The PEFC Council is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation, founded in 1999 which promotes sustainably managed forests through independent third party certification.
The PEFC provides an assurance mechanism to purchasers of wood and paper products that they are promoting the sustainable management of forests.
PEFC is a global umbrella organisation for the assessment of, and mutual recognition of national forest certification schemes developed in a multi-stakeholder process. These national schemes build upon the inter government processes for the promotion of sustainable forest management, or services of on-going mechanism supported by 149 governments in the world covering 85% of the worlds forest areas.
The Forest Stewardship Council is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation that offers certification to other organisations. The goal of FSC ® is to promote environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world's forests. Founded in 1993 by a diverse group of representatives from environmental organisations, the timber trade, forestry professionals, indigenous peoples, Community forestry organisations and certifiers, the FSC ® places a strong emphasis on social and public participation elements. FSC ® standards are performance-based standards, developed by stakeholder groups. Standards for most regions of Canada are under development at this time.
Canada's National Sustainable Forest Management standard is based on international criteria for sustainable forest management and Canada's own national SFM criteria which were developed by the Canadian Council of Forest ministers approved in 1996, the CSA standard has a stringent public participation requirement and companies are required to respect national criteria for SFM at local level as well as address any additional local values. Third party evaluations such as the Council of European Paper Industries have ranked the CSA amongst the best standards in the world. CSA launched an optional Chain of Custody and labelling program in July 2001.
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative was developed by the American Forest and Paper Association for its membership, and is now available for use by any interested party through a licensing arrangement. This standard was developed for application in the U.S.A. where the vast majority of lands are privately owned and therefore there is somewhat less of an emphasis on public participation. The SFI program is a comprehensive system and performance-based standard that integrates the perpetual regeneration and harvesting of trees with the protection of Wildlife, soil and water quantities, bio-diversity and ecologically significant sights. Over the past 3 years AF & PA have strengthened the credibility of the standard by introducing a third-party certification process and an independent sustainable Forestry Board with broad representation of interests to govern SFI.