3 April, 2014
China's forestry sector endorsed by PEFC
The Coalition Government welcomes news the Chinese Forest Certification Scheme has been endorsed by the world's largest forest sustainability certification system, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck said.
China voluntarily sought endorsement by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), which is globally recognised for its sustainability benchmarks and currently has the world's largest area of forests under certification.
Senator Colbeck said PEFC also endorses the Australian Forest Certification Scheme, including the Australian Forestry Standard (AFS), which certifies a significant amount of production forest area in Australia.
Internationally, PEFC has endorsed 37 national forest certification schemes and another eight countries are in the process of applying for endorsement.
"PEFC is one of the world's foremost programs for endorsement of national forest certification schemes and is leading to increased opportunities for Australian forest products in international markets," said Senator Colbeck.
"It is very encouraging that China is promoting long-term sustainable forest management by voluntarily seeking endorsement by PEFC for its national forest certification scheme."
"China's dominant market position means that demand for AFS (PEFC) certified forest products will only increase and places Australia well in accessing global markets."
Senator Colbeck said there was a potential for increased demand of AFS certified products due to China's recognition under the PEFC system.
"Australian exporters of AFS certified forest products can have confidence that China, one of the world's biggest timber markets, recognises the authenticity of the global PEFC certification system," he said.
"The Australian Forestry Standard has been endorsed by PEFC since 2004 and AFS certified products are recognised in the international market place," he said.
Senator Colbeck said Australia's forest industry is among the best managed and most sustainable in the world.