the definition of confidential and personal information; and • GMOs, various positions and opinions relating to the use of GMOs in forestry were presented articulating potential benefits as well as risks relating to the use of GMOs.



Global Challenges for Certification
Ben Gunneberg, PEFC International Secretary General





Revision of PEFC Requirements for Forest Certification Systems: the Process
Hans Drielsma, PEFC International Board Member and Chairman of the Revision Working Group





PEFC Standard Setting - Requirements
Sarah Price, PEFC International Head of Projects & Development





Group Forest Management Certification Requirements (PEFC ST 1002:200x (ED1.0))
Ben Gunneberg, PEFC International Secretary General





Draft Requirements for Sustainable Forest Management
Jaroslav Tymrak, PEFC International Head of Technical Unit









Revised Standard - Critical Changes
Forest conversions: Forest conversions are implicitly prohibited in the current standard, e.g. in PEOLG 1.1a, which requires that “forest management planning shall aim to [...] enhance the quality of the economic, ecological, cultural and social values of forest resources [...]” or PEOLG 1.2.a, which requires that “forest management practices shall safeguard the quantity and quality of the forest resources [...].” The revised draft standard explicitly prohibits conversions in 1.2.a: “Conversion of forests to other types of land use, including timber plantations, shall not occur [...]” Chemicals: The current standard stipulates that chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides be substituted by natural alternatives or minimized. In addition to this, the revised draft standard prohibits the use of WHO Type 1A and 1B pesticides and other highly toxic pesticides (2.2.c). GMOs: According to current requirements, GMOs cannot be considered as part of PEFC certified material. The revised draft criteria clarify this point further and specify that “Genetically modified trees shall not be used.” (4.2.b) Rights of indigenous people and local populations: The draft revised standard has been further strengthened especially on social issues. For example, in addition to requiring that “forest management activities shall be conducted in recognition of the established framework of legal, customary and traditional rights, which shall not be infringed upon without the free and informed consent of the holders of the rights” (6.1.b), the revised draft standard requires consultation with local people and stakeholders and mechanisms for complaints and dispute resolution This is in addition to existing mechanisms provided by the certification and accreditation procedures: “Forest management shall provide for effective communication and consultation with local people and other stakeholders relating to the sustainable forest management and shall provide appropriate mechanisms for resolving complaints and disputes relating to forest management between forest operators and local people” (6.2.a) Labour rights, health and safety: While PEFC remains the only global certification system that requires that the fundamental ILO conventions are respected, the revised draft standard in addition requires that forest management complies ILO conventions 155 (Occupational Safety and Health Convention), 161 (Occupational Health Services Convention), and 184 (Safety and Health in Agriculture Convention) (6.2.b)



Protected areas, special biotopes and set-aside areas: Again, this is an area where PEFC has further clarified and strengthened its requirements in the revised draft standards. In addition to the requirement that “Forest management planning shall aim to maintain, conserve and enhance biodiversity on ecosystem, species and genetic level and, where appropriate, diversity at landscape level” (4.1.a), the revised draft standard requires that “Forest management planning and terrestrial inventory and mapping of forest resources shall identify and protect ecologically important forest biotopes” (6.2.b) and that “The forest management shall provide for conservation of the key ecosystems or habitats in their natural state” (6.2.b). These requirements are different from the currently valid standard in so far as they explicitly charge the forest owner/manager with the identification, protection, and conservation of key ecosystems and biotopes, which is only implicitly included in the current standard.

Further information: Download the draft revised standards and comment online:



PEFC International World Trade Centre 10 Route de l’Aéroport 1215 Geneva Switzerland t +41 22 799 45 40 f +41 22 799 45 50 e

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