PEFC Welcomes Global Initiative to Combat Deforestation

Submitted by: Phil Riebel 07/01/2013

As deforestation rates of tropical forests remain high, major multinational companies, governments, and NGOs came together over the past two days in Jakarta to seek solutions towards reducing tropical deforestation associated with the sourcing of commodities such as palm oil, soy, beef, and paper and pulp.


PEFC
- June 28, 2013

As deforestation rates of tropical forests remain high, major multinational companies, governments, and NGOs came together over the past two days in Jakarta to seek solutions towards reducing tropical deforestation associated with the sourcing of commodities such as palm oil, soy, beef, and paper and pulp.

The goal of the workshop, which was being held by the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA2020), was to build a common understanding and awareness of current initiatives to eliminate tropical deforestation from the palm oil and pulp & paper sectors, highlight existing policy, identify economic and technical obstacles, and seek solutions industry, government, and civil society can work on together.


“PEFC welcomes this important initiative, which has the potential to substantially promote the development of sustainable forest management in the tropics,” said Mr. Gunneberg at the TFA 2020 meeting in Jakarta. “PEFC with its long history of engaging local stakeholders is well placed to support this joint effort, especially in terms of fostering a common understanding of how to best balance the multiple demands that various parties have on forest resources.”


Through its unique bottom-up approach, PEFC, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, brings together stakeholders that have an interest in responsible forestry – from smallholders and family forest owners to NGOs, companies, researchers, and government officials – to jointly elaborate a common understanding of what sustainable forest management means, in the form of national forest certification standards. Certification then provides the evidence for sustainable forest management, and PEFC, which assesses national forest certification systems, ensures that national standards meet international Sustainability Benchmarks for responsible forestry.


“Our expertise is in fostering solutions-oriented dialogues on the ground, and we are keen to explore collaboratively options to support efforts to enable and engage local stakeholders to developing locally relevant forest certification standards,” emphasized Mr. Gunneberg.  “Local ownership is key. It is local stakeholders that encourage and implement responsible forest management practices, so their involvement, commitment and buy-in is a must to ensure long-term sustainability.”


Mr. Gunneberg added that “PEFC is engaged in a variety of local projects to enable the development of national standards, and offers a viable solution to expanding sustainable forest management in the tropics. Foundations, companies and governments are invited to contribute to our efforts as part of their commitment to TFA 2020.”


PEFC is actively engaged in a number of other initiatives promoting sustainable forest management in the tropics, including the Congo Basin Forest Partnership and the EU Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition.


The TFA2020 was born out of discussions between the US Government and the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) and seeks to deliver solutions on deforestation that spur economic growth and food security. The CGF is a network of more than 400 companies whose combined revenues exceed $3 trillion a year — around 4 percent of global GDP.


Participants in the dialogue included well-known companies such as Coca Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson Kimberly Clark, Kraft, McDonalds, Nestle, Procter and Gamble, and Unilever, NGOs including Conservation International, Greenpeace, the Nature Conservancy, and WWF, and government officials from a range of countries such as Australia, China, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, the UK and the US, as well as international organizations and philanthropic foundations.