Latvia receives PEFC re-endorsement

Latvia has successfully achieved the re-endorsement of its national forest certification system.

This endorsement confirms that the Latvian system meets PEFC’s sustainability benchmarks and ensures that certified forest owners and companies in the country continue to benefit from certification.

Since Latvia was first endorsed by PEFC in 2001, half of the country’s forests – more than 1.6 million hectares – have achieved PEFC certification. With about half of the Latvian forests owned by the state, there are about 150,000 private forest owners in Latvia, who, together with their families, form a remarkable part of society in country with a population of just over two million people.

“The re-endorsement of the Latvian systems shows their clear commitment to PEFC and underlines our leadership in the continuous improvement of forest certification,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International.

“We appreciate the continued commitment, as well as the vital contributions of stakeholders who have participated in the standards revision and assessment processes.”

PEFC International remains the only global forest certification system to limit endorsements of national systems to five years, requiring standards revisions before a system can re-apply for endorsement, which is only granted after a comprehensive, third-party assessment of compliance with PEFC’s Sustainability Benchmarks.

Revisions are required to ensure that latest scientific research, practical experiences and best practices from the field, but also evolving values, expectations, and aspirations of society towards sustainable forest management, are systematically incorporated in these national systems, and then implemented at national, regional and local level.