Australasia's home for timber news and information

Responsible Wood takes to the stage in Paris

In the heart of Paris, the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) Forest Forum 2024 convened the 56 PEFC national governing bodies to confront the pressing challenges of climate change in forest management. Source: Timberbiz

Against the backdrop of a warming world, forests have emerged as crucial allies, offering both resilience and solutions to combat the climate crisis.

The forum spotlighted the role that forests play in adaptation, mitigation, and decarbonisation strategies and discussed the role of forest certification in international efforts to reduce deforestation and forest degradation.

Responsible Wood, the Australian and New Zealand national governing body for PEFC, took centre stage, advocating for enhanced recognition of sustainable forestry practices through forest certification and ensuring that Australian and New Zealand circumstances are taken into account during the evolving nature of forest certification.

Simon Dorries, CEO of Responsible Wood, emphasised the pivotal role of responsible forest stewardship in mitigating the impacts of climate change.

“Forests are indispensable carbon sinks and ecosystems, supporting biodiversity and livelihoods,” he said. “Responsible Wood is dedicated to ensuring that we can demonstrate that our forests are managed sustainably, safeguarding their resilience and ecological integrity, especially in the face of evolving regulations like the EU Deforestation Regulation.”

Dr Tony Bartlett, Chair of Responsible Wood, stressed the necessity of collaborative efforts to address global forest challenges.

“As stewards of the land, it’s our responsibility to implement practices that balance environmental conservation with economic viability and social responsibility,” Tony noted. “Through initiatives like the PEFC Forest Forum, we exchange knowledge and best practices to ensure a sustainable future for our forests amidst regulatory shifts,” Mr Bartlett said.

Matt de Jongh, Sustainability Manager at Responsible Wood, highlighted the significance of forest certification schemes in promoting responsible forestry.

Matt de Jongh

“Certification offers consumers assurance that wood products originate from well-managed forests,” Matt described. “Supporting certified products empowers consumers to contribute to forest preservation and climate change mitigation, aligning with evolving regulations and industry standards,” Mr de Jongh said.

Jonathan Tibbits, Marketing and Communications Manager at Responsible Wood emphasised the importance of raising awareness about sustainable forestry practices saying that effective communication is vital to foster a culture of responsible consumption.

Through targeted campaigns and educational initiatives, Responsible Wood aims to empower individuals to make informed choices that support forest conservation, in line with regulatory requirements such as the EU Deforestation Regulation.

Suzette Weeding, Vice Chair of PEFC, commended Responsible Wood’s commitment to sustainability and collaboration.

“Responsible Wood exemplifies the principles of responsible forest management endorsed by PEFC,” Weeding praised. “Their dedication to promoting sustainable practices not only serves as a model for the industry but also aligns with regulatory frameworks, such as the EU Deforestation Regulation, ensuring forests remain resilient ecosystems for future generations,” she said.

At the PEFC Forest Forum 2024, stakeholders shared insights and innovations, addressing the pivotal role of responsible forestry in tackling climate change and navigating evolving regulatory landscapes. As the discourse continues, Responsible Wood remains steadfast in its mission to champion sustainability, ensuring forests thrive amidst global challenges.