PEFC assesses Dutch forest certification scheme against international sustainability benchmarks, invites feedback from global stakeholders

GENEVA , April 2, 2012 (press release) – PEFC Netherlands has submitted the Dutch National Forest Certification Scheme for assessment against PEFC International's Sustainability Benchmarks. Stakeholders globally are invited to provide feedback on its compliance by 1 June 2012.

The Dutch scheme was developed by the National PEFC Forum, an independent multi-stakeholder body to which representatives from a wide range of sectors including forest owners and industry, environmental and social organizations, and consumers were invited, over a period of three years. Subsequently, stakeholders were invited to comment in a national public consultation, and the standard was pilot tested in Spring 2011. Following the approval of the final documentation in a consensus-driven decision making process by the National PEFC Forum, the Dutch National Forest Certification Scheme was formally ratified by the PEFC Netherlands General Assembly in November 2011.

"We believe that the Dutch standard best balances environmental, social and economic requirements, adapted to the specific circumstances of Dutch forest owners and managers," said Kees Boon, Chairman of PEFC Netherlands. "As one of the leading timber trading nations in Europe, we are looking forward to enabling Dutch forest owners to certify their sustainable forest management practice to PEFC's globally recognized requirements."

The Dutch Forest Certification System is now subject to PEFC's stringent endorsement process. This includes an independent assessment that verifies the compliance of standards derived through national processes with PEFC's Sustainability Benchmarks, a global public stakeholder consultation period, and a Panel of Expert review before all members vote on the endorsement. The global stakeholder consultation is open until 1 June 2012.

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