Media News Bulletin from PEFC Asia Pacific May 2021

Regenerative Fashion: Sustainable, Innovative Apparel & Textiles
 
 
Regenerative fashion means garments manufactured from fibres produced through sustainable agriculture, or organic farming practices, can reverse climate change by replenishing the plants and the soil. On 27 April, the Innovation Forum Sustainable Apparel and Textiles Conference, discussed how apparel brands can adapt practices to deliver on growing stakeholder expectation. PEFC International Board member Eduardo Rojas Briales spoke on "Regenerative vs sustainable: How are standards for sustainable apparel and fashion evolving?" In highlighting the vital regenerative functions of forests, he said that wood and forest-based fibres are renewable raw materials, which can support the fashion industry in sourcing garments from regenerative sources. Read all about it.
 
Cheers! Beer Cans with PEFC-certified Cardboard Rings
Put a ring around this when you next go for a beer. Estrella Damm has moved way from plastic by producing beverage cans with rings made of 100% biodegradable, PEFC-certified cardboard. This has also been used to replace the plastic packaging around beverage can packs by the leading Spanish beverage producer, With these initiatives, Estrella Damm will save around 360 tons of plastic per year in favour of a natural, renewable and recyclable material. Recognised for its leading sustainability strategies, Estrella is committed to eliminate plastic from its products and replacing them with materials from sustainably managed forests. Cheers for more of this!
 
Protect the Planet: Buy Local & Certified Timber Goods
 
 
As Australian builders declare a climate and biodiversity emergency, material selection plays an all-important role in protecting the planet. In the latest Builders Declare webinar. Mark Thomson, acclaimed eco-architect and director of Responsible Wood, outlined the case for buying locally and supporting timber that is certified under a recognised forest certification scheme. He highlighted the importance of 3rd party validation in the building and development sectors. The Responsible Wood Forest Certification Scheme is one of some 39 national schemes endorsed by PEFC. Responsible Wood is also the national governing body for PEFC in Australia. Read more.
 
Making PEFC FOR-TRADE Practical for Smallholders
 
 
To present the project and initiate the dialogue with local stakeholders, PEFC and its partners in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, have held four national inception workshops since March for the PEFC FOR-TRADE programme.  Taking place in each of the four partner countries, some workshops were held with a physical and remote audience, while others took place completely remotely, respecting the national regulations. In a next step, national action plans will be implemented under the project scope, including training on PEFC endorsed national standards, and a pilot project to make national systems more practical for smallholder forest owners. There's more.
 
India Furniture Exporters Try Canadian Wood for Success
 
Vamani Overseas is one of many Indian manufacturers shifting its focus towards exporting finished products to western countries. Since many international markets require wood to be sustainably sourced, this presents further opportunities for British Columbia's certified forest products in India, as the country becomes a global furniture manufacturing hub. Successes such as this are an important factor in continuing to expand awareness of imported timber species across India. Through the ‘Try Canadian Wood’ programme, Forestry Innovation Investment (FII) continues to forge relationships with local manufacturers and grow knowledge around the wood's favourable properties within furniture applications. Go here for more.
 
Certified for Access to International Markets from Indonesia
 
 
A regional webinar last month focussed on the importance of managing forests sustainably to leverage the growth of PEFC certification and, at the same time, provided tips on how to access international markets and major projects. It was attended by more than 100 delegates in the region. Led by Darren Thomas of Double Helix Tracking Technologies, it was managed by AJA Europe - PT. AJA Sertifikasi IndonesiaIFCC KSK and PEFC International. Richard Laity of PEFC Southeast Asia pointed out the benefits of Chain of Custody certification in helping to meet customer expectations and legality requirements at home and aboard. It also meets private and public sector procurement requirements and provides traceability solutions for wood-based materials. Go here for the recording of the webinar.
 
Vietnam Trains for International & Local Certification Bodies
 
 
The online training course took place in Vietnam in April with enthusiastic participation from more than 60 participants, with 20 Certification Bodies (CBs), including international and national auditors/certifiers. During this event, experts from the Forest Certification Office (VFCO) and PEFC provided a lot of detailed information about the two latest versions of Sustainable Forest Management standards VFCS / PEFC FM and PEFC CoC2020.  At the same time, they came to understand more about difficulties faced by assessment units and market challenges in Vietnam. Read More.
 
Penguins Parade in Award Winning Timber Visitor Centre
 
 
The most-visited tourism destination of the Australian state of Victoria has a new award-winning visitor centre which uses certified timber to achieve a delicate balance between landscape and built form, and between people and wildlife habitat. Achieving this balance was a challenge facing Terroir Architects when designing the new Penguin Parade Visitor Centre on Victoria’s Phillip Island. Low carbon building materials were used throughout the centre’s construction, notably PEFC/Responsible Wood-certified laminated Victorian Ash hardwood used for the exposed beams. The choice of timber beams and plywood panelling, which are self-finished and offer a carefully selected colour and texture, were integral in achieving the centre’s robust appearance. Read all about it.
 
Capture the Heart of the Forest with your Camera
 
 
For the fifth time, PEFC is inviting professional and amateur photographers to submit their best forest photos, for the chance to become the 2021 PEFC Photographer of the Year. Colourful trees, forest landscapes, children playing, people working or animals living in the forest – share your photo and help us to escape to the wonderful world of forests in our imaginations! To enter your photo is simple, check out www.pefc.photo to see if there is a national contest in your country. Then head to Instagram and post your forest photo using the contest hashtag of your country – and that’s it, you’re done! The deadline for entries is 5 June – World Environment Day. There's more here.
 
PEFC Stars in First International Hybrid Studio Broadcast
 
 
 
A PEFC certified product was the star at the first book launch at Marina Bay Sands specially designed Hybrid Broadcast Studio, attended by 50 people in person and beamed to many hundreds more in 10 countries overseas. Special Guest and Speaker on the occasion was Genevieve Chua, CEO of OVOL, the company which supplied PEFC certified paper for the book, who also represents the Print and Media Association Singapore and is PEFC International's former Vice Chair and Board member. Author and publisher Ken Hickson said that he wanted the book to meet “clean and green” standards. This was achieved by sourcing suitable PEFC-certified paper from sustainably managed forests in Asia and using Times Printers, one of Singapore’s dedicated PEFC-certified printers. Read Floyd Cowan's report on Asian Journeys  
 
PEFC Issues Updated Guidance for Chain of Custody Audits
 
 
PEFC is very conscious that there are constraints imposed by the coronavirus pandemic which can have some impact on the certification and auditing processes around the world. Therefore guidance needs to be updated from time to time. This latest guidance - Version 8 - was released late last month (28 April). It enters into force and can be applied by certification bodies from the day of its publication and is applicable until PEFC Council revokes the guidance. Due to the spread of COVID-19 worldwide, travel and medical restrictions are affecting auditing activities. The main methods to ease the consequences of travel restrictions are the implementation of remote audits, and where this is not sufficient, the extension of time periods affecting issuing of the certificates. There's more here.

Promoting Trade and Sustainable Forest Management to Reduce Forest Crime and Deforestation in Lower Mekong

Feature article from the
Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)
20 April 2021
 
Promoting Trade and Sustainable Forest Management to Reduce Forest Crime and Deforestation in Lower Mekong
 
A new PEFC-FOR-TRADE project, in collaboration with the UN-REDD Programme’s initiative for the Lower Mekong, will promote trade and sustainable forest management (SFM) and at the same time reduce pressure on forests through improved governance in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
 
PEFC’s Forestry and Trade for Development in the ASEAN region aims to strengthen trade through improved forest certification infrastructure, supporting the reduction of trade barriers, promoting sustainable wood trade, improving livelihoods and contributing to biodiversity protection.
 
The UN-REDD Programme involves working with key institutions in these ASEAN countries, and in China, to reduce the opportunities for forest crime by strengthening governance, particularly by increasing the effectiveness of systems designed to ensure legal and sustainable trade in timber. 
 
By strengthening forest governance, the UN-REDD Programme helps ensure that trading of wood products is legal and sustainable.
 
Aiming to reduce illegal logging and illegal conversion of forests, the Sustainable Forest Trade (SFT) in the Lower Mekong Region (LMR) initiative seeks to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation, while boosting sustainable forest management across the region.
 
Biodiversity preservation and livelihood improvement
 
“The Lower Mekong region is one of the critical hotspots in need of biodiversity preservation and livelihood improvement," said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International. 
 
"I firmly believe that a strong forest governance and institutionalisation at regional and national levels to promote sustainable forest trade is a critical solution. The PEFC framework is proven to contribute to such a goal and we are calling for more of such support to deepen intra-regional cooperation."
 
"It's an excellent and timely opportunity to leverage the quality infrastructure of internationally recognised forest certification systems at the regional and national levels in the Lower Mekong region," added Michael Berger, Head of Technical Unit at PEFC International.
 
"We are looking forward to providing technical support and deepening intra-regional cooperation to improve regional certification infrastructure."
 
Mr Sakchai Unchittikul, Chairman of Thailand Forest Certification Council (TFCC) noted that the project components corresponded well to Thailand’s critical need to strengthen national forest certification capacity to achieve international recognition, and that this was another useful activity in PEFC’s “tireless support of TFCC.”
 
He also said that TFCC was “ready to look for cooperative collaboration between project partners to deliver and go beyond the project’s expectations”.
 
Eco-region encompasses an incredibly high diversity of forest habitats
 
The Lower Mekong basin is a globally important eco-region that encompasses an incredibly high diversity of forest habitats. These forests are home not only to diverse and rare wildlife but are also relied upon by many communities for essential products and services.
 
To reduce the pressure on this valuable natural resource, and to reduce deforestation and forest degradation in the region, the Government of Norway is collaborating with the UN-REDD Programme to implement this initiative that to support countries in the Lower Mekong region (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam).
 
Forest crime, the illegal exploitation of the world’s forests, has transformed into one of the largest transnational organised criminal activities, according to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). With an annual worth of USD 50-150 billion, crimes related to forests and wildlife are the fourth biggest crime sector after drugs, counterfeits and trafficking (INTERPOL-UNEP, 2016).
 
Combating forest crime is crucial to reduce forest degradation and subsequent deforestation, which can significantly affect carbon dioxide emissions.
 
There is an increasing trend of investments from the expanding economies of China, Thailand and Vietnam, to timber production and land intensive industries in the lower-income, higher forest cover countries of Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar.
 
Given that the gap between global supply and demand of wood products is expected to widen significantly by 2050, growth in supply from the region is also predicted to increase, adding further pressure on already stressed forest resources.
 
Illegal logging and illegal forest conversion often stem from insecure land tenure, incomplete legal frameworks, or unclear management and enforcement responsibilities.
 
Boosting Transparency and Cooperation in Lower Mekong
 
The goal of this initiative is to improve governance, promote policy alignment and institutional inter-compatibility within the region, and boost transparency and cooperation between the Lower Mekong region countries and China.
 
Southeast Asia is home to the world’s third largest area of tropical rainforest, containing some of the richest and most valuable resources and habitats on earth. As well as an important source for timber production and rural employment for the region, these forests also have an important effect on watershed protection, biodiversity and the global carbon balance.
 
In addition to the natural forests, planted forests are also common throughout Southeast Asia. In many countries, it is plantation forests, both large and small-scale, as well as trees outside forests that contribute the most to productive forestry.
 
PEFC explains that the SFT-LMR initiative is implemented by FAO and UNEP, with funding from the Government of Norway. Key outcomes include the development of national forest certification systems and related quality infrastructure mechanisms.
 
The PEFC framework will be used to deliver several outputs, which includes deepening intra-regional cooperation, strengthening national certification standards, and building national capacities in forest governance, sustainable forest management, and trade.
 
About PEFC 
PEFC, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, is a leading global alliance of national forest certification systems. As an international non-profit, non-governmental organisation, we are dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management through independent third-party certification. We work throughout the entire forest supply chain to promote good practice in the forest and to ensure that forest-based products are produced with respect for the highest ecological, social and ethical standards. More about the PEFC-For-Trade programme here: https://pefc.org/news/pefc-for-trade-progress-in-the-lower-mekong-region
 
About UN-REDD
The United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) in developing countries, was launched in 2008 and builds on the convening role and technical expertise of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The Programme supports nationally led REDD+ processes and promotes the informed and meaningful involvement of all stakeholders, including indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities, in national and international REDD+ implementation. Additionally, the programme supports national REDD+ readiness efforts in 65 partner countries spanning Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. More information and news about the REDD the SFT-LMR initiative can be found at https://www.un-redd.org/lower-mekong

Media News Bulletin from PEFC Asia Pacific April 2021

Chain of Custody Training Reinforces Transparency & Traceability in Supply & Sourcing from Sustainable Forests
 
Nothing stands still for PEFC in Asia Pacific, its fastest growing region of the world. This week auditors, reviewers and certification decision makers are going through the PEFC Chain of Custody training with the Indonesian Forestry Certification Cooperation (IFCC) from 6 to 8 April. This provides an introduction to the revised 2020 PEFC Chain of Custody standard - which is applied consistently around the world - and exists to reinforce the importance of transparency and traceability in the supply chain, as well as provide assurances that wood products originate from sustainably managed forestsRead more about PEFC-IFCC training here.
 
Sustainable & Legal Forest Trade in Lower Mekong Region
 
 
A new PEFC-FOR-TRADE project, in collaboration with the UN-REDD Programme’s initiative for the Lower Mekong, will promote trade and sustainable forest management (SFM), and at the same time reduce pressure on forests through improved governance in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. PEFC’s Forestry and Trade for Development in the ASEAN region aims to strengthen trade through improved forest certification infrastructure, supporting the reduction of trade barriers, promoting sustainable wood trade, improving livelihoods, and contributing to biodiversity protection. The UN-REDD Programme involves working with key institutions in these countries, and in China, to reduce the opportunities for forest crime by strengthening forest governance, particularly by increasing the effectiveness of systems designed to ensure legal and sustainable trade in timber. There’s more.
 
Sustainable Apparel: Forest Fibres for Fashion Textiles
 
 
Forest fibres for fashion textiles was featured in the first issue of PEFC’s Pulse newsletter last month – issued for International Day of the Forests - which also drew attention to PEFC’s participation, as sponsor and speaker, in Sustainable Apparel and Textiles Conference on 27 – 29 April 2021, exploring how brands can transform factories, engage consumers, drive circularity, and reduce climate impacts across fashion and textile supply chains. Also speaking at the virtual event Cherie Tan, vice president, communications and sustainability for Asia Pacific Rayon, a member of the APRIL Group, which is a PEFC International Stakeholder Member. Listen to what Ben Gunneberg had to say about the benefits for the apparel sector from switching to forest-based fibres.
 
Profiling Values & Virtues of Sustainable Timber Sourcing
 
 
PEFC's latest interview in the series ‘Meeting our certified companies’, Kevin Hill, CEO of Venturer Pte Ltd is featured. Amid the construction works on Changi Chapel, Singapore’s first PEFC certified project, he spoke about the beginnings of his company and the meaning of PEFC certification to him and his customers. "Project certification is an important link in a valuable narrative about the virtues of sustainable timber sources," Kevin insists. "Without project certification, the story stops with the manufacturer, not at the project itself. This means that the effort of sourcing timber responsibly cannot ultimately be proven and therefore claimed by the project owner. Without it, the public cannot engage in a meaningful way when entering a beautifully built PEFC-certified timber structure." Read the full story.
 
Do-It Yourself with SGEC-PEFC Certified Materials in Japan
 
 
 
A Do-It-Yourself store in Japan has started to sell PEFC-certified goods. Cainz Home, a popular retailer for DIY goods, opened Cainz Asaka as the first domestic home centre/DIY store where forest certified materials are available. Among goods on display are SGEC/PEFC-certified European spruce plywood, using Russian conifer (larch) material, SGEC-certified domestic thinned wood and board (Japanese cedar). Asaka Lead Town, where the DIY store is located, has been engaged in various initiatives, such as promotion of sustainable “Kotozukuri (value creation)” and contributing towards achieving other Sustainable Development goals. Read more in the SGEC Newsletter.
 
Sustainable Timber Supply Chain for Patina Maldives Resort
 
 
A new resort in the Fari Islands, Patina Maldives is putting sustainability front and centre. Not only is the resort using PEFC-certified timber, but the onsite James Turrell Skyspace is PEFC Project Certified by Venturer TimberworkDouble Helix Tracking Technologies and SourceMap were engaged to verify the timber supply chain for the featured Skyspace from the European forest to Indian Ocean island. The Patina resort developer Pontiac Land of Singapore also insisted: "During construction of the Fari Islands, energy consumption was reduced by an estimated 12% through sustainable practices such as the use of prefabricated materials, which significantly reduced waste and carbon emissions versus conventional construction methods. Locally sourced, biodegradable and reusable materials were used wherever possible; all timber is PEFC-certified and sourced from 100% transparent supply chains. Read all about its sustainability features.
 
New University Building in PEFC Certified CLT by Stora Enso
 
 
One of the largest wooden buildings in the world is being built in Singapore with PEFC-certified Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) by Stora Enso. The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is adopting sustainable materials and innovative construction methods to develop its campus. The latest project, Academic Building South (ABS), is a true showcase of sustainable construction and largely utilising Stora Enso CLT, and will to be the new home for Nanyang Business School. At 40,000 m2, it will be one of the largest wooden buildings in Asia upon completion later this year. “Following the SMU campus completed in 2019, this is the second significant learning environment with wood to Singapore,” says Erkki Välikangas, Stora Enso Building Solutions Sales Director in Asia. There's more.
 
Japan's First Office Building Project SGEC-PEFC Certified
 
 
Nomura Real Estate Development has gained SGEC/PEFC Project Chain of Custody certification - a first for real estate developers in the office building sector - for a brand new property in the heart of Tokyo. Named “H¹O Hirakawa-cho”, the building meets the emerging trend for small-sized offices catering to less than 10 employees. The upper floor of the building commands a fine view of the green of the Imperial Palace. The timber used for this project was Japanese cedar grown and produced in a certified forest located at Tama District of Tokyo. SGEC/PEFC project certification has been already awarded for the roof of the club house in Ariake Tennis Forest and the Upside Down Fuji Monument of The Mt. Fuji World Herritage Centre in Shizuoka. Read More.
 
Unicharm Meets 2 SDG Goals with PEFC Certified Products
 
 
In another first for Japan, the PEFC mark will be shown on the packages of the highest quality premium paper diapers produced by Unicharm Products, a subsidiary of Unicharm Corporation, which has acquired Chain of Custody (CoC) certification for its five domestic plants. The Unicharm group is committed to using materials (paper and pulp) derived from wood grown in managed forests, so the certification provides proof of using sustainable resources, demonstrating that it is achieving two of the Sustainable Development Goals: SDG12 Responsible Consumption and Production and SDG 15 Life on Land. Read more.
 
PEFC Answers Greenpeace on Certification & Deforestation
 
 
“Forest certification is an important part of the toolbox needed to stop deforestation, protect biodiversity, safeguard livelihoods, and provide society with wood as a sustainable, renewable raw material,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International. “Forest certification is not designed to solve issues like deforestation by itself. This is because many of the factors causing deforestation are outside forestry, such as the demand for land for agricultural production. We need to employ multiple tools, ensure the support of all stakeholders, and work collaboratively to achieve our common objective: safeguarding our forests,” added Mr Gunneberg. He was commenting on the Greenpeace report on forest certification. Read more.
 

Managing the Social Risks for Six Million Farmers

Rubber plantation in Vietnam. The Vietnam Forest Certification Office (VFCO) is the first national member to supply PEFC-certified natural rubber and rubberwood. (Photo credit: Dr Tran Lam Dong)

How to make sure the natural rubber
sustainable supply chain is fair and inclusive:
 
Managing the Social Risks for
Six Million Farmers
 
Climate resilient growth for natural rubber production depends on how well hard risks and soft risks are managed, PEFC’s CEO Ben Gunneberg said in the online panel discussion organised by the International Rubber Study Group earlier this month (March).
 
He pointed out that as 85% of natural rubber is produced by six million farmers – mostly in the Southeast Asian countries of Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia - there’s a need to have partnerships in place to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to foster a sustainable raw material supply chain.
 
“Risks to Economic Activity in 2021: Implications for Future Growth and Sustainability” was the title of the global natural rubber industry event.
 
A sustainable approach to natural rubber production demands that we take account of all the hard risks, which Mr Gunneberg identified as relevant legal rights and land ownership, as well as human rights and labour issues.
 
Recognising the rights of indigenous people and as well as communities that are dependent on rubber, are equally important, he said.
 
No less important are what he describes as the soft risks: socio-economic and market conditions, including gender inclusion, practical issues like clean water and sanitation, as well as vital access to health and education services. 
 
To mitigate and manage these social risks, PEFC is applying its Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Group certification approach, which it has been making available for smallholders in the forestry sector for the past 20 years.
 
He also explained how PEFC’s Chain of Custody certification process can also be called on by all those in the natural rubber supply chain to provide independently verified assurance to end users that the rubber materials or products come from well-managed certified plantations.
 
Mr Gunneberg also called for the application of SDG 17, as Partnerships are crucial in the natural rubber production and supply chain. He saw four categories where partnerships were essential to develop:
 
·     Company led procurement policies
·     Local capacity and infrastructure building
·     Public policies to enable legal frameworks
·    Transformation of production to improve yield and quality, as well as living incomes.
 
He drew special attention to Vietnam as it provides a relevant case study where smallholders feature in the Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) process. 
 
“The Vietnam Forest Certification Office (VFCO) is the latest member to achieve PEFC endorsement of its national forest certification system,” Mr Gunneberg pointed out. “It’s also the first national member to supply PEFC-certified natural rubber and rubberwood."
 
In 2020, Vietnam produced 16,000 tons of certified natural rubber from its 11,300 hectare plantation. In 2021 that will increase to 61,000 tons of natural rubber coming from another 60,000 hectares which have been certified. Vietnam will also produce 300,000 cubic metres of rubberwood this year.
 
To see and hear a full recording of the online panel discussion organised by the International Rubber Study Group, go to:
 
 

Media News Bulletin from PEFC Asia Pacific March 2021

Talking about

- it is Real & Virtual!

While PEFC believes strongly in maximising the responsible use of tangible materials from sustainable forests, like timber, pulp, paper, wood-chips and even fibres for fashion, we also accept the reality these days to communicate in a virtual fashion! Hence Webinars and Zoom events – past, present and future - are the order of the day. Where-ever you are, you can participate in Tomorrow’s Timber Talk on 11 March when architectural engineer Pablo van der Lugt gives a deep insight into the principle of bio-based construction, as well as the latest developments in prefabrication options and construction process advantages of Mass Engineered Timber. There’s more.

PEFC Collaborates with ASEAN Furniture Industry Members

PEFC is collaborating with the ASEAN Furniture Industries Council (AFIC) to promote responsible sourcing of timber in the region and Chain of Custody certification for the furniture industry. This important collaboration will be announced by Emmanuel Padiernos, Chairman of AFIC, at a forum in Manila on 9 March, the first day of the ASEAN International Furniture & Furnishings Show 2021 which runs until 18 March. PEFC’s CEO Ben Gunneberg will be speaking at the forum about Sustainable Forest Management in the region and how ASEAN furniture industry members can join the global movement to meet consumer demand for environmentally-friendly products and services. Photo by Harith Green Carpenter, Malaysia. More on AFIC here.

PEFC on Managing Social Risks for Natural Rubber

Climate resilient growth for natural rubber production depends on how well we manage the hard risks and soft risks, PEFC’s CEO Ben Gunneberg said in the online panel discussion organised by the International Rubber Study Group on 3 March. He pointed out that as 85% of natural rubber is produced by 6 million farmers – mostly in Southeast Asia – there’s a need to have partnerships in place to meet Sustainable Development goals and to foster a sustainable raw material supply chain. Go here for the full recording of the webinar.

Vietnam First to Certify Natural Rubber & Rubberwood

The fact that 12 000 hectares of Acacia and Rubber plantation has been certified by Vietnam Forest Certification Office (VFCS) before the endorsement of PEFC has shown substantial Vietnamese stakeholders’ determination to make the national system work. “We are also delighted to be the first and only member so far to supply the first PEFC certified natural rubber and rubberwood," said Dr. Bui Chinh Nghia, Chairman of VFCS. Meeting - and even exceeding - the global benchmark in sustainable forest management has strengthened Vietnam’s belief that it’s moving in the right direction in building a national forest certification system. Read more.

First PEFC Controlled Source Indonesian Merbau Shipped

The first shipment of the prized Merbau roundwood to go through such an intense PEFC certification and verification process started its journey from Indonesia to New Zealand late last month. This year DoubleHelix started switching Certisource customers to PEFC Chain of Custody (CoC) certification, the first two being PT Forest Indo Perkasa and PT Larasati Multisentosa. Auditor Teguh Dwi Pambudi, who is responsible for overseeing due diligence and verification processes in Indonesia, says: “PEFC controlled sources claims provide the confidence that consumers need, so they know they are getting wood products from non-controversial sources”. Go to DoubleHelix for more.

Australia & New Zealand Cooperate On Responsible Wood

Australia's forest sustainability champion Responsible Wood will present at the New Zealand Green Building Council webinar series at 12noon (NZST) and 10am (AEDT) on 10 March. The webinar on “Sustainably Sourced Engineered Wood for a Low Carbon Future” will feature a panel of experts discussing PEFC certification and the future of engineered wood products. Sustainable architect at Scion, Andrea Stocchero, will tackle the question ‘can sustainably-sourced engineered wood be one of New Zealand’s shovel-ready answers for a sustainable future?’. Read more

Photographer Committed to Preserve & Protect Forests

Award winning photographer, Keril Chairil, tells us why he loves, but also worries about, the forest and what makes the place where he took his photo so special. He knows PEFC works very hard to protect forests and hopes it will be able to solve the concerns of people like him, who also wants to preserve and protect forests. "I hope that this competition can be a way for PEFC to give people a sense of care and love for forests". That from Keril Chairil, the winner of our 2020 ‘Experience Forests, Experience PEFC’ photo contest, who tells us more about his winning photograph and his love of forests. See more.

Forest Files: How Malaysia Manages Sustainable Forestry

Last year, local environmental portal Macaranga.org published four in-depth articles based on their investigation into forest-use changes in Peninsular Malaysia. Called Forest Files, the series explored issues such as forest-use policies, key drivers of forest loss and also how citizens could influence forest use. Siti Syaliza Mustapha, Senior Manager (Forest Management) at the Malaysian Timber Certification Council, talks about the role of the MTCC, which promotes the certification of forestry and timber products in Malaysia that meet international standards of practice, and whether this can promote sustainable logging and sustainable forestry. Listen to the latest report here.

PEFC Joins APEC Experts on Illegal Logging & Trade

Seventeen economies from Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) participated in the 19th meeting of EGILAT - Experts Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade - held virtually on 19 and 20 February 2021. Participants shared updates on the implications of COVID-19 and exchanged information on combating illegal logging and promoting trade in legal forest products. They also discussed the progress regarding the EGILAT policy theme on “Advancing the Trade and Distribution of Legally Harvested Forest Products.”  Siti Syaliza Mustapha from MTCC reported on how PEFC has continued to manage certification, audit and compliance activities during the pandemic. More on EGILAT here.

World Furniture: How Consumers Buy Furniture Online

Chain of custody certification is vital for a furniture company to advance its sustainability credentials. If it can also show that it’s using certified sustainable packaging materials and it’s taking care to be carbon-conscious with its shipping method, that’s the additional sort of assurance an online shopper needs. That's the essence of the PEFC article by Ken Hickson in World Furniture Magazine March 2021 issue. It mentions an online retailer in Singapore selling European-made furniture with wood sourced from Asia, that goes out its way to tell the sustainability story and proudly shows the PEFC certification labels. For Soul and Tables, sustainability and responsible sourcing is at the heart of its business. See the World Furniture article here.

PEFC/IFCC Chain of Custody Training for Auditors

To maintain the highest possible standards for issuing PEFC's Chain of Custody (CoC) Certification, intensive training courses are conducted throughout the Asia Pacific region. Auditors, reviewers and certification decision makers are invited to register for the next PEFC recognised CoC initial training, which is being conducted in Indonesia on 6-8 April 2021. This training is a pre-requisite before anyone can issue certification against the 2020 PEFC CoC related standards. The training will be given by PEFC International Technical Experts Nurcahyo Adi and Rudy Setyawan from Indonesian Forestry Certification Cooperation (IFCC). There's more here.

MTCC Debuts at the MIFF Virtual B2B Furniverse 2021

In line with its continuous effort to reach out to timber industry players and increase awareness on forest and timber certification, the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) is making a debut at the virtual B2B furniture fair, MIFF Furniverse 2021 which takes place from 8 until 12 March. This is the latest digital event experience by the Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF), one of the top furniture fairs across the globe, especially in Southeast Asia. MTCC CEO, Yong Teng Koon said such virtual trading experience is the go-to in today’s business sphere and an ideal platform for the council to consistently connect and update industry players in these challenging times. Read more.