Certification Standard for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM)

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  • Published
    28th Mar, 2019


India’s first forest-certification scheme gets global recognition as Geneva-based non-profit recently decided to endorse the Certification Standard for Sustainable Forest Management designed for Indian forests.


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  • The council of Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), a Geneva-based non-profit, has decided to endorse the Certification Standard for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) developed by Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF), an Indian non-profit organisation.

What is Forest Management Certification and why is it Important?

  • Forest certification is a global movement initiated in 1990s after Rio Earth Summit.
  • It is a market-based non-regulatory conservation tool designed to promote sustainable management of forests and trees outside forests by an independent third party.
  • As several developed countries have put trade restrictions on import of non-certified timber, non-timber forest products and wood-based goods into their countries, getting sustainable forest management certificates has become mandatory for exports.
  • In fact, forest-based industries in India, particularly those for paper, boards, plywood, medium density fibreboard, furniture and handicrafts etc, have been pushing for forest certification to enhance their market accessibility to western markets including European Union and USA.
  • There are currently two mainstream operational Forest Management Certification schemes available on a global level; FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) launched in 1993, PEFC (Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification) founded in 1999.

What is NCCF?

  • Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF) is a non-profit organisation, registered as a Society, to have a globally aligned certification program developed within India.
  • It came into existence in January 2015.
  • NCCF is working towards developing national sustainability certification standards in diverse areas of natural resource management, majorly forestry, trees outside forests, protected areas and wetlands.
  • It also includes non-wood forest products, quality planting material, ecotourism, biofuels, sustainable mining and water quality etc.
  • Policy advocacy and diverse conservation activities are its other areas of focus.
  • The NCCF has got support from the key forest based stakeholders such as the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

                                     Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)

    • PEFC is an international non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) through independent third-party certification.
    • It works throughout the entire forest supply chain to promote good practice in the forest and to ensure that timber and non-timber forest products are produced with respect for the highest ecological, social and ethical standards.
    • Through eco-label, customers and consumers are able to identify products from sustainably managed forests.
    • As an umbrella organization, it works by endorsing national forest certification systems developed through multi-stakeholder processes and tailored to local priorities and conditions.
    • With 44 endorsed national certification systems and over 300 million hectares of certified forests, PEFC is the world's largest forest certification system.
    • Each national forest certification system undergoes rigorous third-party assessment against our unique Sustainability Benchmarks to ensure consistency with international requirements.
    • India is the National Governing Body Member of PEFC.


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