Public consultation on PEFC ST 1002:201x Enquiry Draft, Group Forest Management Certification – Requirements

Foreword

The PEFC Council (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes) is a worldwide organisation promoting sustainable forest management through forest certification and labelling of forest-based products. Products with a PEFC claim and/or label offer assurances that the raw materials used in the manufacture of the product originate from sustainably-managed forests.

The PEFC Council endorses national forest certification schemes which comply with PEFC Council requirements. Schemes are regularly evaluated.

This document has been developed using an open, transparent, consultative and consensus based-process and involving a broad range of stakeholders.

PEFC Council is committed to standard and procedures as developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).

PEFC Council supports gender equality. Hence, every term in this standard referring to a specific person (e.g. manager, owner, participant) embraces women and men likewise, without further accentuation.

This document cancels and replaces the 2010 version of PEFC’s Group Certification Standard (PEFC ST 1002:2010).

Introduction

The PEFC Council endorses national forest certification schemes for sustainable forest management. Forest conditions, their ecological, social, economical and historical aspects vary between different regions and countries. The PEFC Council reflects this fact by incorporating national forest certification schemes and standards which are appropriate to local situations. 

In many countries forests are characterized by significant numbers of small forest holdings. The limited capacities and resources of people owning/managing such small forest holdings represent significant barriers to forest certification. Factors including but not limited to the periodicity of their management activities and revenues, the low intensity, small scale and low frequency of operations, limited access to information, technical support and knowledge, individually and in combination, limit access and participation of small holdings and ownerships in forest management certification.

Group certification is an alternative approach to individual certification which allows forestowners and managers to become voluntarily certified under one certificate and share the financial obligations arising from forest certification as well as the common responsibility for forest management. This approach aims at improving information dissemination and co-operation in forest management among individual forest owners and managers.

The limitations concerning individual certification in forestry and the resulting procedures for group certification do not lead to a lower level of compliance with PEFC’s requirements for sustainable forest management.

This standard is designed to enable forest owners/managers of different forest management units to participate in certification.

1 Scope

This document defines the requirements for forest certification schemes which include group forest management certification and allow the certification of a number of forest owners/managers under one certificate.

Group forest management certification requires establishing a specific management structure that includes the individual forest owners/managers. This entity represents the individual owners/managers in forest certification in order to ensure the correct implementation of the sustainable forest management standard and provide confidence in sampling-based certification activities.

The requirements laid out in this document reflect PEFC’s international benchmark for group forest certification. This benchmark shall be implemented by group forest certification standards submitted for PEFC endorsement. They constitute requirements for group organisations applying for group certification.

2 Normative references

PEFC ST 1003:200x, Sustainable Forest Management - Requirements