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PEFC in Japan: building credibility from the ground up

Mar 16 2016

SGEC seminarThe need for collaboration and cooperation to expand forest certification in Japan was the resounding conclusion to the SGEC Forest Certification Forum, held last week in Tokyo.

“Our bottom up approach to forest certification, which gives national stakeholders control in the development of their own national standards, is the perfect fit for the Japanese context,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, during his keynote speech at the forum.

SGEC, the Sustainable Green Ecosystem Council, is our National member for Japan. After submitting their system to PEFC last year, the country’s national forest certification system is expected to achieve PEFC endorsement later this year.

For Japan, as for the rest of the world, consumers and industry alike are increasingly demanding the materials they use and buy to be certified as originating from sustainably managed forests. The country is therefore experiencing a rising interest and demand for the certification of its forests.

“With the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games just a few years away, the PEFC endorsement of the Japanese forest certification system will mean this, and other construction projects, will be able to benefit from procuring PEFC-certified timber, provided locally through SGEC” Mr. Gunneberg continued.

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“Building on examples such as the 2012 London Olympics and the 2013 Winter Universiade, the 2020 Olympics can become the first global sporting event ensuring that all wood used comes from happy forests,” Mr. Gunneberg concluded.

The SGEC Forum took place on 7 March, bringing together 180 attendees to discuss the current situation of forest certification in Asia and how to move towards its increased use in Japan. Organized by SGEC; the forum was supported by Forestry Agency of Japan, PEFC Asia Promotions and the Council for the Promotion of Sustainable Japanese Agricultural, Forestry and Fishery Products (SJAFF).

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PEFC Certified

Forests area: 300 million ha
Forest owners: > 750,000
Companies (CoC): > 18,700

(as of September 2016)
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