PAFC Congo Basin regional certification system achieves PEFC endorsement
13 January 2022 PEFC system news
The Pan African Forest Certification (PAFC) Congo Basin regional system has achieved PEFC endorsement. This is the world’s first PEFC endorsed regional forest certification system.
Our national members for Cameroon, Congo, and Gabon joined forces under the name of PAFC Congo Basin to develop this regional certification system. The shared language and the similar forestry conditions in the three neighbouring countries enables them to share one system.
By developing a regional system, our members can maximise their impact and reach, share resources and knowledge, and reduce the costs in developing and running a forest certification system.
“Being part of a regional scheme is a tremendous opportunity for PAFC Cameroon. We are supported by the other PAFC members and help them back in return, leading to more efficiency in our actions,” said Reine Edwige Anjembe, President of PAFC Cameroon.
“Having one system covering three countries means more significant market access to operate. Furthermore, the training process is more efficient and better value for certification bodies, as auditors only need to be trained on one standard,” said Brice Severin Pongui, President of PAFC Congo.
“In terms of accreditation, having one system simplifies the process, as only one accreditation program needs to be opened for the sub-region.”
The next steps
Following the endorsement on the regional system, the three PAFC organisations will work on its implementation and support companies in their certification process.
An auditor training will be organized in the first half of 2022, along with the promotion of the PAFC Congo Basin system to a broader audience through company training and an open house day.
Another key element of the coming months will be to develop national interpretation guidelines and a guide regarding carbon stock mapping and GHG emissions. These activities will help companies better understand the sustainable forest management standard and its requirements.
A thank you to stakeholders and supporters
The system development was led by our international stakeholder member ATIBT, in close collaboration with PAFC Cameroon, PAFC Congo, PAFC Gabon and Olam, another PEFC international stakeholder member. The project is funded by KfW, the German Development Bank, and co-funded by IDH and PEFC.
“We would like to thank ATIBT for making it possible for us to set up a regional forest certification system. Thanks also to the PEFC alliance for recognising this regional system, which will allow greater visibility of PEFC in Africa,” said Rose Ondo, Chairwoman of PAFC Gabon.
“PAFC Cameroon would like to acknowledge the project coordinator Germain Yene Yene for his work. Thanks to the excellent management of the project, all the various stakeholders are satisfied with the outcome,” said Reine Edwige Anjembe. “We would also like to thank all the stakeholders that participated in the working group that create our regional system.”
The new PAFC Congo Basin website also went online in the days before the regional system was endorsed.