World’s Largest Single Forest Certification Standard Applies for PEFC Re-endorsement

The North American-based Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) has applied for assessment and re-endorsement by PEFC, the leading global forest certification umbrella organization. All stakeholders are invited to comment on the compliance of SFI 2010-2014 Standard with PEFC’s Sustainability Benchmarks by 6 October 2010.

“With more than half of the total global certified area located in North America, it is important that certification criteria applied there meet internationally-recognized sustainability requirements,” said Ben Gunneberg, PEFC International Secretary General. “PEFC only endorses forest certification schemes developed in an open and transparent manner through a multi-stakeholder process, and standards must be reviewed at least every five years to incorporate the latest information and scientific knowledge.”

The review process leading to the SFI 2010-2014 Standard was 18 months long, and included two public comment periods and seven regional workshops. It was monitored by the External Review Panel, an independent team of external experts who offer diverse perspectives and expertise to the SFI programme.

Panel Chair Michael Goergen, Executive Vice-President of the Society of American Foresters, called the review “a model of open, transparent, and responsible consideration of public input, scientific and economic factors, and conflicting demands.”

The SFI programme responds to local needs and issues across North America through 37 SFI Implementation Committees at the state, provincial or regional level. This unique grassroots network involves private landowners, independent loggers, forestry professionals, local government agencies, academics, scientists, and conservationists.

The SFI 2010-2014 Standard is currently independently assessed by Systain Consulting for compliance with PEFC International’s Sustainability Benchmarks. The global public consultation is a essential element of the assessment, providing interested parties with the opportunity to comment on the standard.

The SFI forest certification standard was originally endorsed by PEFC in December 2005, with the current endorsement expiring on 6th December 2010.