Australian and Portuguese national systems achieve PEFC re-endorsement
28 April 2015 PEFC system news
This not only confirms that they continue to meet PEFC’s globally recognized Sustainability Benchmarks, but also ensures that certified forest owners and companies in these countries continue to benefit from the global acceptance of PEFC.
This marks the second re-endorsement for Australia and Portugal, with both countries achieving endorsement for the first time back in 2004. The endorsement of the Australian system was particularly significant as, alongside Chile, it became the first non-European country to be recognized by PEFC. Since then, over 10 million hectares of forest have been certified in the country.
For Portugal, this re-endorsement is particularly important for the global production of sustainable cork. Over half the world’s production of natural cork comes from the country, and the ability to sell certified cork-based products, such as cork stoppers for bottles, not only improves the cork producers’ access to a more international market, but also helps them to differentiate themselves from their competitors. With the important role that cork production plays in many rural areas, PEFC certification offers significant opportunities for the economic development of these regions.
“We are heartened and encouraged by the continuing strong commitment of local stakeholders in the revision of their national forest certification standards, and we applaud everyone for their efforts,” said Ben Gunneberg, PEFC Secretary General and CEO. “We truly appreciate the expertise, knowledge and time that local stakeholders invest in advancing forest certification and sustainable forest management within their countries and we are proud to be able to provide them with international recognition through PEFC endorsement.”
PEFC International remains the only global forest certification system to limit endorsements of national systems to five years, requiring standards revisions before a system can re-apply for endorsement, which is only granted after a comprehensive, third-party assessment of compliance with PEFC’s Sustainability Benchmarks.
Revisions are required to ensure that latest scientific research, practical experiences and best practices from the field, but also evolving values, expectations, and aspirations of society towards sustainable forest management are systematically incorporated in these revisions and then implemented at national, regional and local level.