India drives forestry sector forward through PEFC endorsement
India has become the latest country to achieve the PEFC endorsement of its national forest certification system. “PEFC endorsement is a landmark achievement for India, as we have long felt the need for such a country specific and internationally benchmarked forest certification system,” said Vijai Sharma, Chairman of The Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF), our national member for India.
“Our newly endorsed national system will allow Indian forest managers to further strengthen their sustainable forest management practices, in line with global standards and multilateral requirements.”
NCCF joined the PEFC alliance in 2015 and submitted the national system to PEFC for endorsement in 2017. The system was developed through a multi-stakeholder group including forestry professionals, representatives from government, forest corporations, conservation organisations and industry bodies.
Looking to the future
NCCF is committed to developing globally-aligned, country-specific certification systems and standards for enhancing sustainability and market access to goods and services from forests and trees outside forests.
“Forest certification has been accepted as an efficient tool for sustainable forest management around the world. Given that the forests of India serve important ecological, economic and social functions and provide livelihoods to over 275 million people, we should utilise certification for sustaining and enhancing these roles of forests,” said A.K. Srivastava, NCCF Executive Director.
Realising the importance of forest certification, the Indian Ministry for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, has called for buying products made from certified wood only, in order to promote sustainable forest management.
Forest-based industries also see significant benefits in the PEFC endorsement.
“Forest-based industries in India have been pushing for forest certification to enhance their access to international markets,” said Sachin Raj Jain, Convener, NCCF. “Our PEFC endorsement will help us make the Indian wood- and forest fibre-based industry more competitive globally through the production of certified products”.