More Swedish forests get FSC concessions

Almost half of Swedish forests now eligible for FSC label, while rival PEFC makes gains in Finland

Almost half of Sweden's forests are now certified as sustainably managed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the highest rate of FSC certification in the world, environmental group WWF announced yesterday. Recent certification of 1m hectares of forest managed by the state-run land authority has brought the total area of Swedish FSC-certified forest to 10.2m ha, or 45% of the country's forests.

Stronger protection of biodiversity and an increase in the supply of FSC-labelled timber and paper to Europe will be the outcome, WWF claimed. Sweden is the world's fourth-largest producer of sawn softwood and the seventh-largest producer of paper. Last week, WWF announced FSC "chain-of-custody" certification for two of Poland's largest particle board producers, bringing the total number of FSC-certified Polish wood products firms to 60.

Meanwhile, the rival Pan-European Forest Certification (PEFC) scheme is making headway in Finland (ENDS Daily 30 August). PEFC certification was granted on Monday to an association representing owners of 1.5m hectares in the east of the country. PEFC's Finnish branch said that if the pace of certification continues as expected, more than 90% of Finland's forests will be PEFC-certified by the end of the year.

Follow Up:
FSC, tel: +52 95 14 69 05; PEFC, tel: +352 26 25 90 59

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