Media News Bulletin from PEFC Asia Pacific January 2022

Transformational Year for Sustainable Natural Rubber in Southeast Asia
PEFC says 2021 was a transformational year for sustainable natural rubber as real progress was seen on the ground, with two game-changing certifications. The first from Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG), who saw their pilot project with PEFC culminate in the certification of 55,000 hectares of rubber plantations. This means that the 85,000 tons of natural rubber and 300,000 tons of rubberwood produced by these plantations is now certified sustainable. The second game-changing development was Weber & Schaer’s achievement of PEFC chain of custody certification for natural rubber. Strong indications are that demand exists for environmentally friendly rubber from Southeast Asia - Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam - and that supplier certification can trigger certification of buyers. Read More.
PEFC CEO/Secretary General Ben Gunneberg on the Move
After 22 years as CEO and Secretary General of PEFC Ben Gunneberg is moving on. The organisation's Deputy Secretary General and Head of Technical Unit, Michael Berger has taken over the role of acting Secretary General from beginning of January. “The PEFC global alliance is grateful for Mr Gunneberg’s outstanding service and commitment to PEFC, as well as his significant accomplishments over his distinguished tenure,” said Eduardo Rojas Briales, Chair of PEFC International. The entire PEFC alliance thanks him for his exemplary enthusiasm, commitment, and persistence in taking the vision of the PEFC founders, and creating, building, and shaping PEFC into an international organisation that enjoys respect globally. We all wish Mr Gunneberg the best in his future endeavours, which we are sure he’ll undertake with the same dedication and passion he gave to PEFC. Read More.
Managing Forest Renewal Now & For Generations to Come
In a new innovative partnership, Responsible Wood-certified Sustainable Timber Tasmania and Midway Tasmania - Australia’s largest high quality wood fibre processor and exporter - are working to bring technically advanced, smart forest-thinning operations to Tasmanian forests, which were previously subject to clear-cut silviculture in the 1970s and 1980s. Endorsed by PEFC internationally, ‘Responsible Wood’ is the Australian Standard for Sustainable Forest Management with its forest certification demonstrating that forests meet social and environmental benchmarks. There's more.
When Shopping, Look Out For the PEFC Certification Label
Look out for the PEFC label. We're always looking for and finding products and packaging which have been appropriately labelled. At the German Market Place in Singapore, we found these "iglo" packaged frozen fish fingers from Germany, with the PEFC label clearly in place. Eco-labelling like this is so important as it enables PEFC to track the material from sustainable forests, down the supply chain, to the final product that you buy. The mechanism to track the material is called chain of custody certification. Beyond ensuring that the material comes from a certified forest, it also protects the rights of workers along the production process.Read all about PEFC certification here.
World Agroforestry Scales Up Trees Outside Forests in India
Trees Outside Forests India (TOFI), an initiative of the Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF) and PEFC, is going through a “sustainable scaling up” with the support of World Agroforestry, formerly known as the International Council for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) and USAID. A major funding proposal submitted to USAID has been approved and an agreement was signed between USAID and ICRAF for the TOFI Project (in November, 2021). The three objectives of TOFI are: 1.Enabling environment strengthened for TOF expansion; 2. TOF expansion economically incentivised and risks reduced; 3. Improved access to quality and actionable TOF information. Go to NCCF’s December Newsletter for more on this.
Unlocking Furniture Prospects for 2022 Discussed at Webinar
PEFC's global campaign for wood furniture continues into 2022, as discussed in December's webinar “Unlocking PEFC chain of custody certification for the furniture industry”, led by Fabienne Sinclair. Here's the link to the recordings of the exclusive two-day webinar about PEFC chain of custody certification for companies who manufacture, trade, and sell wood and wooden furniture.You can also learn more about PEFC's Forests are Home campaign. And in case you missed it before, here's a link to a story about an Australian furniture company Oak and Hide.
Forests Inspire Photography, Work & Lots of Good Stories
In 2021, PEFC held its ‘Experience Forests, Experience PEFC’ photo contest for the fifth time. Taking place in eleven countries, 5000 fantastic forest photos were entered from around the world. The top 12 images were selected and PEFC will showcase these during 2022. We start the series with the overall winner of the photo contest: ‘The Man and the Forest’, taken by Vitalii Popkov in Zamagora Verkhovyna, Ukraine. In this interview, Vitalii tells us more about his photo, the story behind it, and how the forest inspires him. Read all about it.
Cork, Oils, Food & Medical Products Included in the Expanded Range of Categories for PEFC Chain of Custody Certification
The PEFC product categories are a key element in the implementation of the PEFC chain of custody by certified organisations and certification bodies. The revised list of PEFC product categories, as approved by the Chain of Custody Working Group on 15 October 2021, is now available. More than 200 categories go beyond forest products for buildings, furniture, paper and packaging, to cover a host of uses for the home and workplace. Resins, oils and honey (pictured), mushrooms and truffles. To learn more about this and see the range of product categories, go here.