South Africa to develop its own forestry certification standard

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South Africa is developing a South African National Forestry Certification Standard as part of the South African Forestry Assurance Scheme (SAFAS) which will seek endorsement by the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). South Africa became the fourth African national member of PEFC in June this year alongside Cameroon, Gabon and Ghana.

The SAFAS website spells out the objective as to have a National Certification Scheme that is based on the The National forest Act No 84 of 1998 which defines Principles, Criteria and Indicators for sustainable forest management that is appropriate for all scales of forestry operations.

SAFAS writes, “The goal is for forestry certification to be a tool for improving forest management and to facilitate access to markets that require certification. Currently about 80% of South African plantations are certified under the FSC system but very few of these plantations are on private farms or in communal areas.”

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