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From Wild Food to Spruce Syrup: PEFC’s 2013 Collaboration Fund Supports Local Initiatives Promoting Sustainability

Jul 24 2013

What do cooperatives, mushrooms, spruce syrup, rare tree species and wood pellets have in common? They are the focus of the six new projects selected to receive funding from the PEFC 2013 Collaboration Fund!

Through the Fund PEFC has awarded a combined total of 105,000CHF to the projects, leveraging a further 104,000CHF from co-funding. These projects – in seven countries and across three continents – cover a wide range of activities to advance sustainable forest management and forest certification. The grantees of the winning projects are Forest Research Institute Malaysia, PEFC Latvia, PEFC Slovakia, PEFC Spain, PEFC UK and Pinchot Institute for Conservation (USA).

“Each year the Collaboration Fund receives a high number of applications, presenting us with extremely diverse project ideas which seek to improve society’s ability to understand, manage and value forests for multiple benefits,” said Sarah Price, Head of Projects & Development at PEFC International. “This year’s winning projects demonstrate great potential for creating positive impact on the ground while simultaneously contributing to a global community of knowledge.”

The PEFC Collaboration Fund was developed to encourage locally relevant advancements in the sustainable management of forests and foster collaboration and dialogue amongst different actors. It is part of PEFC’s work to stimulate the uptake of sustainable forest management, innovate new approaches for forest certification and promote certified products in the marketplace.

Since its conception in 2011, the Fund has awarded over 350,000 Swiss Francs to seventeen projects with impacts realized in forests and communities all over the world.

This year’s winning projects are:

  • Enhancing Rural Development in Spain through Wild Food Production

Project objectives

  • Promote PEFC certification among the wild food products sector;
  • Increase number of producers of PEFC certified non-wood products;
  • Raise the demand of PEFC certified products within the gourmet food sector;
  • Improve PEFC awareness among the global society.
  • Implementing organization
  • PEFC Spain is a non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting Sustainable Forest Management through independent third-party certification. It joined PEFC in 1999.


  • Spruce Syrup – the Next Big Thing?

Project objectives

  • Supporting supply chain development to establish production of spruce syrup from spruce tips (a waste material from tending and harvesting operations);
  • Promotion of PEFC certification through the use of the PEFC logo on this innovative product;
  • Increase the area of PEFC certified forests in Slovakia.
  • Implementing organization
  • PEFC Slovakia is an independent, voluntary, professional association of legal entities conducting its activities relating to forest land on the territory of Slovakia. It was endorsed by PEFC in 2005.


  • Promoting Sustainable Forest Management Among Latvian Forest Owners

Project objectives

  • Pilot test group certification within the forest owners’ cooperative “Mežsaimnieks”;
  • Raise awareness of group certification among forest owners;
  • Increase area of PEFC certified private forests.
  • Implementing organization
  • PEFC Latvia ensures the forest certification process in Latvia’s forests according to the requirements of the PEFC Latvia scheme, promoting sustainable forest management and supporting Chain of Custody Certification. It was established in 1999.


  • Going Online to Modernize and Expand Group Forest Management Certification in the British Isles

Project objectives

  • Develop an English language online group registration and management system for private forest owners;
  • Encourage uptake of the system to increase the area of PEFC certified forest in the UK and Ireland;
  • Roll the template out across all PEFC member countries where English is the main/common language.
  • Implementing organization
  • This is a joint venture between PEFC UK and PEFC Ireland.


  • Protecting Rare Tree Species in Malaysia: Strengthening Procedures for Monitoring in Jerangau HCVF Area and Beyond

Project objectives

  • Reduce the population decline of rare species;
  • Improve forest management practices and advance sustainable forest management;
  • Contribute towards the fine-tuning of national level guidelines for managing HCVFs.
  • Implementing organization
  • The Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) was founded in 1929 as a department under the Forest Department Headquarters Peninsular Malaysia. In 1985 it became a statutory body governed by the Malaysian Forestry Research and Development Board.


  • Exploring Criteria, Pathways and Stakeholder Expectations to Deliver Sustainable Woody Biomass to International Markets

Project objectives

  • Promote dialogue and cooperation between US and European stakeholders in the wood biomass for energy sector;
  • Facilitate the compliance of US wood pellet production with EU sustainability criteria;
  • Produce a synthesis of research on greenhouse gas accounting as related to certified forest management in the US south.
  • Implementing organization

The mission of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation (Pinchot Institute) is to strengthen forest conservation thought, policy, and action by advancing sustainable forest management, developing conservation leaders and providing science-based solutions to emerging natural resource issues.