PEFC actively participated in the dialogues organized by the XIV World Forestry Congress and offered the “Daily Dialogue” daily at its stand, where all those interested could share opinions and debate current issues on certification and forest management.
In addition, PEFC organized a series of side events in which various interest groups came together to share different views on forests as a global resource and how PEFC certification is a development opportunity for these forests.
Organized by the Republic of South Africa in Durban, the Congress is the first to be held on the African continent and brought together 4.000 participants from 142 countries.
During the Congress, the latest FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015 report was presented, which indicates that the attention generated by sustainable forest management is higher than ever. The report indicates that the world's forest area has fallen from 4.128 million hectares in 1990 to 3.999 million hectares today, a difference of 129 million hectares in 25 years, which is roughly the size of South Africa. However, the rate of forest loss has dropped significantly. Where this decrease in forest area is most evident is in tropical forests, especially in South America and Africa, compared to the increase in forest plantations. 93% of the world's hectares correspond to natural forests and 7% to plantations.
The report also highlights that countries have acquired greater knowledge about their own forest resources and concludes that the rate of forest loss is declining and the indicators reveal positive data on forest management. FAO advocates that countries continue to make progress in forest management for the benefit of current and future generations. The requirements imposed by the PEFC forest certification represent a path towards sustainability and the promotion of the goods and services of the world's forests, so we must continue working on cooperation and the promotion of this tool in these countries.
India is the latest country to join the list of 40 countries that have their national forest certification systems recognized by PEFC.