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The Future’s Looking Greener in Ireland

Feb 28 2012

PEFC International is pleased to announce the endorsement of the Ireland Scheme for Sustainable Forest Management, which has become the first Irish forest certification system to gain global recognition.

“Irish stakeholders have for years been engaged in the development of requirements and criteria for responsible forestry, yet it has been difficult to find consensus between the different interests,” explain William Merivale, Secretary General of PEFC Ireland. “This is why we are so proud to have been able to successfully establish a national standard, drafted in a multi-stakeholder, participatory process, and found to be in compliance with PEFC International’s globally recognized Sustainability Benchmarks.”

National forest certification systems that have developed standards in line with PEFC requirements can apply for endorsement by PEFC International. To achieve endorsement, they need to meet PEFC's Sustainability Benchmarks, which are based on broad societal consensus expressed in international, intergovernmental, multi-stakeholder processes and guidelines. Compliance is confirmed through third-party assessment of national requirements with the international benchmarks, with a global public consultation seeking input from stakeholders worldwide.

The endorsement of the PEFC Irish standard coincides with private Irish forestry coming of age. Over the past 25 years 240,000 hectares of private woodland in the country has been established, and this considerable area of forest, planted in the 1980s and 1990s, is now reaching prime harvesting age.  This will provide a huge increase in the private sector’s timber supply.

With this potential increase in supply, the major panel and sawmills have expressed the view that private forest owners need to become certified as quickly as possible, and indicated that they were taking steps towards applying for PEFC certification.

“With more and more companies and public sector organizations requiring certification as evidence for sustainable sourcing, gaining international recognition through PEFC is a much needed development in support of the Irish forest sector,” emphasized Mr. Merivale.

PEFC Certified

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

(as of December 2016)
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