16 November: At the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) General Assembly which took place this week in Geneva, Switzerland, the members adopted a new benchmark of requirements that forest owners or managers must meet to get PEFC certification.
The new requirements include a minimum wage for forest workers, equal opportunities for employment, non-discrimination and gender equality as well as more protection of the rights of indigenous peoples. Fatimah Mohammad of UFES-Malaysia represented BWI in the Working Group on Revisions on Forest Management Standards and provided important input into the development of these requirements.
Also, at the General Assembly, the PEFC elected BWI Global Campaign Director, Jin Sook Lee to the 14-member International Board. She will represent Labour and replaces Mike Rose of the IAMAW and Vice-President of BWI North America. Lee along with Suzette Weeding, a professional forester and Forest Management General Manager for Sustainable Timber Tasmania were the two newly-elected Board members.
The General Assembly was part of PEFC Week, where sessions highlighted PEFC’s work in various sectors including textile, packaging, and construction. PEFC is working with a number of multi-stakeholders in these sectors to promote certified wood and wood products. In the area of construction, PEFC continues to promote timber products and solid woods as a sustainable building material. This year, the PEFC is supporting the Best Use of Certified Timber Prize at the World Architecture Festival in recognition of architects who are using certified timber in their designs.