Regular sustainable forestry audit held in the state forest  10.12

Last week, the international auditing company NEPCon, performer of forest certifications, carried out its annual audit of the State Forest Management Centre (RMK), during the course of which it was found that the management of the state forest remained in compliance with international sustainable and environmentally friendly management requirements.

The audit found that RMK offers a good level of forest management and it was confirmed that RMK’s activities are in compliance with international requirements for sustainable and environmentally friendly management. Applying for and holding a sustainable forestry certificate is voluntary and is accompanied by annual audits.

As with previous years, various interest groups submitted comments on RMK’s forest management to the certifier. The auditors thoroughly reviewed the comments submitted by interest groups and in the audit summary cited the fact that RMK’s forest management meets the certification requirements. RMK was recognised for the work that has been done over the past year in mapping key habitats and better notifying interest groups.

The audit covered nearly all of Estonia, with state forest management reviewed on the islands, in Southern Estonia and Western Estonia. The audit focused on the right of land ownership, the right of use and the benefits obtained from the forest. The audit also examined the environmental impact, monitoring and assessment and aspects associated with the preservation of high conservation value forests.

Seven proposed amendments were noted during the initial presentation of audit results – associated with supply chain processes, the use of the sustainable forestry certificate trade mark and the continued inventorying of key habitats. The corrective actions worded by the auditor are appropriate and RMK will implement the necessary steps in order to comply with the required corrective actions.

The first version of the audit report will be completed in the middle of January. A period of 12 months has been set aside to resolve minor compliance gaps, i.e. until the next proper audit, while a period of three months has been set aside to resolve major compliance gaps.

RMK, or the State Forest Management Centre, is responsible for taking care of nearly 30% of the total land area of Estonia, on which 47% of Estonia’s forests are located. RMK is the keeper, protector and manager of the forest and other natural biotic communities belonging to the Estonian state. RMK cultivates forests, preserves ecological assets, earns income for the state by managing the forest, creates opportunities for visiting nature, and provides nature education.

Further information:
Kristjan Tõnisson
Member of the Management Board
5691 8728