Ecology > Sustainability
SUSTAINABILITY. SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT
The Sustainable Forest Management Organization manages the use of forests and woodlands by looking carefully after its biodiversity, its productivity, its capacity to regenerate, its vitality and its strength to fulfil future conditions such as the ecologic, economical and social ones at local, national and international levels without damaging other ecosystems. (Ministerial Conference, Helsinki 1993).
As a matter of this sort, proposals from different organizations came up in order to preserve our forests and decrease the pace of deforestation. Therefore, the idea of a Forest Certification arose from the growing concern towards ecology. Wood products coming from sustainable resources start to be demanded.
Throughout this Forest Certification, an independent part of the process testes and certifies that a product meets its necessary requirements appropriate to sustainability.
To this extent, to obtain the certification there are two main existing issues to be considered:
CERTIFICATION OF FORESTS: Sustainable Forest Management Certification/GFS)
PRODUCT CERTIFICATION: Certification of Legal Authority Chain (CdC).
Para ambos en España existen
dos sistemas que certifican tanto la Gestión forestal Sostenible
como la Cadena de Custodia (cadena de suministro de la madera desde
los bosques hasta los consumidores finales), estos métodos
de certificación son:
FSC.: Forest Stewardship Council
PEFC (Pan European Forest Certification)
The Forest Stewardship Council Organization, is a non for profit organization founded in 1993. It gathers companies, land owners, and different ecologist associations within the forest sector . All of them share a common aim: to support a responsible, beneficial and viable management of world forests. This proceeding is based in international regulations ISO ( International Organization of Normalization).
The Pan European Forest Certification is an initiative supported by woodland owners. It is an alternative to the FSC. First of all, it is focused in strengthening and improving the image of the forest. Second of all, it promotes an economical and viable management of the forest. And finally, it centres on the issue of maintenance and improvement of forest expanses.
The certification PEFC is based in 6 main criteria along with 27 Pan European signs proposed for a sustainable development of the forest. This was first shown in the Interminesterial Conferences of Helsinki (1993) and Lisbon (1998). In each country, it is the organ of the government the one in charge of defining the basis for the certification of forest. Therefore, the products are subjected to the PEFC Council for its approval. In Spain, the norms are devised at the very heart of AENOR, Spanish Normalization Organization. These are prepared throughout an open process that implicates all parts.
At present, none of the two proceedings are compulsory.
Throughout this forest certification, the consumer will have all confidence that the wood he acquired comes from forests where sustainability is respected and where the environmental, social and economical criteria have been enforced.
For more information:
A GUIDE TO ESTABLISH WOOD LEGAL AUTHORITY CHAIN IN SMALL SAWMILLS
CONFEMADERA has just published a short guide about the establishment of wood legal authority chain in small sawmills. Due to its high usefulness, and considering that most Galician sawmills fall into the category of small, the following are the main issues stated on the guide:
The hallmark of the forest certification is awarded on the basis of the following criteria:
- When the product is entirely made of certified wood. Therefore, there has been a clear division of the different types of wood.
- When this division is not absolute, FSC and PEFC award their hallmark to all final products with a volume of at least 70% of certified wood. Therefore, the PEFC certification also awards its hallmark to all companies that by having an inventory control done, they end up with the same percentage of certified wood included in the process.
ADVENTAGES OF FOREST CERTIFICATION
- It increases the added value to wood products and by products derived from the production processes.
- It allows the obtention of a market hallmark on the products.
- It develops a tool to promote the marketing of wood products.
- It responds to the increasing demand of wood products with a legal authority chain certificate.
- It facilitates the opening of new markets sensitive to environmental issues.
- It helps improve the image of the company.
- It improves the acceptance of the local population of the area.
- It improves its image before the administration.
- It decreases the risk of sanctions and fines.
- IIt increases the business performance due to its adequate knowledge of the necessary processes for its establishment.
- It boostes the sustainable development as part of the company´s policy.
STEPS TO FOLLOW
According to the guidelines of the CONFEMADERA certification, the steps to follow to obtain the establishment of a Legal Authority Chain Certification are the following:
In a simplified way, the steps would be structured as follows:
STUDY OF REQUESITES OF CHOSEN SYSTEM
AUDIT PLANNING AND ACHIEVEMENT OF CERTIFICATE
In a simplified way, the steps would be structured as follows:
1. PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS OF THE ESTABLISHMENT
- To express the possibility of introducing a forest certification system.
2. STUDY OF REQUIREMENTS OF CHOSEN SYSTEM
- To obtain information on the different systems.
- To carry out market studies about present and potencial customers.
- To choose the certification grade scale (individual or in group) and the levels of its application (lot line comapny...)
- To choose a particular system.
- To elect and appoint the responsible person in this particular area.
- To study the requirements of the chosen system.
- To study the existing requirements of the company in relation to the new ones or so called requirements of the system.
- To choose among the different control alternatives.
- To put into practice the measures and proceedings established by the system.
4. PLANNING OF AUDITS AND SECURING THE CERTIFICATE
- To develop the proceedings in writing, if it is necessary. If the company has a quality system as its disposal, the legal authority chain control could be included in it.
- To inform and shape up the staff according to their degree on responsibility.
- To develop a pre-audit.
- To choose an entity of certification according to the company´s needs.
- To address an application to the chosen entity of certification.
- To agree on a date to have the audit done and provide the necessary paperwork in order to get the audit organised.
- To develop the audit.
- To obtain and analyse the audit report done by the certifying entity. The results could be negative and the entity is entitled to disapprove it and present its non consents. These will be the areas to work on in the future in order to improve them.
- To correct the non consents, in case there are some.
- Securing of certificate and hallmark.
PANEUROPEAN CRITERIA AND INDICATORS OF SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF FOREST
<<The regulation, conservation and sustainable development of all sorts of woodlands are essential for the social and economical development, together with the protection of the environment and the supporting systems of life in the planet. The forests are joined to a sustainable development.>>
CNUMAD – Río 1992
In the inter-ministerial conference that took place in Lisbon in 1998, the criteria and the indicators that would govern at European levels for the sustainable management of forests were stated. These are defined as panaeuropean indicators of sustainable management of forests along with other associated indicators. This way, comparative methods between international reports and national indicators can be established.
THE PANAEUROPEAN CRITERIA AND INDICATORS OF SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT ARE THE FOLLOWING:
1. To maintain and appropriately improve the forest natural resources and its contribution to carbon cycles.
2. To maintain and improve the health and vitality of the forest ecosystems.
3. To maintain and improve the producing function of forests (wood and other).
4. To maintain and appropriately improve the existing biodiversity within the forest ecosystems.
5. To maintain and improve the protecting function of forests (especially the ground and the water)
6. To maintain other functions and socio economical conditions (find the highest social profitability)
In these terms, the Galician mounts store an average of approximately 1.300.000 tons of Carbon in the atmosphere every year. Almost 11 tons per hectare belong to our mounts´grounds.
Doing an assessment between the increasing wood cuts that are carried out in Galicia, from all the 12.300.000 cubic metres that our forests produce yearly, about 6.500.000 are cut, according to the statistical agrarian yearbooks of the Galician Board. These tree cuts are a bit over the half.
From all above said, it can be summarised that there is an increasing amount of wood areas in Galicia. They not only continues to increase, but also the forests are constantly regenerating and therefore, the industry is fully supplied. However, the industry is only consuming half of our mounts production.