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PEFC aligns with ASEAN guidelines for forestry

PEFC has achieved a high ranking in its assessment against the ASEAN RAI Guidelines thanks to a regional approach. In a recently published report assessing the alignment with ASEAN RAI, the PEFC Sustainable Forest Management principles scored 9.5 out of 10 points. Source: Timberbiz

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) Guidelines for Promoting Responsible Investment in Food, Agriculture and Forestry offer guidance on food, agriculture and forestry investments to agribusinesses, governments, financial institution sand producers.

The report Mapping of Industry & Investment Standards and Principles to the ASEAN Guidelines on Promoting Responsible Investment in Food, Agriculture and Forestry published by Grow Asia, assesses the alignment between 12 regionally relevant food, agriculture and forestry (FAF) standards with the ASEAN Guidelines.

The report shows that agribusinesses or financial investors who are certified or signatories to many of the reviewed standards are also aligned with the ASEAN Guidelines. Certification against those standards therefore helps to demonstrate compliance with ASEAN RAI. The report also outlines how certifications or alignment to standards may help agribusinesses become more competitive and attractive to financiers.

“The first five PEFC principles align with the ASEAN RAI Guidelines on food nutrition, economic development, natural resources, climate change and rule of law and governance,” the report highlights.

“The sixth PEFC principle (maintenance or appropriate enhancement of socio-economic functions and conditions) emphasizes economic development, support to marginalized populations (women, young people, indigenous people) as well as tenure rights and data collection.”

With two out of six PEFC Sustainable Forest Management principles including specific references to regional policy and approaches, PEFC achieved a partial match with Guideline 10.

On the whole, PEFC Sustainable Forest Management principles align with 9.5 out of 10 of the ASEAN RAI Guidelines.

Other standards assessed in the report include Fairtrade International, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Rainforest Alliance.

The primary purpose of the ASEAN Guidelines is to promote investment in food and agriculture, including fisheries and forestry, in the ASEAN region that contributes to regional economic development, food and nutrition security, food safety and equitable benefits, as well as the sustainable use of natural resources.

The Guidelines distil the global best practices for ensuring that larger scale agribusiness investments are socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable and inclusive. It provides future partners of such investments a roadmap for future investments. The Guidelines aim to become the de facto foundation of these type of agricultural investments across Southeast Asia.