RMK applying for the PEFC sustainable forest management certificate 05.06

RMK, manager of Estonia’s state forests, has embarked on the process of applying for the international PEFC sustainable forest management certificate. The certificate is an endorsement that the forest is being managed in an ecologically, socially and economically balanced manner.

“Having the PEFC certificate would enable Estonian timber processors to export their output to markets where products with the said environmental label are highly sought after,” said Tiit Timberg, a Member of RMK’s Management Board. According to Timberg, RMK has had the FSC sustainable forest management certificate since 2002, and all of the principal forest management processes currently meet the high requirements set therein. “Applying for the new certificate will involve, if needed, us improving our work processes in accordance with the PEFC requirements. FSC and PEFC are both widely recognised global trade marks, and which timber is preferred depends on the market.”

According to Tiit Timberg, forest management and timber meeting the requirements of the PEFC certificate are valued, above all, in the Nordic countries, France and Germany. “Our clients’ more effective business on demanding foreign markets will attach even more value to sustainably and organically grown timber output from Estonia’s forests,” Timber believes.

A preliminary audit for PEFC certification will be conducted on 29-30 June, in RMK’s Rapla County forest district and in the Southwest region. The principal certification audit is planned to be conducted during the last quarter of this year. RMK hopes to have the certification by the end of the year.

Certification of the state forests in accordance with the internationally recognised Estonian PEFC forest standards will be carried out by AS Metrosert, to date the only company in Estonia with the requisite accreditation. A relevant agreement was concluded between RMK and Metrosert at the end of May and will remain in effect for five years.

Certification will be carried out based on the Estonian Forest Certification Scheme approved by PEFC in 2008 and the national forest standard that is part of it. The latter defines 27 criteria describing the requirements for sustainable forest management. Detailed information on PEFC certification is available on Estonia’s private forestry portal at www.eramets.ee/?op=body&id=43.

PEFC is an international programme to support and promote forest certification, with national offices in 34 countries. To date, more than 220 million hectares of forest in the world have been certified to the requirements of PEFC, and the relevant certificates have been issued to 500 000 forest owners.

RMK is a profit-making state agency established under the Forestry Act, aimed at the sustainable and efficient management of the state forest. RMK grows reforestation materials, organises forestry works and is engaged in the sale of forest and timber and the upkeep of wild animals. In addition, RMK provides opportunities for hiking in nature and resting in the forest at recreation areas, in Estonia’s five national parks and nearly 40 other protected areas, and shapes awareness of nature. RMK manages 38% of Estonia’s forests.

Further information:

Tiit Timberg

Member, Management Board, RMK
Tel 676 7061, 504 5761
E-mail tiit.timberg@rmk.ee