From the requirements that companies must meet to achieve PEFC chain of custody certification, to the specific steps stakeholders must take as they develop their national forest certification system, our standards are vital to the functioning of our organization. But who is responsible for developing them?
The answer to this might not be what you think. It is not PEFC that develops the standards, but multi-stakeholder working groups. These working groups build consensus, relying on the involvement of active and committed individuals from different interest groups. PEFC’s role is essentially limited to coordinating these working groups.
But why do we do it like this? We need to ensure that the wealth of knowledge, interests, experience and expectations that exists can be captured when developing a standard. Suggestions and ideas need to be challenged and discussed.
What works for one interest may not be practicable or agreeable to another. By bringing together a diverse group of people that must work together to build consensus, we can ensure that our standards meet the many expectations placed upon them, and that they integrate the best available knowledge.
Forming the working groups
How a working group is formed is important, and we do it as open and transparent as possible. To start, everybody can nominate a representative to be in a working group. This helps to provide for a wide range of candidates for the group. The PEFC Board of Directors then selects the members from the nominations received, based on what skills and expertise needs to be represented in the working group – this is different for different standards.
To ensure that no single concerned interest can dominate the process, all working groups have balanced representation of interested stakeholders, including geographical representation. Stakeholder categories within the working groups are derived from the major groups outlined in the UN Agenda 21 (Business & Industry; NGOs; Scientific & Technological Communities; Farmers & Small Forest Landowners; Workers & Trade Unions; Local Authorities; Indigenous People; Women; and Children & Youth).
Going further, we refine the desired composition of a working group and require at least the following stakeholder categories to participate:
- Certified PEFC scheme users (e.g. forest owners and managers, forest based industry)
- Uncertified PEFC scheme users (e.g. certification bodies)
- Customers and consumers (e.g. retailer organizations, consumer organizations)
- Civil society (e.g. science, environmental, social and other interest groups)
- PEFC National Governing Body members
This ensures there is always a balanced group of interests around the table, taking into account the key stakeholders affected by the standard in question.
What does PEFC do?
Our role at the PEFC International office in Geneva is to coordinate the work of these working groups, providing organizational and administrative support. The role of the PEFC Board of Directors and the PEFC General Assembly is limited to the formal approval (or rejection) of the standard.
Our standards and technical documents are at the heart of our work at PEFC. But what is a PEFC standard and how do we ensure they continue to be innovative, relevant and effective? And are the same standards applied all over the world?
At PEFC we are convinced that one size does not fit all when it comes to forest certification. Forests are highly diverse; as is their management, local traditions, cultural and spiritual expectations, average property sizes and support structures.
This is why we work through national forest certification systems, enabling countries to tailor their sustainable forest management requirements to their specific forest ecosystems, the legal framework and the socio-cultural context.
While these national systems are developed locally, they need to undergo rigorous third-party assessment to ensure consistency with international requirements.
The PEFC standards
We distinguish between two types of international standards
- International benchmark standards are used by our national members to develop their national standards. The benchmark standards set out the requirements that national standards must meet in order to achieve PEFC endorsement. Our Sustainable Forest Management standard is a benchmark standard.
- International standards are applied directly in the field. These include our standards for Chain of Custody and Trademarks, which are used by thousands of companies, certification bodies and accreditation bodies around the world.
Making the best even better – the advancement of our standards over time
To ensure the highest level of credibility for our standards, internationally recognized processes have always been core to PEFC. When we first developed our standards, we adapted requirements that had just been approved by the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe one year earlier, involving thousands of stakeholders in their elaboration.
From this basis, standards have been further developed in PEFC at national and international levels. This happens through multi-stakeholder standard setting processes, with PEFC acting as convener and facilitator.
From the beginning, our standards have been oriented on the latest scientific research and best practices from the field. But in order to keep them up to date, they have to be revised regularly.
In 2001, we implemented the seven core ILO conventions into our guidelines on standard setting. They include fair wages, respect for property and land tenure rights, human rights to indigenous people and local communities, and prohibition of the most hazardous chemicals.
In 2010, we became the first global forest certification system to consider social requirements for chain of custody certification. In the following years, we developed guidelines for the avoidance of Controversial Sources, added recycled materials to the new standard requirements and aligned our Chain of Custody standard with the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR).
PEFC has always been innovation driven: Beyond the bottom-up approach, we coined the concept of group certification and were the first forest certification system to recognize the need to certify Trees outside Forests.
The latest round of revisions
The latest revision process of our international standards started in 2016 and has involved the whole PEFC alliance, hundreds of experts and thousands of stakeholders. Six of our seven key technical documents have already been revised in that process.
The 2020 versions of these three standards were approved by our General Assembly in February 2020. The changes in the Chain of Custody standard make PEFC certification more resource-efficient and environmentally friendly. We expanded our Due Diligence System (DDS), raising the bar for the small amount of uncertified material that can be mixed with certified material. The revised Trademarks standard strengthens the consistent use of our PEFC trademarks, while making it easier to understand what the PEFC logo stands for. The revised Requirements for Certification Bodies require that auditors have specific experience on PEFC chain of custody audits.
Entered into force in 2018, the revised Sustainable Forest Management standard made PEFC certification accessible to millions of famers and smallholders, by expanding its scope to Trees outside Forests. The Group Forest Management Certification standard includes improved requirements for internal auditing to enable even more small forest owners to pool their resources and jointly apply for PEFC certification.
The main change in these revised documents is that PEFC endorsement of a national system no longer has an expiry date. Instead, it is linked to the national periodic review, which must be started within five years of the approval date of the national standard. Periodic reviews aim at ensuring that national systems are consistently updated to meet national and international expectations.
SURAT KEPUTUSAN BADAN PENGURUS
INDONESIAN FORESTRY CERTIFICATION COOPERATION - IFCC
PENUNDAAN BEBERAPA AGENDA KEGIATAN IFCC
BERKAITAN DENGAN MEREBAKNYA VIRUS COVID-19
1. Bahwa perkembangan terkini mengenai ancaman penyebaran Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) telah ditetapkan sebagai pandemi global oleh WHO (World Health Organization) pada tanggal 11 Maret 2020;
2. Bahwa berdasarkan data dari Kementerian Kesehatan Republik Indonesia (Kemenkes RI) per 14 Maret 2020, jumlah orang yang positif terjangkit COVID-19 di Indonesia sebanyak 96 orang, meninggal 5 orang, dalam pemeriksaan 1198 orang;
3. Bahwa berdasarkan data dari Kemenkes RI per 14 Maret 2020, wilayah Indonesia yang sudah terjangkit COVID-19 tersebar di wilayah DKI Jakarta, Jawa Barat, Jawa Tengah, DI Yogyakarta, Bali, Kalimantan Barat, Sulawesi Utara, dan Banten;
4. Bahwa pada tanggal 14 Maret 2020 pemerintah Indonesia melalui Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB) telah menetapkan penyebaran Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) sebagai bencana nasional.
5. Bahwa dengan menyebarnya COVID-19 di Indonesia, pemerintah Indonesia baik pusat maupun daerah telah menetapkan tindakan pembatasan pertemuan-pertemuan, penundaan dan/atau pembatalan berbagai kegiatan massal, penutupan sekolah-sekolah dan tempat wisata, serta pembatasan perjalanan ke luar negeri dan luar kota.
1. Keputusan Presiden Republik Indonesia Nomor 7 Tahun 2020 tentang Gugus Tugas Percepatan Penanganan Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19);
2. Surat Edaran Kementerian Kesehatan Republik Indonesia Nomor PK. 02.01/B.VI/839/2020 perihal Himbauan tentang Upaya Pencegahan Penularan COVID-19 di Tempat Kerja;
3. Instruksi Gubernur Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta Nomor 16 Tahun 2020 tentang Peningkatan Kewaspadaan terhadap Risiko Penularan Infeksi Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19).
1. Menunda dan membatalkan beberapa agenda kegiatan IFCC dalam waktu dekat hingga kondisi telah dinyatakan aman terkendali demi mencegah meluasnya penyebaran COVID-19. Kegiatan IFCC yang dimaksud adalah termasuk tapi tidak terbatas pada pertemuan konsultasi publik revisi skema IFCC, pertemuan Komite Standarisasi IFCC, rapat, diskusi dan seminar. Kegiatan pertemuan yang karena satu dan lain hal sama sekali tidak bisa ditunda atau dibatalkan, dapat diganti dengan pertemuan online;
2. Sekretariat IFCC bekerja dari rumah / online hingga adanya pemberitahuan lebih lanjut, dengan ketentuan tidak mengurangi pelayanan sertifikasi bagi para pihak, termasuk sertifikat yang masa berlakunya selesai dalam waktu dekat;
3.Surat keputusan ini berlaku sejak tanggal ditetapkan. Surat keputusan ini dapat diubah / diperbaiki bila dipandang ada hal-hal yang tidak dan/atau belum cukup diatur dalam Surat Keputusan ini.
Ditetapkan di : Bogor
Pada tanggal : 14 Maret 2020
Perkumpulan Kerjasama Sertifikasi Kehutanan Indonesia – KSK
(Indonesian Forestry Certification Cooperation – IFCC)
Dr. Ir. H. Dradjad Hari Wibowo, MEc. Sania Widuri, SH., LLM.
Ketua Umum Sekretaris Umum