The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) has released a statement that timber from Russia and Belarus is conflict timber. This is the PEFC International Board’s response to the Russia government’s and President Putin’s “military aggression” against Ukraine, which is in “direct opposition” to the PEFC’s values.
Conflict timber is defined by PEFC as “timber that has been traded at some point in the chain of custody by armed groups, be they rebel factions or regular soldiers, or by a civilian administration involved in armed conflict or its representatives, either to perpetuate conflict or take advantage of conflict situations for personal gain”.
The categorisation of timber from Russia and Belarus as conflict timber follows the adoption of the Resolution on Aggression against Ukraine by the United Nations General Assembly, which “deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine […] [and] the involvement of Belarus”.
The aggression also has an immediate and long-term destructive impact on the environment, on forests, and on the many people that depend on forests for their livelihoods.
The PEFC International Board will continue to monitor the situation and will consider additional measures as necessary.