At our 24th General Assembly at the heart of this year’s PEFC Forest Certification Week, we welcomed our 52nd and 53rd national members. The General Assembly, our highest decision making body, voted Ukraine and Guyana into the alliance.
“We are very happy to see the PEFC family growing further and we are looking forward to working together with our new members from the Ukraine and Guyana,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International.
The new members
“Ukraine is one of the largest countries in Europe, and 15.6% of land is covered by forests. That is 10.4 million hectares,” said Mariya Maha from the Association National Voluntary Forest Certification System, our new national member for Ukraine.
“We believe that PEFC can support us in establishing and implementing our only national forest standard. The reputation of PEFC will help us to increase the trust level of forest workers, and build a strong cooperation with all stakeholders to eliminate the risks to our forests.”
Our second new member, the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC), is leading the implementation of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), a trade agreement between Guyana and the European Union.
The collaboration between PEFC and local stakeholders in Guyana began in 2015, supported by the PEFC Collaboration Fund. In a joint project with CIRAD, we worked in the region to generate new knowledge on the long-term impacts of timber extraction on both carbon stocks and timber recovery in the humid tropics. The results from the project will feed in to the development process of a national sustainable forest management system in Guyana.
Both the Association National Voluntary Forest Certification System and Guyana Forestry Commission seek to develop a national system in the near future.
The PEFC family continues to grow
Ukraine and Guyana are not the only national members that have joined the PEFC alliance this year. Already in June, we have welcomed the Vietnam Forest Certification System (VFCS) and the Myanmar Forest Certification Committee (MFCC) as our 50th and 51st national member.