SCS awards first FSC certification to timber-producing forest in India; Patneshwari Agricultural Co-Op cultivates 2,300 acres of eucalyptus to meet demand from local paper mills

EMERYVILLE, California , November 16, 2011 (press release) – Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) has certified the Patneshwari Agricultural Co-Operative Limited (PACL) under the internationally recognized Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) program. PACL is the first timber-producing forest in India to earn FSC certification.

The cooperative, representing 1,304 forest owners, is located in the Koreaput district of Orissa state and entails approximately 2,300 acres of forestland.

"FSC-endorsed certification of PACL's operations sets an example for forest managers seeking to address the problem of deforestation that India has experienced due to its rapid economic growth," said Robert J. Hrubes, Senior Vice President of SCS. "PACL's certification is a testament to responsible practices (environmental, social and economic), and it establishes a roadmap for continuing improvement."

The co-operative is cultivating Eucalyptus varieties on degraded farmland to meet demand from local paper mills. Members hope that certification will help them gain access to international markets that increasingly demand FSC certified wood products.

Crops like pulses, maize, ginger, turmeric and oilseeds are also cultivated on the land during rotations.

The Patneshwari cooperative is the first FSC-certified forest in India to focus primarily on wood products. It joins a rubber plantation in Tamil Nadu State as the only FSC-certified forests in India, to date.

Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) has been providing global leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing and standards development for more than 25 years. SCS programs span a wide cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, retailing and more. www.SCScertified.com

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