PEFC Ireland Scheme for Sustainable Forest Management

The PEFC Ireland Scheme for Sustainable Forest Management, which incorporates the PEFC Irish Forest Certification Standard, was submitted to the PEFC Council in December 2010 for endorsement by PEFC International. The endorsement process includes a study undertaken by an independent consultant to assess that the standard setting process, the standard itself, and the Scheme for SFM all comply with the PEFC Council’s own very comprehensive rules, themselves based on internationally and inter-governmentally agreed protocols and criteria for standard setting, and definitions of sustainable forest management.

The Dutch firm FORM International (see has been awarded the contract to conduct this conformity assessment and Mrs Debora van Boven-Flier, Senior Forestry Consultant with FORM, will be in Ireland during the week beginning 22nd August to interview the parties involved in the process, other stakeholders with an interest in sustainable forest management, and to gain an insight into the practical implementation of the PEFC Ireland Scheme at forest management level. To this end, Mrs van Boven-Flier has asked PEFC Ireland to arrange a meeting to which all stakeholders are invited in order to assist her in the study.

This meeting is scheduled to take place at The Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise, on Tuesday 23rd August, commencing 2.30 pm, and all stakeholders, whether or not they engaged in the PEFC Irish Standard Setting Process, or submitted comments during the period of public consultation, are invited to attend.

In addition, the PEFC Ireland Scheme for SFM went out to global public consultation on 25th July for a period of 60 days. Any party wishing to comment is invited to do so via the online consultation tool available at the following link:

Public Consultation on the Draft Certification Standard – Deadline Extension

In view of the requests received from a number of organizations to be allowed a few more days to prepare their submissions on the draft PEFC Irish Forest Certification Standard, it has been decided to extend the deadline for receipt submissions to 12 noon on Friday 11th June 2010. This is the final deadline, and we would again request that all submissions be made via the online comment form.

Chain of Custody Webinar

SGS, one of the accredited certification bodies contracted to PEFC Ireland to conduct certification audits, will be conducting an information webinar on Thursday 20th May on Chain of Custody certification for the printing, paper and other wood industries.  We recommend that any company contemplating certification should tune into the webinar and have their queries answered.

Full details can be obtained from

PEFC (Ireland) Ltd

Press Notice 21st May 2009

Over recent years there has been a growing international demand for forest products to be independently verified as being sourced from sustainably managed woodlands. Consequently, there has been growing pressure on forest owners to have their forests certified to a recognised international Forest Certification Scheme demonstrating compliance with the principles of Sustainable Forest Management.

PEFC (Ireland) Ltd wishes to announce that it is coordinating an initiative to draft an Irish Forest Management Certification Standard in accordance with the regulations laid down by the PEFC Council.  Once completed, the Standard will be presented to the PEFC Council for endorsement.

The PEFC Council is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation, founded in 1999, which promotes sustainably managed forests through independent third party certification. The PEFC provides an assurance mechanism to purchasers of wood and paper products that they are promoting the sustainable management of forests.  PEFC has in its membership 35 independent national forest certification systems of which 25 to date have been through a rigorous endorsement process, accounting for more than 200 million hectares of certified forests producing millions of tonnes of certified timber to the market place, making PEFC the world’s largest forest certification system.

At present Ireland does not have a certification standard against which forest management practice can be audited.  Without certification, markets for Irish grown timber will become increasingly restricted, consequently this process is essential for the long-term viability of the industry.

A Standard Setting Forum was established in January this year with representation from the timber industry, environmental and social organisations; and a Technical Working Group with equal representation from the economic, environmental and social chambers represented on the Forum has started work on drafting the Standard.  The process is being chaired by Mr Sandy Greig, formerly the Head of Sustainable Forestry, Forestry Commission, England, now working as a private consultant based in Dublin.  The intention is to complete work on the draft Standard by October this year, following which there will be a process of public consultation and pilot testing prior to completion and submission to the PEFC Council for endorsement in 2010.