Wednesday, 25 August 2010 15:04

Belarus Achieves PEFC Recognition

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Following a comprehensive, in-depth assessment, PEFC International has endorsed the PEFC Scheme of the Republic of Belarus, providing responsible forest enterprises and managers in the Eastern European country with access to global markets for certified timber and timber products.

pefc“With forests covering almost one-third of the total land area of Belarus, their responsible use is essential for the sustainable development of our Republic”, says Aleh Atroshchanka, Chairman of PEFC-Belarus. “While Belarus has been promoting sustainable forest management since gaining independence in 1991, it faced a number of challenges such as forest fires, pest, etc.  In addition, some 1.6 million hectares of forest soil remain contamination by nuclear fallout. PEFC certification is therefore an important tool for us to promote sustainable forest management and to raise awareness for the need to balance the environmental, social and economic provisions that forests offer.”

The decision to establish a forest certification system in Belarus was already adopted in 1999 and national regulations on forest certification were approved in 2000. The regulations set the basic objectives, tasks, and requirements for forest certification and describe the organizational structure and functions of certification bodies. The Belarusian Association of Forest Certification System (RAFC),, which currently counts about 90 institutions and organizations as members, was established in 2005 and became PEFC member in the same year.

The PEFC Scheme of the Republic of Belarus was submitted to the PEFC Council for the conformity assessment in December 2007. In October 2008 the assessment was interrupted for the further Scheme amendments. The assessment restarted in December 2009 based on the revised Scheme documentation submitted to PEFC in April 2009 and amended in July 2009.

Note: The endorsement is only valid for the Bealrus forest management standard, not for the Belarus Chain of Custody standard. Only Chain of Custody certificates issued against the international PEFC Chain of Custody standard are PEFC recognized Chain of Custody certificates in Belarus.

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