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Russia poised to contribute to global certified wood basket

23 March 2009

Russia poised to contribute to global certified wood basket

PEFC International announced the endorsement of the Russian National Forest Certification System (RNCFC). Developed through a multi-stakeholder, consensus-driven decision making process supported by the World Bank, the RNCFC will now be able to contribute significantly to the global certified wood fibre basket and further sustainable forest management in Russia.
"Despite the current global economic crisis, there is still an increasing demand for certified wood based products that requires an increased supply of timber from certified, sustainably managed forests," said Mr Ben Gunneberg, Secretary General of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC).
Estimates predict that the engagement by global certification organisations in Russia may increase the area of certified forest globally by one-third over the next ten years to more than 400 million hectares.
"The potential and significance of such an increase of forest certification in Russia, with all the associated environmental, social and economic benefits, cannot be underestimated," Mr. Gunneberg continued."With only 9% of the world's forests currently certified, the endorsement of the Russian forest certification system has the potential to substantially contribute to tackling societal challenges such as climate change."
The certification of Russian forests will also add significantly in the delivery of PEFC's strategic objective: consolidating clear market leadership, over the long-term, in credible certification of sustainably managed forests and to leverage this leadership to the measurable benefit of its stakeholders and members throughout the whole forest products supply chain up to, and including, the final consumer.
Apart from the home market, the two key global markets for Russian timber are Asia, in particular China and Japan, and Europe. Given the rapid growth of certified chain of custody certifications especially in the Far East, the potential new supply of certified timber will be particularly welcome in this region.