Great progress with PEFC certification of New Zealand forest practices
20 July 2017 News
It is time to celebrate in New Zealand as the first forests in the country achieve PEFC certification. Over 400,000 hectares of forest - about 20% of New Zealand’s plantation forest estate - are now PEFC-certified!
“It is really encouraging to see forest managers adopting PEFC on such a scale, so soon after we were able to bring it to New Zealand,” said NZFCA Chair, Dr. Andrew McEwen.
“The New Zealand forest and wood products sector relies heavily on exports with around 70% of production being exported. Increasingly their main markets, particularly Australia, North America and Asia, are demanding third party certification as proof of legality of harvest and quality of forest management.”
“Most of the countries New Zealand exports to are now PEFC members and recognize PEFC certification as meeting their import requirements.”
Progress set to continue
The three forestry companies to achieve PEFC certification are RMS Forests Ltd., (the former Wellington Regional Council forests), Hancock Forest Management NZ Ltd., and Timberlands Ltd.
Two more forest management companies are in the process to be certified.
In addition, 27 companies involved in forest products processing and other supply chain activities are PEFC Chain of Custody certified.
This is providing opportunities for New Zealand forest produce to participate in export markets that demand PEFC certification as a way of demonstrating legal and sustainable forest management.
Proud to achieve PEFC certification
“Our client has been pleased to obtain PEFC certification as, with the recent addition of the Wellington Region’s forests to its international portfolio, this meant that all its estates are subject to independent third party environmental certification – a long standing objective of the organization,” said Mr. Kit Richards Environment Manager for PF Olsen Limited, the manager of the RMS forests.
“The company is proud to achieve PEFC certification which now complements our existing certification through application of a systematic management approach and strengthening our commitments to managing carbon,” said Mr. Colin Maunder, Forest Risk Manager for Timberlands Limited.
“It is fantastic to see the first forest area in New Zealand achieve PEFC certification. The certification of these plantation forests will enable processors and others along the forest products supply chain to procure PEFC-certified material from local, sustainably managed sources,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International.
“On a personal level, it was been wonderful to see New Zealand move so swiftly along the PEFC journey; joining the alliance and achieving PEFC endorsement in 2015, and now their first PEFC-certified hectares. And we look forward to many more to come!”
PEFC certification in New Zealand
PEFC certification became available in New Zealand in 2016. This followed the recognition of New Zealand Forest Certification Association (NZFCA) as the PEFC national member for New Zealand in early 2015.
PEFC endorsement for the New Zealand forest certification system based around the New Zealand Standard for Sustainable Forest Management (NZS AS 4708) was achieved at the end of 2015. NZFCA acknowledges the assistance it has had from Australian Forestry Standard Ltd., its counterpart in Australia.
Dr. Jon Tanner
NZ Forest Certification Association Inc.