Taking the next steps in New ZealandMar 22 2016
“The real work begins now,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, while speaking at a special event at the New Zealand Institute of Forestry (NZIF).
“Achieving PEFC endorsement of New Zealand forest certification system was the first step, but now the work begins to run the system, engage with stakeholders, promote PEFC/NZFCA certification, and get those forests certified.”
Ben, who is currently travelling around Japan, Australia and New Zealand, headed to Auckland on Thursday 17 March to speak to NZIF members, updating them on new developments at PEFC, but also stressing the importance of their continued involvement in the country’s national system.
“The PEFC approach is bottom-up; this means that every national system is developed and run by national stakeholders, ensuring that it is adapted to your local context,” Ben continued. “This means that responsibility for running the system and ensuring its success is in your hands, as local stakeholders, meaning your continued involvement now is more important than ever.”
“Great progress has been made with the introduction of a PEFC system for New Zealand in the two years since my last visit,” reiterated Ben on the impressive progress made in New Zealand, on the eve of the International Day of Forests (21 March).
“In those two years, the New Zealand Forest Certification Association (NZFCA) was established and then recognized as the country’s National member by the PEFC General Assembly, and its national forest certification system was endorsed by PEFC in December last year. The first certificates for PEFC Chain of Custody have already been issued.”
Earlier during his visit to New Zealand, Ben spoke at ForestWood 2016, a pan-industry conference bringing together organizations and individuals with a keen interest in forestry, to engage with decision makers and professional specialists from the forestry industry.
“The last few years have seen major developments for PEFC in the region, and the future is set to be no different,” said Mr. Gunneberg. “Businesses and consumers alike are increasingly demanding that the products they use and buy are responsibly sourced, with many of New Zealand’s main markets demanding third party certification as proof of legality of harvest and quality of forest management.”
“In fact, most of the countries that New Zealand exports to, such as China, Indonesia and Malaysia, are now PEFC members and recognize PEFC certification as meeting their import requirements,” Ben concluded.