Do you know how PEFC is governed?

Ever wondered how PEFC is governed? It’s bottom up: meaning our members make the key decisions through a balanced voting system.

Do you know how PEFC is governed?

13 August 2019 20th anniversary

Our governance is bottom up, which means it is our members who make the key decisions through a balanced voting system. This enables us to build on our national members’ local expertise, complemented by the experiences of internationally active organizations.

This unique structure allows for ethical and responsible decision-making that incorporates the combined experiences and knowledge of all stakeholders at national and international levels, including individuals on the ground as they are represented through our national members.  

Our commitment to participation, democracy and equity is a critical and central element within the governance of our organization. We have three decision-making bodies: the General Assembly, the PEFC International Board and the Secretary General.

PEFC General Assembly

PEFC General Assembly, November 2018, Geneva

The General Assembly is our highest authority and decision-making body. It is made up of all PEFC members, including both national and international stakeholder members with voting rights, and extraordinary members as observers. 

The General Assembly votes on the key decisions of our organization, such as new members, statutes and budgets. It is also responsible for the endorsement of national forest certification systems (after they have successfully completed the assessment process), and the formal approval of international standards.

All national members have between one and seven votes, depending on their membership fees, while the international stakeholder members have one vote each.

A delegate represents every PEFC member, and they all have the right to introduce items to the agenda of the work of the General Assembly or the PEFC International Board. Once a year the General Assembly meets in person, this is usually in November during the PEFC Forest Certification Week. The next PEFC Week takes place in Würzburg, Germany, 11-15 November 2019.

The PEFC International Board

PEFC International Board meeting, November 2018

Our Board supports the work of the General Assembly and the organization as a whole, and is accountable to all members. 

Board members are elected for a 3-year term and one third of the Board members are eligible for re-election in any one year. 

The composition of the Board should aim to reflect the major interested parties who support PEFC, the geographical distribution of members, the diversity of their annual cutting categories and an appropriate gender balance.

The Nominations Committee

The Nominations Committee is responsible for proposing a list of candidates to fill the vacancies within the PEFC International Board.

Bill Street, former member of the Nominations Committee

Every year, we invite PEFC members to nominate candidates for the Board. The Nominations Committee guides our members by advising them on what qualifications and experience are sought from the nominees.

Once the members have submitted their nominees, the Nominations Committee is responsible for considering the nominations and proposing a list of candidates to fill the vacancies within the Board. This includes the Chairman, Vice Chairs and Board members. This list is proposed to, and voted on by, the PEFC General Assembly.


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