Innovation at the heart of 2018 PEFC Collaboration Fund winners!
22 August 2018 Collaboration Fund
We are delighted to announce the winning projects of the 2018 PEFC Collaboration Fund, each one ready to pioneer the application of technology and innovation within forest certification.
“This year our Collaboration Fund looked a little different, as we focused specifically on projects that would develop, test, or scale up innovative solutions within the context of sustainable forest management,” said Remi Sournia, Development Manager at PEFC International. “We were not disappointed.”
“These technologies will help lead the way for improved forest management, heightening both the efficiency and robustness of the certification process, whilst also improving access to certification as well as the ability to respond to changes within forest ecosystems.”
“We’re also not forgetting the forest-products supply chain, providing companies worldwide with an online platform to give them easy access to a range of tools and materials in multiple languages that will help them promote their PEFC certification.”
The 2018 Collaboration Fund will support three projects, awarding 100,000 CHF and leveraging over 70,000 CHF from partners’ co-funding.
Innovation in the forest
We will be supporting the development of two innovative systems that will use latest technologies to improve monitoring within the forest, helping to improve forest health and smallholder access to certification.
With the 2017 PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue ‘Making Certification Smart’ a catalyst, PEFC Spain and Agresta S.Coop examined how satellite data technologies could improve the accessibility of PEFC group certification to smallholders, while heightening the reliability of monitoring.
Together, the project partners will develop an online platform using satellite data to enhance the monitoring of group certification. By making it easier to conduct audits and collect data, and thereby reducing costs, this system will make group certification more accessible to smallholders and more robust in implementation.
Increased monitoring of tree health, growth and water exchanges would enable forest owners to act faster and adapt their forest management practises in response to any changes within their forest. It would also enable certification bodies to carry out their verification process more efficiently, thereby helping to improve the certification process.
In order to explore possibilities, PEFC Italy and the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC) will trial the use of innovative Internet of Things technologies to monitor tree growth and health within a 160 hectare privately owned forest in central Italy.
Going online to support businesses
PEFC Chain of Custody certification enables companies to demonstrate their responsible sourcing practices of forest based materials. However, particularly for the thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) without a dedicated marketing department, it can be difficult to promote their PEFC certification effectively.
In response, PEFC Italy, PEFC International and several other PEFC members, have come together to develop an online platform to provide companies with the tools and information they need to benefit fully from their certification.
While many of these tools are already available at national level, the platform will bring them together, into one, easy to access location. We anticipate that additional tools and languages will be added to the platform over the next few years.
The PEFC Collaboration Fund encourages locally relevant advancements in the sustainable management of forests and fosters collaboration and dialogue amongst different actors.
It is part of our work to stimulate the uptake of sustainable forest management, innovate new approaches for forest certification and promote certified products in the marketplace.
Since it began in 2011, the Fund has awarded nearly one million Swiss Francs to 39 projects, with impacts realized in forests and communities all over the world.