Closing the gap between reality and perception at the World Forestry Congress
9 June 2022 Event report
“The knowledge gap between forestry actors and society in Korea can be narrowed down through constructive communications: our event contributes meaningfully to the overall country effort,” said Mr Byungki Ahn.
Mr Ahn, Director of Forest Policy Division, Service, was speaking at the KFCC-PEFC Customer Relationship & Business Strategy Meeting side event, held on the first day of the XV World Forestry Congress (WFC).
“The Korean forestry sector has its specific history. While Korea has had success in forest restoration, there are still relatively strong public concerns on forest use, due to the memory of the devastated forest after the Korean war,” Mr Ahn explained.
“A lot of work needs to be done to ensure that forest use is socially acceptable. KFCC is the system that can reassure the public that wood-based products are produced sustainably.”
KFCC, the Korea Forest Certification Council, is PEFC’s national member for the Republic of Korea.
“KFCC/PEFC sustainable forest management can contribute significantly to the health and resilience of forests, communities, and workers, helping Korea to use its forest resources in a balanced way,” highlighted PEFC International Chair, Eduardo Rojas Briales, also speaking at the event.
“KFCC/PEFC sustainable forest management is key to helping Korea to achieve its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) as well as a significant number of Sustainable Development Goals.”
Korean forests are managed by more than two million smallholders. This means PEFC’s group certification mechanism will be the way forward to get these forests and the products provided by them certified, ensuring the consumers their sustainable origin.
“This will help to build a culture of sustainable forest management, where other downstream actors, such as traders and manufacturers, can realize their responsible production and sourcing through PEFC chain of custody certification,” said Soon-jin So, Secretary General of KFCC.
The panel discussion Ensuring ESG commitment by utilizing PEFC/KFCC forest certification followed the side event, welcoming representatives from government, ESG evaluation institutes, and companies.
“KFCC/PEFC certification is needed for Korean forestry related businesses to demonstrate their ESG targets,” confirmed Mr Taehan Kim, Responsible Researcher at the Korea Sustainability Investing Forum (Kosif).
“Another crucial merit of KFCC/PEFC forest certification is its contribution to the decision-making process of financial institution for forestry investment,” noted Mr Kim.