The Jakarta Post
Indonesian forest-based companies such as furniture, pulp and paper producers will have easier, better access to the international market through the globally recognized sustainable forest-management certification of the Geneva-based Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
This facility is available after the endorsement of the Indonesian Forestry Certification Co-operation (IFCC) plan by the PEFC, which claims to be the world's leading forest certification system, besides the Bonn-based Forest Stewardship Council.
The IFCC gained the endorsement from the PEFC after about two years of rigorous assessment. The PEFC requires all standards to be developed through comprehensive, multi-stakeholder and consensus-based processes at the national level with all the standard requirements.
'We will go all out to maintain this credibility,' noted IFCC chairman Dradjad Wibowo after accepting the endorsement certificate from PEFC CEO and secretary general Ben Gunneberg on Thursday.
Forest certification, required by most major consumer organizations, retail giants and forest-based manufacturers around the world, represents a mechanism to verify and promote socially responsible, environmentally appropriate and economically viable forest management.
Wibowo said IFCC members included businesses and civil society organizations and its certification program had been developed in compliance with local, national and global standards in a cooperative spirit, not based on adversarial relationships or negative campaigns.
According to Wibowo, the IFCC had involved a wide range of stakeholders on its board of directors and board of supervisors, and the development of the national forest certification system and endorsement by PEFC confirmed that 'we comply with globally recognized sustainability benchmarks.'
In addition to market-required international certification, Indonesian forest-based products, including pulp and paper, will also have to gain certification under the wood legality and traceability program operated under a bilateral agreement between the Indonesian government and the EU.
Gunneberg said the PEFC did not apply a 'one size fits all' principle in developing the globally recognized principles and criteria of its certification program, as each national forest certification system should create, through multi-stakeholder consultation, its own sustainability benchmarks within their national context.
'We're focusing on helping develop an independent, national certification system through capacity building programs,' added PEFC Council board member Joseph Lawson.
Gunneberg said the 15-year-old PEFC had so far certified more than 265 million hectares of forests around the world and had developed almost 40 national forest certification systems, including in Indonesia, China and Japan, which were globally recognized because they met the PEFC's sustainability benchmarks.
He added that a globally recognized certification system was especially important for Indonesia in view of the significance of its forest resources, in terms of protecting its invaluable biodiversity and its contribution to the livelihoods of the millions of people who depend on forest resources to make a living. (nvn)(+++)
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