International forest management audits: the forests of the RMK are sustainably managed 09.11

Audits conducted by audit companies specialising in international forest certification confirm that the activities of the State Forest Management Centre (RMK) comply with the requirements of sustainable and environment-friendly forest management.
During audits carried out in August and October, the auditors of NEPCon OÜ and BM Certification Estonia OÜ thoroughly analysed the forest management system of the RMK and confirmed that the balanced achievement of the environmental, economic and social objectives is still guaranteed in the state forest.

According to NEPCon, the RMK continues to comply with the requirements of sustainable and environment-friendly forest management according to the FSC® (FSC-C022757) and BM Certification.

The RMK has voluntarily held the FSC forest management and supply chain certification since 2002 and the PEFC forest management certification since 2010. The compliance of forest management with the requirements established in the respective standards is assessed during the annual audits, and if any deficiencies are found, a deadline is given for correcting them. Attitudes or emotions have no place in auditing - compliance assessment is an objective process based on standards and regulated with international requirements.

“Critical claims that the RMK violates the requirements of the certificates and does not consider the natural values have recently been made in the media,” said Kristjan Tõnisson, member of the management board of the RMK. “The international audits revealed that the activities of the RMK still fully comply with the requirements of sustainable forest management. The opinion of the auditors of the IT solutions used by the RMK in forest management, the efficient control systems and the professionalism of the staff was particularly high.”

The conclusions of the audit are based on a large sample of visited sites: cutting, forest improvement, nature conservation, management of areas of increased public interest, protection of key habitats, etc. were observed. A small non-compliance identified by the auditors of the NEPCon as a result of the audit was the lack of dead tree trunks in some clear-cut areas.

Both groups of auditors found that the communication of the RMK with local people and communities also complied with the requirements. NEPCon emphasised that communication with larger regional and national stakeholders should be clearer to avoid the emergence of unnecessary tension. The RMK agrees with the auditor’s opinion.

The conditions of forest management were agreed with the local community in the area of increased public interest by Kõverjärv lake in Kooraste, Põlva County, before the cutting took place. Photo: RMK

The state forest in Estonia is very rich in species. Over 313,000 hectares, i.e. 30% of the forest of the RMK, has been taken under protection, and no economic activities are carried out in these forests. Eight percent of state forest management is covered with other protective restrictions.

The Forest Stewardship Council® has developed the principles and criteria of sustainable forest management on the basis of which the economic, social and ecological aspects of the forest owner’s activities can be assessed. The FSC logo marks products that contain wood from well-managed forests.

The PEFC certificate confirms that a forest is managed responsibly and sustainably and environmental, social and economic requirements are complied with in forest management. The PEFC label on a product or packaging gives the reassurance that the wood in the product or the wood-based material originates from sustainably managed forests and has been responsibly produced.

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

Sille Ader
Head of Communications Department, RMK
5666 5896