Giving a voice to the people: How forest certification improves lives

In conversation with Coen van der Veer, the Global Wood and Forestry Director for Building and Wood Worker's International (BWI).

Giving a voice to the people: How forest certification improves lives

7 July 2020 News

Join us next Wednesday for our latest ‘In conversation with…’ webinar! We’ll be joined by Coen van der Veer from Building and Wood Worker's International (BWI) to discuss how forest certification improves the lives of the people living and working in the forest.

The webinar is free to attend and takes place 15 July at 11:00-12:00 CEST. Register now!

Do you know how many people worldwide are directly affected by forests? The formal forestry sector employs around 13 million people globally, while forests contribute to the livelihoods of some 1.6 billion people worldwide. The figures are impressive.

But what is done to help protect these people? How do we know that their jobs are protected, safe and properly paid? Is everybody working in the forest able to organise themselves and have a voice, to ensure that they are suitably protected?

This is what we will be discussing with Coen van der Veer during our ‘In conversation with…’ webinar next week. Talking to Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, they’ll take a deep dive into the key issues surrounding the people working in forests, what certification is doing to improve their lives, and what more can be done.

Who should attend?

This webinar will be of interest to anyone representing a company that relies on forest-based products, from CSR to procurement to management – giving you a chance to find out more about the people at the beginning of your supply chain. 

It will also be valuable for anyone with an interest in the people that work in our forests. Whether your interest is professional or personal – everyone is welcome!

By the end of the webinar, you should have a better understanding of the issues around forestry work, what is being done to improve people’s lives, and how you can help.

Register now!

Get a taste of forestry work

To get ready for the webinar, watch José Daniel Cáceres’ Humans of the Forests story, and get a taste of what it is like to work in a forest. José Daniel has worked in forestry for 40 years, and he’s seen many changes over the years. Hear in his own words what the forestry work has meant to him:

Building and Wood Worker's International (BWI)

BWI groups together 351 trade unions, representing 12 million members in 128 countries from the building, woodworking and forestry sectors and related industries. As global union federation, it promotes the development of free and independent trade unions and aims to enforce workers' rights in the context of sustainable industries.

We have been working with BWI for ten years, and they have played an important role in helping to ensure that requirements regarding workers’ rights are included within our standards. 


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Conflict Timber

See PEFC's guidance following the announcement that all timber originating from Russia and Belarus is ‘conflict timber’.

PEFC contact

Thorsten Arndt

Head of Advocacy

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SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth

Sustainable Development Goal

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