International audits: The State Forest Management Centre’s forests are sustainably managed 24.01

According to NEPCon, an auditor firm dealing in international forest certification, RMK continues to comply with FSC® (FSC-C022757), and according to the auditor firm Metrosert, it also remains in compliance with PEFC international requirements for sustainable and environmentally sound management.

RMK has consistently held an FSC forest management and supply chain certificate since 2002, and a PEFC forest management certificate since 2010. Applying for and keeping the certificates is voluntary for RMK.

‘It is important to note that both international audits once again assessed RMK’s activity as worthy of FSC and PEFC certificates. Recently, critical claims have appeared in the media, alleging that RMK is violating the requirements of the certificates and not taking natural values into consideration when managing the forest. The audits assessed the management of the forests, and it was found that RMK’s activities conform to sustainable forest management requirements’, said Kristjan Tõnisson, Member of the Management Board of RMK.

Certification is accompanied by annual audits, during the course of which an assessment of forest management is provided and a deadline given should any corrective action be required. Regular audits failed to identify any non-conformities that would result in the suspension or revocation of RMK's certificate.

The Estonian state forest is very rich in species, over 300,000 hectares, or 29.2% of RMK's forests, have been placed under strict protection, with no economic activities being carried out therein; in addition, 7.1% of the state forest is covered by various protection restrictions. In terms of forestry, up to 57% of mature forests are protected in state forests, which should dispel fears that they will be cut down to the last tree from RMK's forests.

Forest Stewardship Council® has developed principles and criteria for sustainable forest management, which can be used to assess the economic, social and environmental aspects of the forest owner’s activities. The FSC logo denotes products that contain wood from well-managed forest.

The PEFC certificate proves that the forest is being managed in a responsible and sustainable manner, and that environmental, social and economic requirements are being met during management. Products or packaging bearing a PEFC label provide assurance that the wood or wood-based material contained in the product comes from sustainably managed forests and has been produced responsibly.