PEFCC Newsletter

Pan European Forest Certification Council
Registered as an asbl in Luxembourg No. 1999-61-02192

No. 2 (June 2000)

Nordic Forest Certification Schemes endorsed
We are delighted to announce that the Finnish Forest Certification Scheme; the Living Forests Standards and Norwegian Forest Certification Scheme, and the Swedish PEFC Forest Certification Scheme, were unanimously endorsed by the PEFC Council, as meeting the requirements of the PEFC scheme, on the 24 th May 2000. Members representing stakeholders in 14 European countries took the opportunity to vote on the candidate schemes. Wood from these independently certified forests will now be able to have access to the PEFC logo through a chain of custody, which will provide customers with the assurance that they are promoting sustainable forest management. The postal vote followed an intensive assessment by independent consultants whose report to the Board of Directors concluded that the schemes met the requirements of the PEFC Council. The schemes have been found to comply with the Pan European Criteria, Indicators and Operational Level Guidelines, which form the basis of sustainable forest management as defined by the European Forestry Ministers at their conferences in Helsinki and Lisbon on the protection of forests in Europe. The three schemes already account for 18 million hectares of independently certified forests and this area is forecast to increase to 27 million hectares by the end of this year from these schemes alone. Those wishing to have access to the PEFC logo and product claims will need to follow the requirements laid out in annexes 6 and 7 of the PEFC Technical Document. These describe the rules for the verification of the chain-of-custody of wood and the logo usage guide and are available on our web site Forest industry, traders and distributors of forest products originating from these PEFC certified forests, who have a valid PEFC chain of custody certificate will also have access to the logo. For more information on each of the national schemes endorsed, see the PEFC web page for the national contacts

 Nordic Forest Certification Schemes endorsed  Mutual Recognition Technical Seminar  PEFCC Board of Directors  “Riga Seminar”  Public Consultation on German Forest Certification scheme  Austrian Forest Certification Scheme submitted  PEFCC Member Organisations – news and information o Austrian Forest Certification Scheme is ready o The current status of PEFC in Belgium o Development of the Czech forest certification scheme comes into the final stage o Update about PEFC Denmark o Steady progress in Finland o France Commits itself to PEFC o PEFC Latvia o Swedish PEFC Scheme

Mutual Recognition Technical Seminar
There are an increasing number of forest certification schemes in the world that make claims concerning sustainable forest management (SFM). In addition a number of initiatives have been started with the aim of finding a methodology to promote and facilitate an international Mutual Recognition Framework system between SFM standards and certification systems. The Pan European Forest Certification Scheme is only one of several systems, which aim to provide a framework for mutual recognition between national forest certification schemes. It is also looking to engage in constructive dialogue with other certification systems and mutual recognition initiatives to progress the debate and move towards a common understanding of what mutual recognition actually is, what is required to achieve it and how to go about achieving it. The ultimate goal is to arrive at an international mutual recognition framework system, which will link the different credible SFM standards and certification systems, which have been developed independently around the world. To this end, the European Commission Directorate General XI has provided some match funding for the Pan European Certification Council to arrange a seminar to stimulate reflections on the possibilities and conditions required for the mutual recognition of forest certification systems around the world. Representatives of forest certification schemes, as well as experts who have already had the opportunity to research these questions will therefore take part in the seminar on this issue to be held in Brussels, Belgium on 26th and 27th June 2000.

PEFCC Board of Directors

(l to r) Marc de Poorter, Hermann Ilaender, Morten Bjørner, Christian Brawenz, Henri Plauche-Gillon, Lars Wilhelm Grøholt, Hannu Valtanen, Juan Botey Serra

This photo was taken at a recent Board of Directors meeting in the new offices at Luxembourg. The Directors, who are responsible for the administration and management of the PEFC Council, were elected by the members at the inaugural meeting of the PEFC Council in Paris in June of last year for a two-year period. The Board comprises the Chairman and two vice chairmen of PEFCC and 2 – 8 Directors. The current Board is as follows: Mr Henri Plauche-Gillon (Chairman), Mr Hannu Valtanen (Vice Chairman), Mr Hermann Ilaender (Vice Chairman), Mr Morten Bjørner, Mr Juan Botey Serra, Dr Christian Brawenz, Mr Marc de Poorter, and Mr Lars Wilhelm Grøholt

“Riga Seminar”
The PEFC Council recently received financial support from the European Commission’s General Directorate for the Environment to organise a series of seminars for countries in economic transition, which wish to develop forestry standards and certification schemes. The first of this bespoke series of seminars was held in Riga, Latvia, at the end of May and was attended by many Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians who exchanged ideas and views with participants from countries who have already developed forestry standards and certification schemes in other parts of Europe (see news from Latvia and press release on the web site). Further seminars are planned for Poland, Romania/Hungary and Russia for later in the year.

Public Consultation on German Forest Certification scheme
The German Forest Certification Scheme is the fourth forest certification scheme to seek assessment against the PEFCC requirements. It is currently on the web site undergoing a public consultation exercise as part of the assessment process by independent consultants. The Board has appointed Indufor Oy to undertake the assessment of the scheme against the requirements and rules of the PEFC Council. The scheme can be viewed on the PEFCC website and comments should be sent directly to the consultants (Email: by 12th June 2000. (See Press Release on website for further details)

The Austrian scheme well suits the situation of forest ownership in Austria: with about 213,000 owners, forestry is small scale and often run by farmers and families. The Austrian scheme was developed in an open and transparent process, several workshops were held and participation of the different stakeholders was ensured. The criteria and indicators were elaborated under scientific guidance and are documented on the Internet. Nine regions can apply for certification in Austria – the basis for the definition are natural borders (forest growth zones) and administrative borders. So in naturally homogenous regions existing data of forest monitoring can be used. In one of the regions the work has already started and certification according to the Austrian system is expected in autumn. A cost effective and transparent group model was also developed for the chain of custody certification. This enables the small wood processing companies to participate in a transparent and cost effective way. PEFC Austria has recently published an information folder about the PEFC initiative and its activities in Austria. Please visit our homepage:

Austrian Forest Certification Scheme submitted
The PEFC Council has received an official application for the Austrian Forest Certification Scheme to be assessed against the PEFC Council rules and requirements. Tenders to undertake the assessment have been requested from several independent consultancies and once these have been received, the Board will make an appointment. The applicant scheme can be viewed on the PEFCC web site.

Further information from:

Reports From The National PEFC Governing Bodies
In this section, each of the PEFC members has the opportunity to present a brief report on the current state of play in their country. The views expressed here are the views of the members and do not necessarily reflect the views of the PEFC Council

The current status of PEFC in Belgium
The Belgian Scheme for the certification of the sustainable forest management is now ready. We have transmitted it to most of the organisations involved with the forest: producers organisations, the administration of forestry, representatives of the co-operatives, representatives of the first and second transformation, wood sellers, ENGO's, organisations representing forest users, consumers and trade unions. We received about 20 remarks concerning this document and we have taken all of them into consideration. This led us to modify our document, and we could see that most of the remarks were in the same direction and concerned the same articles. The improved scheme was presented to all the Belgian stakeholders invited to a general meeting at

Austrian Forest Certification Scheme is ready
After almost one year of intensive development work the Austrian Forest Certification Scheme was submitted to PEFCC on April 27 2000 for conformity assessment.

the beginning of May. It has also been translated into English. We will submit our preliminary application to the PEFCC shortly to check if this document fulfils the recommendations of the technical document. Thereafter, we intend to: 1. Present this document to BELCERT, the Belgian accreditation body, to ask them to accredit a certification body for this scheme, recognised by the administration and the stakeholders; 2. Undertake a pilot study. This pilot study will start with an internal initial audit of one Belgian region. The results of this initial audit will help us to define our regional performance standards and our progress plan. These two documents will be transmitted to the certification body for certification following the scheme. When the certification body is able to certify the pilot study region, the complementary information will be transmitted to PEFCC to ask for a recognition of the Belgian scheme and the right to use the PEFC logo.


the proposed scheme meets the PEFCC general requirements. The initial meeting proved that the proposed scheme and a regional approach of forest certification fulfil general standards of the System Quality certification and no significant changes will be necessary to implement. 3. The forest owner’s organisations representing state, private and communal forests expressed their readiness to establish an application for the regional certification in common. Further information from:

Update on PEFC Denmark
PEFC Denmark was founded in September 1999. At the present time two Working Groups are designing the certification system and formulating the certification standards. The certification standards are based on guidelines for sustainable forest management, made in a national consensus process, where all relevant stakeholders have been involved. 1 May 2000 saw the launch of the PEFC Denmark first national web site at The web site consists of:      Presentation List of members and observers Deed of foundation and Regulations for PEFC Denmark Working Group 1 which is designing certification system and process Working Group 2 which is formulating the forest standards

Further information from:

Development of the Czech forest certification scheme comes into the final stage
1. Certification Criteria and Indicators have been discussed in several meetings with broad participation. The discussion still continues but a final draft will be ready soon. 2. Draft documents describing the forest certification scheme and Criteria and Indicators were submitted to the Czech Society for Quality ( for conformity assessment to ensure that: the proposed scheme meets the requirements of Quality System certification; the accreditation of the certification bodies operating the proposed scheme according to the EN 45 012 is possible within the framework of the Czech Institute for Accreditation (a full member of the European Accreditation);

The aim of this web site is twofold. The Primary aim is to inform Danish forest owners, wood industries, timber traders and consumers about PEFC Denmark and the current status in the process. Secondly, the aim is to encourage other PEFC members to compose a web presentation as well. For more information please contact: E-mail: Http:// (in Danish)

Steady progress in Finland
Forest certification complying with the Finnish Forest Certification System (FFCS) will expand during 2000 to cover the entire country. A good start has been made on the preparatory and data compilation work in six out of thirteen of Finland’s regions, where external audits are expected to take place in the Summer of 2000. The total area of certified forests is expected to rise to 22 million hectares by the end of 2000. First certificates on the chain of custody verification system, based on FFCS were issued in April 2000. A decision on PEFC’s endorsement of FFCS as a result of the postal ballot is expected to take place soon (see lead article). By March 2000, the seven forest certificates issued in 1999 covered over 13.5 million hectares of forest, which represents 60 % of the country's total forested area. Follow-up audits will be accomplished during this year on these seven regions. Around 180,000 - i.e. half of Finnish forest owners in the whole country have already committed themselves to certification. In March 2000 a seminar on FFCS and PEFC was held in Tallinn. Representatives of Estonian forestry - i.e., public forest administration, forest industry and private forest owners – were present at this seminar that was held in connection with the Forestry 2000 Fair. Preparation for two seminars, to take place in Russia, in fall 2000 is under way. (further details in due course) For further information contact Auvo Kaivola

submitted to the PEFC Council for assessment. Today, the system is in the process of being put into place. Already 12 out of the 22 regions have committed themselves to the process, which will allow them to become certified. The first certified wood is expected in 2001.

PEFC Latvia
PEFC Latvia has been principally active in two areas – firstly to develop the PEFC certification scheme for Latvia and secondly to undertake extension work to provide information and training to all those involved in the certification process. A programme of education and training on sustainable forest management issues and environmental protection issues is currently being undertaken for these certification participants, namely: the forest owners, chain of custody members and the leaders of forest owner certification groups. The main event in Latvia in May was the PEFC seminar on certification of sustainable forest management, which was held in Riga (capital of Latvia) on 29th and 30th May 2000. This seminar was designed to address many of the questions concerning sustainable forest management, forest certification and also the PEFC process. Representatives with a wide range of different interests from the forestry community in Lithuania, Estonia and in particular Latvia were invited to attend to listen to a series of presentations. Presentations came from countries, which have experience in developing and implementing PEFC schemes, sectoral interests in Latvia, PEFC Europe and the Baltic Pulp Project. A series of workshops was held in response to the desire of those wishing to develop forest certification schemes in the Baltic states to learn more about how to develop the schemes, how to organise the certification process and chain of custody and how to develop networks for future co-operative activities. In particular, the role of forest owner organisations in the development of certification schemes and sustainable forest management was addressed, bearing in mind

France commits itself to PEFC
The French Forest Certification Association was established in April 1999. On 8 March 2000, its three colleges - growers, processors and consumers - unanimously adopted the French Forest Certification Scheme. Specifically, a regional approach (using as its basis ISO 9000 and/or ISO 14000) has been developed to be applied by forestry organisations. The system will very shortly be

that Latvia is a country where for 50 years all forests were state property only. The concern that “the forest owners are perceived by government agencies as potential destroyers of forests rather than equal partners”, as stated in a recent activity concept note “Implication of Land Restitution Programmes on Achieving World Bank/WWF Targets in Easter European and Central Asian Region” was also addressed. Anyone wishing further information about the activities of PEFC Latvia is welcome to contact me on: Skaidrite Albertina

produced in computerised system with digital GIS map handling. By this plan the Forest Owners get discussion support for forest management with adequate balance between economic, social and environmental goals. On May 15, 2000 the PEFC Sweden cooperative was formed to manage the national PEFC scheme. Members of this co-operative organisation are Forest Owners Associations, Private Independent Sawmills, Forest Contractor Association and Orienteering Association. Representatives for the Forest Ownership function of the Church and the Forest and Wood Workers Union, participate as observers in the continued implementation process. The Swedish PEFC Scheme is expected to start up on August 1, 2000. For further information contact

Swedish PEFC Scheme
PEFCC Member Contact Details
In June 1999, the Swedish PEFC Council was formed for the national PEFC Process. The Forest owners Associations and Private Independent Sawmills were behind the initiative for an open process, and invited relevant stakeholders. In December 1999 a proposed scheme was presented to the PEFCC Board for endorsement. The performance standard and the EMS models were to a large extent built on experiences from certification of Swedish Family Forestry that started in 1998. This certification has included more than 1 Million ha. The certification principle is group certification of individual Forest Owners and Forest Contractors. A typical Umbrella for group certification will comprise 5,000 – 10,000 forest owners. Organisations providing forest services in handling the chain of custody from stump to roadside shall also have these operations certified. Accreditation practices have been elaborated in close contact with the Swedish accreditation institute SWEDAC. SWEDAC will now take responsibility for the independent accreditation of auditing. Chain of Custody certification and Logo Usage rules will follow the European PEFC Scheme. One important tool for the efficient certification of Sustainable Forest management is the Green Forest management Plan. This plan is Member Country E-Mail Address PEFC Austria PEFC Belgium PEFC Czech Republic PEFC Denmark PEFC Finland PEFC France PEFC Germany PEFC Ireland PEFC Latvia PEFC Norway PEFC Portugal PEFC Spain PEFC Sweden PEFC Switzerland

We welcome your comments on this second issue of the PEFCC Newsletter. We hope to distribute the next edition at the end of September 2000

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