Macedonia, Romania and Thailand join PEFC

The Thai delegation accepting its PEFC membership from Ben Gunneberg, CEO (second from left), and Peter Latham, Chairman of PEFC International, following the approval of The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) as the national member for Thailand.

Macedonia, Romania and Thailand are the latest countries to join PEFC.

The new national members, The Council for Sustainable Forest Management in the Republic of Macedonia, PEFC Romania, and The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), are now working on the development of their national forest certification system and will work towards PEFC endorsement.

“We are delighted to welcome three new national members to the PEFC Alliance during our General Assembly,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International. “This year has been an incredible year for us, with six new national members and four new international stakeholder members.”

Any organisation wishing to join the PEFC Alliance must be voted in by the other PEFC members, usually done through a postal ballot. But once a year, members come together during the General Assembly to cast their votes in person. This means that representatives from both Romania and Thailand can be present to see their membership approved by their peers.

“We would like to thank all the organisations that have helped to set us up, particularly PEFC which has mentored and supported us over the last years,” said Pimjai Leeissaranukul from the FTI.

“The advice and support from the whole PEFC alliance will be invaluable to us as we continue our journey. Our mission starts now, and today is a milestone,” she added.

“We hope that our national forest certification system will achieve PEFC endorsement by the end of 2017, and welcome our first PEFC-certified forest in early 2018,” István Tőke from PEFC Romania.

Romania has seen great changes in forest ownership in the last 25 years, moving from 100% state ownership to a 50/50 share. The restitution process is still unfinished.

Though he couldn’t make it in person, Vladimir Stojanovski, president of The Council for Sustainable Forest Management in the Republic of Macedonia, also expressed delight in becoming a PEFC member.

He said, “We are proud to be part of the PEFC family and hope to make an historic step for sustainable forest management in Macedonia. We want to bring the Macedonian forestry one step forward following global efforts for sustainable forestry.”