India’s forest-Certification Scheme gets Global Recognition

#India now has a globally recognized forest-certification scheme developed specifically for Indian forests.

#The Council of Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) has decided to endorse the Certification Standard for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) developed by Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF), an Indian non-profit.

About PEFC

#The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is an international, nonprofit, non-governmental organization which promotes sustainable forest management through independent third-party certification.

#It is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

What is forest certification?

#Forest certification is a global movement initiated in 1990s after Rio Earth Summit.

#It is a market-based non-regulatory conservation tool designed to promote sustainable management of forests and trees outside forests by an independent third party.

#As several developed countries have put trade restrictions on import of non-certified timber, non-timber forest products and wood-based goods into their countries, getting sustainable forest management certificates has become mandatory for exports.

How is it going to help India?

#Forest-based industries in India, particularly those for paper, boards, plywood, medium density fiberboard, furniture and handicrafts etc, have been pushing for forest certification to enhance their market accessibility to western markets including European Union and USA.

#The forest certification scheme is aimed to improve India’s forest management regime that is often criticized for various issues ailing the sector such as forest rights, forest degradation, biodiversity losses, encroachments, lack of manpower, etc.

About Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF)

#The NCCF was set up in 2015 by representatives of forest-based industries, non-profits, forest auditors and government forest departments with an aim to set standards for certifying India’s forests, their products and their sustainable management.

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