International Day of Forests: but we can’t stop here!Mar 23 2016
“As the first International Day of Forests since the COP21 agreement and the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is great to see forests being put into the spotlight,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International.
“As a grassroots organization working in the forest and with forest-dependent communities, we directly contribute to most, if not all, of the 17 SDGs. From improving life on land, to poverty alleviation, food security, good health and education, sustainable forestry has a vital role to play as we look to meet these challenging targets.”
Ben was speaking at the Australian Forestry Standard (AFS) organized International Day of Forests dinner in Australia earlier this week, sharing the speakers’ platform with Senator Anne Ruston, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.
“Today we celebrate the International Day of Forests,” Ben continued. “However, for us at PEFC, every day is the ‘Day of Forests’, as we work continually towards our vision of a world in which people manage forests sustainably.”
The AFS dinner was an opportunity for the sector to enjoy a casual evening with PEFC/AFS members and a wide section of representatives, including supply chain, forest scientists, forest growers, forest managers, CEOs, and sector leaders from all states and environmental groups.
“Ben’s visit speaks volumes for the importance of the PEFC-endorsed AFS standard and the trust placed in certified forests, both in Australia and New Zealand,” said Kate Carnell AO, chair of AFS Ltd.
In the days leading up to the International Day of Forests, Ben, accompanied by AFS CEO Simon Dorries, met with several different organizations and companies around Australia, including Carter Holt Harvey, Borg Manufacturing, the Green Building Council and business standards company BSI.
“Carter Holt Harvey reports huge benefits associated with being certified under the Australian Forest Certification Scheme, due to the international recognition it brings thanks to its endorsement by PEFC,” said Simon following a meeting with the company.
The company also re-confirmed their commitment to sustainability, including the environmentally responsible procurement of wood through AFS Chain of Custody certification.