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Japan Becomes Fourth Asian Country to Join as a PEFC National Member

Nov 05 2014

Momentum continues to grow for PEFC in the Asia region with Japan becoming the latest Asian country to join as a National Member. Following in the footsteps of China, Indonesia and Malaysia, the addition of Japan’s Sustainable Green Ecosystem Council (SGEC) to the PEFC alliance shows that PEFC truly is the forest certification system of choice for the region.

“At the moment, the forest area certified to SGEC is about 1.25 million ha, which corresponds to just 5% of the total forest area in Japan. However, SGEC successfully expanded its activity nationwide under the cooperation from many stakeholders during the decade since its establishment, and we trust that we have reached the stage where basic infrastructure has been completed as a national forest certification system,” commented Kiyoo Nakagawa, Director/Secretary General of SGEC.

“On this good opportunity we have joined PEFC, aiming at achieving mutual recognition with PEFC for making progress as an international forest certification system. Currently, we are conducting a public consultation on the SGEC standards which will be the basic framework for advancing mutual recognition, aiming at achieving the mutual recognition by finishing the preparation by the end of this year.”

“We, SGEC, intend to develop SGEC as an internationally recognized forest certification system through mutual recognition with PEFC and promote forestry and timber industry by realizing sustainable forest management, thus, make all-out efforts in maximizing the functions of forests, such as prevention of global warming and conservation of bio-diversity,” concluded Mr. Nakagawa.

By becoming a PEFC member, SGEC has fulfilled an important prerequisite for applying for PEFC endorsement. SGEC is currently facilitating a multi-stakeholder process at national level to concerning the Japanese forest management standard, and the organization is committed to achieving mutual recognition and join forces in towards our common objective of promoting sustainable forest management.

A range of other countries in the region, including India, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, South Korea and Thailand are also advancing in their national system development and exploring options for eventual international recognition by PEFC. Both China and Indonesia achieved PEFC recognition of their national forest certification systems earlier this year, with Malaysia already PEFC endorsed since 2009.

Further Information

PEFC Certified

Forests area: 300 million ha
Forest owners: > 750,000
Companies (CoC): > 18,800

(as of March 2017)
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