A new report released by WWF last week clearly shows that PEFC forest management requirements are to a large extent aligned with WWF’s own vision and objectives, demonstrated by PEFC meeting more than two-thirds of the WWF CAT indicators.
The WWF Certification Assessment Tool (CAT) is a formalized methodology to evaluate and compare standards and certification systems based on WWF’s views and opinions and assesses in how far forest certification systems are aligned with the mission and objectives of WWF.
The WWF CAT shows that PEFC meets 70% of the “Standard Strengths” indicators, which cover sustainable forest management related issues such as biodiversity, water and soil, worker’s rights, and community relations. “We appreciate that the results clearly demonstrate the value of the work of PEFC, thereby recognizing the efforts of hundreds of thousands of certified forest owners who promote sustainable forest management worldwide,” said Ben Gunneberg, PEFC International Secretary General.
The alignment between the WWF CAT “System Strength” indicators and PEFC requirements dealing with issues such as governance and conformity assessment is less pronounced, due to the narrow focus that WWF has applied to these indicators. PEFC utilizes globally recognized ISO processes for conformity assessment, and employs multi-stakeholder processes for its governance. PEFC also has a stated preference for the identification of the nine stakeholder groups defined by Agenda 21 (adopted by the United Nations), as opposed to the three stakeholder groups approach required by the WWF CAT indicators.
“WWF has a known preference for ISEAL for conformity assessment, and for the so-called three chamber system, so the indicators are not well suited to value PEFC’s approach,” explained Mr. Gunneberg. “However, the WWF CAT only reflects the views of one single stakeholder. For PEFC as a multi-stakeholder organization, it is important to fulfill the expectations of a wide range of stakeholders, not only WWF.”
“We hope that WWF can accept that in the same way that different routes lead to Rome, certification can be delivered in different ways and achieve the same outcomes. The WWF CAT shows that PEFC already substantially contributes to WWF’s objectives, and indicates that there are likely numerous win-win opportunities where both of our organizations could benefit by strengthening collaboration. We are looking forward to working with WWF on this.”