PEFC Council General Assembly Outcomes
The PEFC Council recently held its annual General Assembly (GA) where the PEFC members from more than thirty countries came together to discuss and reach agreement on key strategic issues for the organisation. There were a number of outcomes of potential interest and relevance to certification stakeholders in Australia including the approval of the PEFC Strategy 2013-2017, which will set the organisation's direction for the next five years.
Members were also provided with an update on the review of the PEFC Chain of Custody Standard (PEFC ST 2002:2010). The primary focus of this review is to ensure that the chain of custody standard will provide a mechanism for meeting the requirements of various legislation that has been put in place to combat illegal logging and the trade in illegally logged products. This legislation includes, the US Lacey Act, the European Union's Timber Regulation and, most recently, Australia's Illegal Logging Prohibition Act.
Eminent Australian forester and AFS Ltd Director Dr Hans Drielsma was re-elected as a member of the PEFC Council Board of Directors. Dr Drielsma's election for a second three-year confirms the high regard which the PEFC member's have for his knowledge and experience in forest management and in the development and operation of certification schemes.
The GA also agreed that the next PEFC General Assembly will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in November 2013 in conjunction with a number of certification events. Given its proximity, this may be an opportunity for Australian stakeholders to gain a greater insight into both the operation of the PEFC and the issues associated with forest certification in the tropics.