More than 300 million hectares
of forests are certified to PEFC’s
internationally recognized
Sustainability Benchmarks, supplying
more than 18,000 Chain of Custody
certified companies with responsibly
PEFC/01-00-01 sourced timber and wood-
based products.

PEFC, the Programme for PEFC was founded by small-
the Endorsement of Forest and family forest owners
Certification, is the world’s leading to demonstrate excellence in
forest certification system. sustainable forest management.

Our Vision: Our Purpose:
A world in which people Through the endorsement
manage forests sustainably. of national certification
systems, PEFC motivates and
Our Mission: enables people to sustainably
To give society confidence manage their forests and
that people manage forests works to provide a market for
sustainably. the products of those forests.

Introduction 2
Empowering smallholders
& sustaining livelihoods 4
Addressing deforestation
& mitigating climate change 6
Promoting sustainable landscapes 8
Engaging stakeholders 10
Encouraging collaboration 12


PEFC is the world’s leading forest Given the importance of forests to
certification system. It promotes the planet, sustainable management is
sustainable management practices essential to ensure society’s demands
in the forest, establishes traceability don’t compromise the resource.
throughout supply chains and uses Sustainable forest management offers
independent third-party auditing to a holistic approach to ensure forest
ensure requirements are being met. activities deliver social, environmental and
Through offering Forest
Management and Chain
of Custody certification,
PEFC can provide
assurances that those
products carrying the
PEFC ‘green trees’ logo
are made with material derived
from a PEFC-certified forest.

economic benefits, balance competing In addition to offering a forest
needs and maintain and enhance forest certification system, an important
functions now and in the future. Forest part of PEFC’s work is delivered through
certification is the tool to prove this projects and initiatives. Working in close
and to connect the consumer with the cooperation with partners around the
sustainable origins of their products. world, we use projects to build capacity,
improve market conditions for certified
products and develop solutions to further
advance sustainable forest management.
In support of emerging national
certification systems specifically, we
offer considerable support and guidance
to the organizations leading standard
development processes. Working in
collaboration throughout the process can
help to ensure that systems are developed
efficiently, in alignment with PEFC’s
requirements and that valuable experience
gained in one country can be shared
with another.

Through delivering forest certification
over the last 15 years, PEFC has
positively impacted significant areas
of forest through requiring improved
forestry practices and bringing attention
to sustainable management. What’s less
acknowledged is the impact PEFC is
also delivering outside of forests. These
impacts may be less obvious and beyond
the traditional scope of forest certification,
but they are exciting and hold much
promise for scaling up.

More than 30 per cent of the world’s By 2016, nearly one million smallholders
forest area is managed by family forest achieved certification through PEFC Group
owners, communities and indigenous Certification, a testament that it is a practical
peoples. While collectively this is a and cost-effective mechanism.
significant share of the global forest,
To further increase the number of
at a local level it is typically divided into
smallholders able to benefit from certification,
millions of small forest holdings.
PEFC is leading a project to expand Group
Without economies of scale, investment or Certification globally. Working with local and
proximity to the market, smallholders often international partners in various locations
face persistent challenges in accessing around the world, including Malaysia, Nepal,
the full value of their resource. This limits Thailand and Vietnam, we are learning about
the potential of forest management to the unique challenges facing smallholders
reduce poverty, support rural livelihoods and supporting the development of new
and contribute to economic development. and appropriate certification solutions.
Solutions are needed to assist
smallholders in overcoming these barriers
while reinforcing their continued role as
responsible stewards of the forest.

PEFC’s response to support smallholders
in gaining access to markets, economies
of scale and value for their resource, is
Group Certification. Group Certification
enables multiple smallholders to pursue
certification together, sharing costs,
roles and responsibilities amongst the
different participants. It makes certification
affordable when individual certification
would be too expensive, and it encourages
and facilitates sharing of knowledge
and pooling of resources among
smallholders. Selling certified products
can support forest owners to increase
their marketability.

25% of Nepal’s forests Building PEFC Group
are managed by communities Certification in Vietnam
organized into 18,000 user groups.
In Thua Thien Hue Province,
Vietnam, we support the
strengthening of smallholder
Thailand is currently the world’s
cooperatives and cooperative
largest producer of natural rubber,
alliances. The project is increasing
with these rubber trees managed by
the capacity of cooperatives to
more than 1 million smallholders.
deliver forestry-related services,
After 25 to 30 years, the mature
to support smallholders in
trees are no longer productive
implementing sustainable forest
for rubber tapping and become a
practices, and to build stronger,
major wood source.
more profitable business models
from their growing forest resource.

The role of PEFC Group
Certification is well-recognized and
preparations are underway to offer
an affordable certification system
that links small landowners to the
market. The project is a cooperation
between AgriCord, the Finnish
Agri-agency for Food and Forest
Development (FFD), PEFC and
the Thua Thien Hue Cooperative
Alliance since 2011.

Our planet is losing its natural forest From our unique position, PEFC works
cover at an unprecedented pace. to address deforestation through:
In light of climate change, bio- and
cultural diversity loss and rural poverty, • Preventing forest degradation
we collectively need to upscale our PEFC-certified forests are managed
response to conserving and promoting in compliance with internationally
forests and optimizing their potential recognized sustainability requirements
to solve our global challenges. and regularly monitored by third-party,
independent auditors. This ensures
Over the last decade, governments, that forest management activities
multinational companies, industry are not leading to forest degradation,
associations and non-governmental a common pre-condition of forests
organizations have been working then converted for alternative land use.
together to understand and tackle the
complex interactions that seemingly lead • Prohibiting forest conversion
to deforestation in so many forest rich Within PEFC-certified forests there
countries. REDD+, FLEGT, Zero Net are strict requirements which control
Deforestation: these initiatives all take conversion. In addition, plantations
different forms but look to identify, influence established on land converted after
or eliminate the key drivers of deforestation. 2010 are not eligible for PEFC
Agriculture is generally acknowledged
• Establishing supply chain
as the main driver of deforestation. In
comparison, only a small proportion of
Products carrying a PEFC logo or
global deforestation is caused directly from
certified claim have been delivered
the forest sector through the establishment
through a controlled supply chain
of plantations and overexploitation
whereby each operator has Chain
of timber. Nevertheless, PEFC works
of Custody certification in place and
within this space to reduce forestry’s
must exercise due diligence to ensure
direct and indirect links to deforestation
that unwanted, controversial sources,
and to offer tools to protect companies
including conversion timber, do not
and land managers from exposure to
enter the product.
deforestation risks.

• Strengthening consumer trust which in turn creates additional demand
Forest products that come from and ultimately increases the value of
responsibly managed, renewable forests. Creating additional value and
forests are part of the solution, not demand for forest products is one of
the problem. Certification and the the best ways to keep forests standing,
PEFC label on a product help to build as it prevents them from being cleared
consumer trust in forest products, for alternative land uses.

With 7 billion people living on the in sustainable landscapes. By extending
planet, demands for food, fuel and the scope of certification throughout the
fiber continue to mount. Agriculture, landscape we can further encourage
conservation, development and other sustainable practices and support tree
land uses all compete for space. planting or forest restoration to deliver
optimal impacts.
Recognizing that there is an increasing
complexity in finding optimal balance for
our land use needs, there are movements Exploring the certification
towards a landscape approach to of trees outside forests
overcome traditional land management
Trees outside forests provide a
boundaries and consider land use
significant source of material to
decisions and interventions in a more
the forest products industry in
holistic way.
countries such as Thailand, where
In line with aspirations for more the paper companies are working
sustainable landscapes and urban closely with farmers to facilitate the
spaces, PEFC recognizes that trees growing of trees around land under
are also grown and cultivated far beyond rice cultivation. Within this context,
forest boundaries. Creating shade in PEFC has been supporting local
home gardens, hedgerows throughout stakeholders in Thailand to identify
agricultural fields, refuge in urban spaces, the requirements that exemplify
or plantations for productive purposes, the best practice in tree farming. Our
integration of trees throughout landscapes work now continues, supporting
undoubtedly generates substantial social, the development of a full national
economic and environmental benefits. certification system, within which
Tree farming can also alleviate pressure these requirements for trees
on forests in places where natural forests outside forests can be included.
are threatened. The non-wood forest
At international level, PEFC is also
products that the trees both inside and out
working to develop a certification
of forests produce also have the potential
solution for trees outside forests.
to contribute significantly to increased
The multi-stakeholder process
food security and rural livelihoods.
will build consensus around best
Clearly there is a role for forest practice and seek to offer a practical
certification to play in further promoting approach to enable farmers to
the planting of trees outside forests, access certification and meet
increasing wood production and bringing the market’s demands.
recognition to the roles that trees play


Stakeholder dialogue and engagement it is essential that our standards benefit from
are crucial if we are to address any in-depth discussions and a consensus-driven
sustainability challenge effectively. process. To ensure this dialogue occurs,
For complex issues there will always PEFC requires that interested stakeholders
be a range of perspectives, needs are identified, informed and invited to
and expectations and only through engage in standard-setting processes.
dialogue can consensus and lasting Moreover, revisions of all forest management
solutions emerge. standards are required every five years
thereby encouraging an ongoing dialogue
PEFC provides ongoing mechanisms to
among stakeholders.
facilitate stakeholder dialogue on forestry
issues at national and international levels. PEFC has national members in 43 countries
Our projects would not be possible without around the world. Each member is actively
close alignment to the expectations focused on enabling stakeholder dialogue
of local stakeholders, their knowledge within their certification system processes.
and support. Therefore, dialogue and
engagement with stakeholders is
fundamental to the success of the
projects we are undertaking.

The same is true for our standards
developed at national and international
levels. With new forestry-related
knowledge, best practice, expectations
and needs constantly emerging,

There are over 20 countries
currently developing national
forest certification systems
and closely following PEFC’s
expert advice and best practice
in standard-setting.

Supporting national system development
PEFC is invested in continually The step-by-step guide gives hands-
expanding forest certification to on advice for organizations leading
additional countries as a means certification initiatives and shares many
to involve more people and bring valuable lessons from PEFC members
more forest area under sustainable on effective stakeholder engagement.
management. To expand PEFC’s The toolkit is distributed at national,
global alliance, we provide support and regional and international workshops
guidance to organizations working to where PEFC delivers capacity
establish a national forest certification building and technical support on
system and eventually achieve this important subject.
PEFC endorsement.
Countries as wide-ranging as India,
One of the main resources that PEFC Macedonia, Mexico and Cameroon
utilizes in this regard is a publication are all currently receiving support
titled ‘PEFC Toolkit: Developing a from PEFC to establish their national
National Forest Certification System.’ certification system.

PEFC members with
endorsed systems
PEFC members progressing
towards endorsement
Countries actively developing systems
As of December 2016 11

Advancing sustainability and building To mobilize partners in active
solutions requires collaboration collaboration around forest
amongst likely and unlikely partners. sustainability PEFC invests
Forest certification helps to establish annually in the Collaboration Fund.
this collaboration across many levels. Each year, the Fund awards small
grants to members and non-profit
Between businesses and their supply chain
organizations to support innovative,
transactions, for example, certification
collaborative projects well-designed
encourages the sharing of information,
to deliver impact.
establishment of longer-term business
relationships and a common pursuit of
sustainable forest products. It also unites
diverse stakeholders in research, dialogue
and projects.

PEFC Collaboration Fund sector organizations may apply.

aims to: If the lead applicant is not our member,
• Promote innovation; it is desirable for one of our members
to be a project partner.
• Stimulate local projects;
• Encourage partnerships; Grant amounts
• Share financial burdens. We consider applications of up to
Activities include: CHF 40,000 with a project time frame
of up to two years for new activities
• Promoting certification or certified
rather than for ongoing work. Proposed
project budgets must include at least
• Capacity building to expand forest
35% co-funding from other sources.
• Researching issues related to PEFC How to apply
Sustainability Benchmarks or national
Please visit
for more information.
• Researching new products, services
and approaches. Co-fund projects
Eligible applicants To invest in or to co-finance future
Our members, other non-profit projects, please contact
organizations, and private and public .


Featured projects: FUND

Testing the use of remote sensing
Research: data and online technologies
Learning how to optimize tradeoffs to monitor compliance
between timber extraction and managing with forest certification
carbon stock within tropical forests requirements in Finland
Partners: CIRAD, ONF, Partners: Forgis Oy,

Expansion: consumption, demand
Expanding forest and appreciation
certification in for the wild foods
Ghana through originating in Spanish
establishing a PEFC- certified forests
recognized national
Partners: PEFC Spain,
certification system
Partners: Ghana
Working Group,
PAFC Cameroon Capacity Building:
Working with the Italian
Institute of Design to bring
Supporting community forest the sustainable ethos of PEFC
owners in Indonesia to access into the world of fashion
certification and markets
Partners: PEFC Italy,
Partners: IFCC, CIFOR Italian Institute of Design

PEFC has so far awarded over CHF 640,000

O U K N O W ? leveraged co-funding of CHF 840,000

DID Y mobilized efforts of 30 organizations
and 50 project partners

PEFC Council
World Trade Center
10, route de l’Aéroport
CH-1215 Geneva

t +41 22 799 45 40
f +41 22 799 45 50

Front cover photos: schab, Yatra (also p. 7), Huhtamaki Ltd (product & photography), PEFC, MTCC.
Page 1: Dmitrij Skorobogatov. Pages 2-3: South12th Photography, lkunl, Bohbeh, Fabio Lamanna, PEFC.
Pages 4-5: PEFC. Page 8: Jaggat Rashidi. Back cover: Quick Shot, alarich/PEFC.

Printed byinAtar
Updated December
on PEFC-certified
2016 paper

© 2016 PEFC

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