The core element of sustainable forest management is seeking a balance for society, says PEFC's CEO Michael Berger on Original Thinkers podcast; he notes people talk differently today about climate change than 10 years ago, and PEFC standards reflect that

Sample article from our Forestry & Timberland

August 30, 2023 (press release) –

“The core element of sustainable forest management is to try to find a balance for society – how to go forward and not just freeze something or to go backwards,” said our CEO Michael Berger in a recent episode of the Original Thinkers podcast.

In his conversation with Tasmania-based podcast host and Communications professional Claire Bennet, Michael discussed the benefits of forests for climate change mitigation and beyond, and how PEFC continues to meet evolving expectations through local involvement.

“PEFC wants to be a dialogue platform for different stakeholder groups to find solutions, to find ideas, to find concepts, to find visions, how to manage forests, how to use a forest for different purposes in society, how to live with forests,” he explained.

PEFC follows a bottom-up approach, meaning that it is our members who make the key decisions, and develop their national standards in a multi-stakeholder process.

“PEFC comes to life through national initiatives. Those stakeholders are responsible for the implementation of our international umbrella standards,” Michael clarified.

“It’s a high responsibility and flexibility for local people under the PEFC umbrella. In a world with so many different forests, so many different conditions, ecologically and socially, the bottom-up approach is the basic element in PEFC’s DNA.”

Continuous development is key

“Today people talk very differently about climate change than ten years ago. Although forest management has always been about climate change mitigation, today it has a different meaning, so you will find different wording, different requirements in today’s PEFC standards.”


The interview followed Michael’s recent trip to Oceania, including Tasmania, where he met with Australian industry- and forest owner associations, manufacturers, retailers and politicians, and spoke at several events.

The podcast

Original Thinkers is a podcast by Tasmanian Timber, which interviews creative minds from the world of architecture, design, the environment, culture and business.

Photo credits: Vilma Issakainen, Finnish Forest Association

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