Caring for our forests globally
National Sites

Panel of Experts

The PEFC Panel of Experts provides the quality assurance in the endorsement process. The six current members of the PEFC Panel of Experts share a wealth of experience and expertise in the field of forest management, environmental and social issues, certification and accreditation.

Their job is to critically review the assessment report drafted by the PEFC Registered Assessor for quality, consistency and transparency. The assessor has to take into account and provide response to the comments made by the Panel of Experts members.

The comments and responses can be found in the final assessment report that is published when the endorsement process has finished.

Panel of Experts training

Each year, we hold meetings with the Panel of Experts members to provide them with updates on the assessment process and to gather feedback on opportunities for further improvements, based on the experiences gathered over the previous years. 

Previous meetings have highlighted the value of PEFC's endorsement process and the opportunities there are to further advance this process.

Our Panel of Expert members:

Stefan Czamutzian, Dipl.-Ing., MA

Stefan Czamutzian

Stefan Czamutzian is a consultant in the fields of organization and marketing and has a long history with PEFC as the former General Secretary of PEFC Austria.

Mr. Czamutzian has served as the Head of HolzCert Austria, an accredited product certification body working in the fields of PEFC Chain and Custody for forest based products. He was also the Quality Manager of Holzforschung Austria, a testing, inspection and research institute of the Austrian Society for Wood Research.

"I consider this task as a contribution to the quality assurance and transparency in the process in certification.”

Mark Edwards

Mark Edwards

Mark Edwards is a professional forester with almost 20 years of operational and managerial experience in native forests and plantations in Australia.

He was heavily involved in the development of the Australian Forestry Standard which led to his former role as Executive Officer of Australian Forestry Standard Limited (AFS Limited).

As an Assessor/Technical Expert for forest management systems for Australia’s accreditation body, JAS-ANZ, Mr. Edwards worked on the development of certification body requirements for forest management and Chain of Custody for the Australian Forest Certification Scheme.

Kent Gustafsson

Kent Gustafsson

Kent Gustafsson is a lead assessor of accredited bodies and a consultant in conformity assessment systems. He also has experience as a tutor for training the staff of accreditation and certification bodies.

Mr. Gustafsson has a long background with PEFC, providing his expertise in conformity assessment during the establishment of the PEFC system. He is also a Licentiate of Engineering and Master of Science in Civil engineering.

"I expect to increase the quality of the reports and process."

Hans Köpp

Hans Koepp

Hans Köpp is a former professor of Forestry and has been a member of both the German Forestry Council and the Advisory Committee for Forestry and Cork of the European Union.

He spent 30 years as the International Liaison Officer at the German Society for the Protection of Forest and Woodlands. Mr. Köpp was also the Director of the Northern German Academy for Nature Conversation and the Editor of the EUROPARC Bulletin "Nature and National Parks".

Mr. Köpp is currently the Vice Chairman of PEFC Germany and the German Forest Certification Council (DFWR), and previously spent seven years on the Board of Directors of PEFC International.

Hugh G Miller OBE

Hugh Miller

Hugh Miller has almost 50 years of experience in the field of forestry, including 20 years as Professor of Forestry at the University of Aberdeen and two years as President of the Institute of Chartered Foresters. In 1981 he received the Gold Medal from the International Union of Forest Research Organizations, and in 2007 the Medal of the Institute of Chartered Foresters. Mr. Millar has been on the PEFC UK Board since 2005 and is the current Chairman.

"Schemes submitted for PEFC approval have to pass a rigorous, and independent, assessment against the criteria set and within this it is the role of the Panel of Experts to ensure that the recommendations made to PEFC Council are valid and supportable."

Hannu Valtanen

Hannu Valtanen

Hannu Valtanen has over 40 years of professional experience in national and international lobbying for the forest industry, forest owners and the forest sector. He was one of the initiators of PEFC and spent several years as Vice President on the PEFC Board of Directors. Mr. Valtanen also holds a Masters in Forestry.

"Credibility of PEFC is the key point – only high quality of the assessment can guarantee this result!"