Certification

The State Forests’ forest management is conducted in accordance with the following rules: the preservation of forest stability, sustainable development and nature conservation. It is recognized by many international certificates, that were given to regional directorates of the State Forests.
06.09.2016

The State Forests’ forest management is conducted in accordance with the following rules: the preservation of forest stability, sustainable development and nature conservation. It is recognized by many international certificates, that were given to regional directorates of the State Forests.

Certification of the forest management in PEFC system (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification)

Sustainable forest management means managing forests and forest lands, as well as using them in a way and at a rate that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfill, now and in the future, relevant ecological, economic and social functions at local, national and global levels and that does not cause damage to other ecosystems.

Since the UN conference, held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 on Environment and Development (UNCED), the sustainable forest management has become an essential topic of discussion and an important aspect of international actions. It was possible to reach general consensus concerning rules, guidelines, criteria and ratings for the sustainable forest management at an international level of management.

PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes) – is an international, non-governmental, non-profit organization founded in 1999, aimed at a promotion of a sustainable forest management through forest certification system and labelling forest products made by independent units. PEFC has an “umbrella” character - recognizes national forest certification systems developed jointly by interested subjects and adjusted to local conditions and priorities.

Currently PEFC incorporates certification systems applicable in more than 30 countries, that jointly are responsible for certification of over 275 million hectares of forests. It makes PEFC the world leader in certification of forest management. At the same time this system is very often chosen by owners of small area forests or forests constituting property of common lands.

Products certified by PEFC are accepted in many public and private ordering strategies worldwide. Currently over 15 800 companies have a chain of custody certificate in PEFC system.

How does PEFC work?

PEFC promotes sustainable and stable forest management through forest and forestry products certification system. It is performed with use of two separate but linked processes.

Forest certification ensures that forests are administrated in accordance with environmental, social and economic requirements – offsetting human, nature and economy needs.

PEFC also accepted the definition of sustainable forest management used byFood and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO):

Sustainable forest management means managing forests and forest lands, as well as using them in a way and at a rate that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfill, now and in the future, relevant ecological, economic and social functions at local, national and global levels and that does not cause damage to other ecosystems.

Chain of Custody (CoC) allows tracking certified material from the forest to the final product in order to ensure that the wood contained in the product or product line originates from certified forests. Although sustainable forest management is essential in order to maintain forest functions in does not create a relation between forest and market. To ensure that wood and wooden product originate from properly managed forests, PEFC promotes the Chan of Custody. It determines requirements of wood processing from the forest to the final product.

Only when all subjects included in the Chain of Custody have CoC PEFC certificate the product is to be given a certificate. Only then can companies use PEFC logo on their products and marketing materials, ensuring that they acquire and process raw materials in a responsible way.

Certificate is given after performed by separate units independent audits, that verify the compatibility of performed activities in accordance with the PEFC sustainable development criteria.

CoC certification includes the Due Diligence System, which excludes the use of wood originating from illegal deforestation or logging and it prohibits from using genetically modified wood.

PEFC declarations, concerning products containing forest raw materials, provide information about the origin of those products from: forests administrated in a sustainable way, recycling and other noncontroversial sources. Purchasers or a potential purchasers can use this information while choosing the product and check whether the product is environmentally friendly or not. Informing about the wood origin is intended to promote demand and supply of products that come from sustainable managed forest areas.

High standards within PEFC include requirements concerning:

  • Maintaining or enhancing biodiversity
  • Protecting ecologically important forest area
  • Prohibition of forest conversions; exclusion of certification of plantations established by conversions
  • Prohibition of the most hazardous chemicals and GMOs
  • Protecting workers’ rights and welfare, and encouraging local employment
  • Recognizing the principle of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), the UN Declaration on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, and ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples
  • Respect for property and land tenure rights as well as customary and traditional rights
  • Provisions for consultation with local people and stakeholders
  • Abiding by applicable laws
  • Safeguarding the basic rights of workers

All forests administrated by The State Forests National Forest Holding are certificated within the PEFC system.

Certification of forest management within FSC system

FSC is world’s second, after PEFC, forest management certification system. FCS stands for Forest Stewardship Council®, an English organization founded in 193 in Mexico. The aim of FSC is to promote established by this organization technique of forest management. At the beginning FSC was focused on protecting tropical forests from exploitation.

Currently, in order to get the FSC certificate it is necessary to conduct forest management in accordance with legal regulations of a given country and international treaties and agreements, which are applicable in a given country.
Moreover, it is obligatory to fulfill principles and criteria established by members of FSC organization.

  1. Compliance with laws and FSC Principles
  2. Tenure and use rights and
  3. Indigenous peoples’ rights
  4. Community relations and worker's rights
  5. Benefits from the forest
  6. Environmental impact
  7. Management plan
  8. Monitoring and assessment
  9. Maintenance of high conservation value forests
  10. Plantations

Certification process in based on three main principles:

  • Standards which describe conducting the forest management and audit procedure, which examines compliance of conducted forest management with those standards.
  • Control of product provenance system in every company that processes forest products
  • the principles of use certificate logo on products that come from certified forests

FCS logo is legally protected. Using it by The State Forests’ units is possible only after approved certification process. Certificate is valid for five years.

Most of The State Forests’ units is certificated within FSC system.