Trees outside Forests – third member achieves endorsement of national requirements
2 February 2024 News
PEFC Portugal is the third member to achieve PEFC endorsement for their Trees outside Forests (TOF) requirements, opening the way to the first PEFC-certified trees growing outside of forests in the country.
Incorporated into the Sustainable Forest Management benchmark standard since 2018, Trees outside Forests requirements have widened the scope of PEFC certification.
The endorsements of the first national TOF systems made certification accessible to millions of farmers managing trees on their land, and municipalities managing urban trees.
“For PEFC Portugal, the extension of sustainable forest management certification to Trees outside Forests adds value to management based on good practices in urban and agricultural contexts, which are equally important to society,” says Raquel Martinho, Responsible of the Portuguese Forest Certification System (SPCF) at PEFC Portugal.
While trees outside forests have different functions in different national contexts, they all provide vital ecosystem services like clean air and water, habitat for animals and other living beings, and climate regulation, in some cases even food and materials for a rural population.
In addition, they have an important role in the rural and urban landscape.
“As indicated by the FAO, all trees are important as they contribute to the environment and the social and economic well-being of humanity. For PEFC Portugal, this is an unquestionable fact, which is why we immediately recognized this concept and started working with various interested parties to adapt the International TOF requirements to the Portuguese context,” Raquel continued.
“Through PEFC certification in urban areas, the contribution of trees reinforces the health and well-being of society, and the leadership and responsible management demonstrated by the administration can be verified and recognized.”, she stressed.
“On behalf of PEFC Portugal, it’s only fair to thank everyone involved for their work. The next step will then be to go to the field and put all the work into practice,” she concluded.
Trees outside forests around the world
Trees outside forests are immensely important for rural communities around the world. Millions of people rely on this resource to provide them with food, materials, and their livelihoods. If managed sustainably, they can contribute to rural development, food security and reduced poverty – vital Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).