Caring for our forests globally
National Sites

Mission & Vision

"We are committed to unlocking and building on the full contribution of forests for a sustainable world."

Our vision is of "a world which values the full contributions of sustainable forests" and we are working to make this vision a reality through our mission "to unlock and build on the full contribution of forests for a sustainable world".

forestForests are among the most biodiverse and valuable ecosystems on the planet. They provide a full range of ecosystem services including:

Without forests, many of these services would be completely lost, while many of the species which depend on forests would also suffer or disappear.

An estimated 1.6 billion people worldwide are believed to depend on forests and the services they provide for their livelihoods. Importantly, forestry and related industry sectors account for a significant share of the global economy.

Yet, forests are among the most vulnerable ecosystems. Threats to forests and forests landscapes include land conversion for agriculture and mining, development and urban expansion, unsustainable forestry practices and illegal logging. If forests are to continue to deliver the full range of benefits that people and nature depend on, they need to be conserved and managed sustainably. PEFC is committed to encouraging sustainable management of forests.

PEFC bases its understanding of Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) on the definition adopted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and originally developed by Forest Europe, which defines SFM as:

"The stewardship and use of forests and forest lands in a way, and at a rate, that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfil, now and in the future, relevant ecological, economic and social functions, at local, national, and global levels, and that does not cause damage to other ecosystems."

Under this definition, to achieve sustainability, forest management practices must result in outcomes that are

  • economically viable
  • ecologically sound, and
  • socially just.

pefc-pelletsThese three pillars cannot be divided, compartmentalized, or addressed individually. They are a unified whole. Without all three, forests cannot be protected, family foresters cannot thrive, forest-dependent communities cannot exist, illegal logging will not be abated, and carbon emissions will not be mitigated.

Forest certification provides a mechanism to address these and ensure that wood and wood-based products reaching the marketplace have been sourced from sustainably managed forests.


PEFC works to implement its mission by encouraging forest certification.

However, crucially, PEFC recognizes that the diversity of forests and of the communities that depend upon them for their livelihoods means that a "one-size-fits-all" standard is not the solution.

Furthermore, unless all concerned stakeholders are involved in sustainable management policy formulation and implementation, sustainable forest management cannot be achieved.

PEFC therefore collaborates with national forest certification systems tailored to local conditions and involving a wide range of stakeholders to encourage the delivery of sustainably sourced products to the marketplace.

PEFC's Identity

  • We are a global federal alliance of national standards setters and international stakeholders committed to safeguarding forests, forest reliant ecosystems, and forest dependent populations for the benefits of all. We achieve this through a voluntary, consensus driven bottom up approach to sustainable forest management.
  • We provide interactive mechanisms and tools to promote and communicate about sustainable forest management with the users of forests, consumers of forest based products, and society as a whole.
  • We believe that sustainable forest management can only be achieved by, respecting cultures and identity of people, sovereignty, empowering local stakeholders and contributing to the livelihood of forest-dependent people, communities and workers.
Core Values

"PEFC is committed to unlocking and building on the full contribution of forests for a sustainable world."

  1. Respect for all forest ownership structures, and the social, cultural, environmental and economic values they provide.
  2. Respect for the social infrastructures of forest based communities.
  3. Belief in co-operation, openness and transparency.
  4. Respect for the tenets of federalism.
  5. Belief in free and fair market systems.
  6. Belief in multi-stakeholder participation.
  7. Commitment to excellence and continuous improvement.

"A world which values the full contributions of sustainable forests"

  1. Accept when others are right and admit when we are wrong.
  2. Build alliances around common causes.
  3. Recognise the importance of economic, social and environmental realities.
  4. Respect intergovernmental and other international processes.
  5. Respect relationships within the PEFC community.
  6. Act with honesty and integrity.
  7. Provide value for our members.
statutes sm

The PEFC Statutes define the objectives, structure and basic procedures of PEFC.

PEFC Strategy 2018

PEFC Strategy 2018 - 2022
Looking forward to the next five years, we are committed to unlocking and building on the full contribution of forests for a sustainable world.

PEFC Certified

Forests area: 309 million ha
Forest owners: > 750,000
Companies (CoC): > 20,000

(as of December 2018)

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