A Short history

PEFC was launched on the 30th June 1999 in Paris by representatives of eleven officially constituted national PEFC governing bodies with the support of associations representing some 15 million woodland owners in Europe and of many international forest industry and trade organizations.
Since its launch, its membership has increased - currently 37 member countries- and broadening; it has become the largest forest certification umbrella organisation covering national schemes from all over the world - Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Oceania- delivering hundreds of millions of tonnes of wood to the processing industry.

Some milestones:

30 June 1999: PEFC is launched by representatives from 11 countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

24 May 2000: first schemes endorsed by PEFC: The Finnish Forest Certification scheme, the Living Standards and Norwegian Forest Certification Scheme, and the Swedish PEFC certification scheme.

31 July 2000: German Forest Scheme endorsed.

6 September 2000: the Austrian Scheme is endorsed. This takes the number of PEFC certified hectares of forests to 23.5 million.

13 October 2000: First PEFC logo licences issued.

26 January 2001: General Assembly in Luxembourg welcomes UK membership.

July 2001: General Assembly in Santiago de Compostella (Spain) welcomes Italy and its first two non-European members: Canada and USA.
French and Latvian schemes endorsed.

August 2001: Czech scheme is endorsed.

October 2001: Swiss Q Label Holz Scheme is endorsed.

February 2002: World's first Interactive Database on Forest Certification is launched on the web which allows customers to gain valuable information on the origins of the timber they are buying and which carries a PEFC logo.

Belgian Forest certification scheme endorsed.

UK certification scheme for sustainable forest management endorsed.

May or June 2002: Spanish scheme endorsed.

August 2002: Danish scheme endorsed. This brings the number of independant national forest schemes to 13.

22 November 2002: General Assembly in Luxembourg welcomes the following new members: Australia, Brazil, Chile, Estonia, Luxembourg, Malaysia,Slovak Republic.

September 2003: 48.6 million hectares are now PEFC certified.

October 2003: Assessment process on Italian and Chilean forest certification schemes commences.

November 2003: PEFC opens new PEFC Asia Promotions Office in Japan

October 2004: Russia becomes a member of the PEFC Council. Australian, Italian and Chilean schemes are endorsed.

December 2004: Gabon becomes the first African member of the PEFC Council. Portuguese forest certification system endorsed. 55 million hectares certified by PEFC endorsed certification systems worldwide.

March 2005: Canadian certification system endorsed. PEFC now has more than 100 million hectares of certified forests from endorsed certification schemes worldwide and is the first international system ever to reach this milestone. Slovenia becomes the 30th member of PEFC Council.

August 2005: Luxembourg and the Slovak Republic gain PEFC endorsement.

October 2005: Brazil gains PEFC endorsement. Belarus becomes a member of the PEFC Council.

December 2005: North American SFI system endorsed. More than 187 million hectares of forests are certified by PEFC endorsed certification systems globally.

March 2006: Increased PEFC activities in Asia. First PEFC Chain of Custody certificate awarded in China.

September 2006: First PEFC Chain of Custody certificate in Africa (Morocco).

October 2006: Russian national forest certification initiatives merge under PEFC. First PEFC Chain of Custody certificate awarded in Malaysia.

November 2006: PEFC launches its new mandatory guide for the Avoidance of Timber from Controversial Sources.

December 2006: More than 193 million hectares of forest around the world are certified under PEFC.

April 2007: PEFC opens new PEFC China Office in Beijing.

July 2007: 200 million hectares of production forests under independently certified sustainable management. PEFC is the first-ever organisation to achieve this milestone for the protection and sustainable management of the world's forests.

August 2007: Slovenia achieves PEFC endorsement.

October 2007: PEFC Council adopts its new 5 year strategic plan. Uruguay becomes a member of the PEFC Council.

October 2007: Cameroon becomes a member of the PEFC Council.

February 2008: Estonia and Poland achieve PEFC endorsement.

March. 2008: The Estonian Forest Certification Scheme has been endorsed by the PEFC Council. The Estonian Forest Certification Scheme has been endorsed by the PEFC Council. This endorsement brings the number of PEFC endorsed national certification schemes to 25.

May.2008: The PEFC international office was relocated to Geneva, Switzerland. 

Aug 2008: The American Tree Farm System(ATFS) has been endorsed by PEFC Council. PEFC International accepted PEFC Netherlands as its 34th member into its organisation.

Nov 2008: PEFC Espana achieved re-endorsement.

Apr. 2009: The Gabonese Forest Certification Scheme (PAFC Gabon) is the first African scheme to meet PEFC's sustainability benchmark requirements.

May.2009: The Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) has become the first tropical timber certification scheme in the Asia Pacific region, and achieved the endorsement by PEFC.

Oct 2009: The Economist is the latest addition to a growing number of publications that are using PEFC certified paper as part of their commitment to promote sustainable forest management.

Mar. 2010: First PEFC Certificate Awarded for the Sustainable Management Practices Upheld within Russian Forests. First Estonian Forests Achieved PEFC Certification.

May. 2010: PEFC became the first global forest certification system to consider social requirements for chain of custody certification.

June 2010: PEFC was accepted for Dutch public procurement.

Aug. 2010: Belarus Achieved PEFC recognition for its forest management certification.

Nov 2010:  China Forest Certification Council submitted the letter of intent to become a PEFC national member in the PEFC General Assembly 2010.  

Jan 2011: Poland Issued First PEFC Certificate for Forest Management.

July 2011: PEFC endorsed Canadian standard for small woodlot owner.

Aug 2011: China Forest Certification Council (CFCC) joined PEFC as a national member of PEFC, taking a crucial step towards the final endorsement by PEFC.

Apr 2012: The entire London 2012 Olympic Park development achieved dual Project Certification from the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) schemes for its timber usage —the first dual Project Certification in the world.

May 2012: PEFC attended Drupa international printing and paper exhibition 2012 to inform exhibitors and visitors of the benefits of forest certification for the print sector.

December 2012:The China Forest Certification Scheme(CFSC) was open for Public Consultation on its compliance with the PEFC requirements before reaching PEFC endorsement.

May 2013: PEFC Netherlands Celebrates its 5th Anniversary.

June 2013: The world’s highest wooden observation tower, named “Pyramidenkogel” located in Austria is PEFC certified.

October 2013: 16th century Italian Villa gets a PEFC certified floor.

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