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Based on information from the Indonesian Forestry Certification Cooperation in October 2014, Indonesian forests, home to some of the most biologically diverse forests in the world, can now benefit from credible, globally recognized sustainable forest management certification following the endorsement of the Indonesian Forestry Certification Co-operation (IFCC) by PEFC, the world’s leading forest certification system. According to Ben Gunneberg, Secretary General of PEFC International, this endorsement signifies a turning point for Indonesia, a country which is still struggling with combating high deforestation rates and forest certification represents an important mechanism to verify and promote sustainable forest management, thus safeguarding the environmental, social and economic benefits that forests provide.

With more than 50% of Indonesia’s land area forested, the country’s rainforest is the third-largest in the world. It is considered one of the five most species-rich countries globally, home to about ten percent of all known species of plants, mammals and birds. It is estimated that 80 million Indonesians rely on forests for their livelihood. Responsible management of the country’s forest resources are also important from an economic point of view: Smallholders and industrial forestry operators, along with pulp and paper producers, depend on forests, and contribute approximately US $21 billion to the economy — around 3.5 percent of Indonesia’s GDP. More than 4 million people are employed by this industry.

Mr. Dradjad H Wibowo, Chairman of the IFCC, explained that finding the right balance that protects forests and the people who depend on them is critical to achieving long term sustainability, in which have benefitted from the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders in the development of our national forest certification system towards this ambitious goal, and the endorsement by PEFC confirms that is align with global recognized Sustainability Benchmarks. He mentioned that forest owners and companies are now able to demonstrate their good practices through certification and to re-gain the trust of the marketplace that has been lost over the past decade. Indonesia recognizes the importance of sustainable forest management, and we encourage buyers globally to take a second look at certified forest products from Indonesia and to reward those who are committed to safeguarding our forest resources.

The endorsement of IFCC by PEFC follows the most rigorous assessment process existing globally for national forest certification systems seeking international recognition. PEFC requires all standards to be developed through comprehensive, multi-stakeholder and consensus-based processes at national level with all standard requirements meeting or exceeding the environmental, social and economic requirements of PEFC’s Sustainability Benchmarks.

All standards are subjected to an independent third-party evaluation, global public consultation, a review by the Panel of Experts, and consideration by the PEFC Board of Directors before PEFC members decide about the endorsement of a particular national system. The entire assessment documentation is made publicly available to ensure full transparency of the process1.

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 80,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,650 offices and laboratories around the world. SGS Indonesia, as part of SGS Group, has been accredited by KAN Commission for the TLAS/SVLK verification scheme as well as LEI for sustainable forest production in Indonesia. SGS Indonesia is fully committed towards the IFCC accreditation program and aims to be the first accredited certification body.

With global support from the SGS Qualifor programme that has been accredited by SANAS for PEFC Chain-of-Custody (CoC) certification, SGS Indonesia offers PEFC CoC certification to organisations that use PEFC-certified timber from various PEFC-endorsed forest certification schemes.