Russia’s National Forest Certification System has been endorsed by PEFC International.

PEFC secretary-general Ben Gunneberg said the potential and significance of such an increase of forest certification in Russia could not be underestimated.

Despite the recession, Mr Gunneberg said there was an increasing demand for certified wood-based products that required an increased supply of timber from certified, sustainably managed forests

“Estimates predict that the engagement by global certification organisations in Russia may increase the area of certified forest globally by one-third over the next 10 years to more than 400 million hectares,” he said.

The certification of Russian forests will also add significantly in the delivery of PEFC’s strategic objective: consolidating clear market leadership, over the long-term, in credible certification of sustainably managed forests and to leverage this leadership to the measurable benefit of its stakeholders and members throughout the whole forest products supply chain up to, and including, the final consumer. ??

Key global markets for Russian timber are Asia, in particular China and Japan, and Europe, with the potential new supply of certified timber particularly welcome in the Far East, where chain of custody certification has enjoyed rapid growth.

The Russian scheme has been developed through a stakeholder, consensus-driven decision making process supported by the World Bank.