Delivering impact on the ground – inspiring the future at PEFC’s Regulations and Beyond event

During the session "Regulations and Beyond: Delivering Impact on the Ground" at this year’s PEFC Forest Forum in Paris, five engaging speakers discussed the future of forests in policy and the opportunities that forest certification brings.

Delivering impact on the ground – inspiring the future at PEFC’s Regulations and Beyond event

12 June 2024 Certification on the ground

Just as forest ecosystems are dynamic, so are the practices, people, and discussions around them. PEFC's 25-year journey mirrors the global dialogue on managing forests for their value and sustainable supply chains.

During the session "Regulations and Beyond: Delivering Impact on the Ground" at this year’s PEFC Forest Forum in Paris, five engaging speakers discussed the future of forests in policy, the benefits of forest certification for responsible businesses, and the need to align demand-side expectations with those of forest owners globally.

“With issues such as deforestation, biodiversity loss, and climate change becoming the centre of public policy and private sector concerns, sustainable forest management and forest certification have become more important than ever,” said our Head of Advocacy, Thorsten Arndt.

New perspectives and thought-provoking discussions

Adrian Leip from the European Commission opened the floor with a comprehensive overview of the EU Bioeconomy strategy, emphasizing its evolution and role in fostering a sustainable transition. He underscored the importance of forests in the bioeconomy and the need for sustainable forest management to balance economic and ecological objectives.

“The core principle of sustainable forest management is to cherish its multi-functionality. This is a central element in the new EU Forestry Strategy for 2030,” he explained.

“Forest owners and managers need to provide wood and non-wood renewable raw materials, but they also need to provide ecosystem services.”

Caroline Duhesme from ATIBT emphasized the significance of forest certification for local communities in the Congo Basin. Certified companies help ensuring basic livelihood needs, such as access to education, healthcare, and community resources.

“In the forest and wood sector, there is a lot of professional training and skills transfer, which is a lever to make these very remote areas able to develop,” she explained.

She called for deeper integration of social requirements in certification standards and collaboration to improve livelihood conditions.

“Certification is clearly the best tool to implement and to enhance all the social needs, social requirements, livelihood needs of the local community. But we can do more.”

Luc Bouvarel, Confederation of European Forest Owners (CEPF), discussed the impact of recent European Commission legislation on forest management, highlighting both challenges and opportunities for forest owners.

He stressed the importance of collaboration, recognition of PEFC certification, and the adaptation of legislation to local contexts.

“We hope that PEFC certification remains simple and feasible, taking into account local specificity, so it can be chosen by as many owners as possible, supporting and reinforcing the accuracy of our actions in meeting society's expectations regarding forest and wood material."

Sheam Satkuru, from the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) emphasized the importance of certification for future-proof sustainable supply chains and advocated for a bottom-up approach to certification, especially in tropical regions. She highlighted the relevance of certification schemes like PEFC in contributing to international processes.

“Forest certification and the timber and wood industry meet practically all 17 Sustainable Development Goals,” she pointed out.

“I don't think there is even a single one that forest certification and the forest industry do not touch.”

Thomas Haußmann from Forest Europe underscored the importance of sustainable forest management in addressing societal demands and challenges such as climate change. He highlighted the need for effective communication and proposed collaboration between Forest Europe and PEFC in developing criteria and indicators.

“I like your statement that one size does not fit all,” he said. “Looking at our continent, which is so diverse and beautiful with many different forests, we should really look for a local approach, as you do with PEFC and forest owners.”

During the Q&A session, attendees asked questions on various aspects of sustainable forest management, policy dialogue, certification, and international cooperation.

“We believe at PEFC that we can play a strong role in facilitating dialogue and collaboration between global leaders, communities and people on the ground,” said our EU Representative Maja Drča.

“To make an impact, we need to come up with collective actions and innovative solutions that will help address the many challenges our forests face today and even more in the future.”

PEFC Forest Forum 2024

The session Regulations & Beyond was part of the PEFC Forest Forum in Paris in May. The meeting saw PEFC and our members and partners discuss opinions, issues, and ideas, and exchange with external stakeholders. During the Forest Forum the 30th PEFC General Assembly elected a new Board member, approved standard 1004, and celebrated the endorsement of our national member for Guyana.


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Maja Drca

EU Representative

Thorsten Arndt

Head of Advocacy

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