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PEFC Standards Revision

Sustainable Forest Management

What's the standard about?

This standard lays out the international requirements for sustainable forest management.

It is these requirements that must be reflected in the national forest management standards submitted for PEFC endorsement. They constitute requirements for owners or managers applying for forest certification, as well as contractors and other operators operating in certified forests.

Who's revising the standard?

Working Group 1 is responsible for the revision of this standard. WG 1 will build consensus on the revised standard, relying on the involvement of active and committed individuals from different interest groups.

wg1 meeting may

To ensure that no single concerned interest can dominate the process, the WG has balanced representation of interested stakeholders, including geographical representation, and a consensus-driven decision making process.

The Task Forces

Three Task Forces have been created to provide more detailed input into the first Working Draft of the revised standard. The three Task Forces cover conversions, trees outside forests and non-wood forest products.

The objectives of the Task Forces are:


  1. To further develop PEFC’s approach for the handling of conversions
  2. To identify options for requirements in the standard
  3. To develop a recommendation for WG 1

Trees outside forests (ToF)

  1. To identify and evaluate options for PEFC ToF /Agroforestry certification
  2. To link the PEFC ToF /Agroforestry certification with the PEFC SFM standard (Appendix)
  3. To introduce options and to give a recommendation to WG 1 (October 2016)

Non-wood forest products (NWFP) and ecosystem services

  1. To identify and evaluate options for better highlighting NWFP in PEFC’s certification process
  2. To evaluate options for incorporation of ecosystem services in PEFC certification
  3. To introduce options and to give a recommendation to WG 1 (October 2016)

What's the latest news?

WG1 met for a third time in Geneva on 27-29 March 2017 to discuss the second working draft of PEFC’s revised Sustainable Forest Management benchmark requirements.

WG1 March 2017 meeting

In addition to discussions on all of PEFC’s criteria for sustainable forest management, the WG focused specifically on:

  • Terms and definitions
  • Conversions of forests to plantations and non-forest land
  • Trees outside Forests (ToF)
  • Forests with important values
  • ISO High Level Structure (HLS) for management system standards
  • Biomass related requirements

The WG will meet for a fourth time in Hamburg, Germany, on 4-6 September 2017.

The timeline

Here you can find the timeline for the revision of this standard. The next stage is in bold:

  • January – February 2016: Establishment of the Working Group
  • May 2016: First WG meeting
  • October 2016: Second WG meeting
  • March 2017: Third WG meeting
  • September 2017: Fourth WG meeting


There are several ways to get involved in the Standards Revision process:

Public Consultations
Provide input into the enquiry drafts when we launch the public consultations.

Expert Forum
The deliberations of the Working Groups will be informed by two online Expert Forums for SFM and for CoC.
Join the SFM Forum
Join the CoC Forum

Revision Newsletter
Sign up to stay up-to-date!

Working Groups
The most powerful institution in the process: members are responsible for the core of the revision work.

Stakeholder Conference
Join us in Spring 2017 to discuss the revision work face-to-face and provide your input.