PEFC’s stakeholder day will look at global impact of forest certification on forests

3 May 2017

The importance of forest certification and its impact on forests across the world will be the core theme of PEFC’s latest stakeholder day later this year.

The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) will hold the event at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NVCO), London, on Tuesday, 4 July. Under the banner of Delivering Impacts in the Forest, visitors will hear from key speakers from the UK and overseas, talking about how forest certification is affecting forests in North America, Asia, and Europe.

Although the UK has one of the lowest forest cover areas in Europe – just 13%, compared to 75% in Finland, 32% in Germany and 29% in France – it is the sixth largest consumer market in the world and the fifth largest timber importer.

The presentations will enable those who are trading in certified forest products to learn more about what lies behind the PEFC label and the difference forest certification is making on the ground. Speakers from around the world will illustrate the vital importance of forests to biodiversity, rural development and carbon sequestration.

Subjects will include the key role that forests play in capturing carbon across North American woodlands from Dr Mark Johnston, of the Saskatchewan Research Council.

Ana Rengifo Abbad will showcase Iberia’s cork oak forests and their role in rural development.

Dr Melvin Gumal from the Wildlife Conservation Society, Malaysia, will illustrate the vital importance of keeping tropical forests healthy to ensure that future habitats for endangered species are protected, with Confor’s Andrew Heald explaining how biodiversity works from a UK forestry perspective.

The afternoon will conclude with a Q&A discussion session chaired by PEFC International’s Peter Latham followed by a networking drinks reception.

PEFC UK chairman, Ross Bradshaw said: “The UK is such a huge marketplace for forest products, encompassing everything from paper cups and packaging materials to joinery products and structural timber that people forget the fundamental role PEFC plays in the forest. We hope that all those joining us for this year’s stakeholder event will be able to gain a better understanding of the impact PEFC certification has on local communities and forest owners and how that translates into the certified material we know so well.”