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Statement of Support

We, the undersigned:

  • Believe there is a pressing need to promote and maximise the environmental and socio-economic benefits of increased market access for hardwoods from low intensity forests – notably with respect to carbon mitigation, support for rural livelihoods, biodiversity conservation, and recognition of indigenous, community and private family ownership rights.
  • Acknowledge the importance of ensuring forest certification procedures in no way compromise, and ideally enhance, efficient utilisation of the hardwood products that managed natural forests can provide in a sustainable manner, contributing to reduced pressure on forests, reduced energy consumption and waste throughout the supply chain.
  • Believe there is a need to develop a form of certification procedures that avoid imposition of any additional unnecessary costs on low intensity hardwood forest and wood processing operations that already demonstrate sustainable practices.
  • Believe there is a need to develop a form of certification which aims to maximise the use of new technologies and innovative new procedures to achieve these objectives.
  • Note that existing forest certification schemes have not succeeded in providing market access for millions of landowners in many settings for a variety of valid reasons.
  • Note that high levels of forest governance have driven forest management standards upwards towards levels that are sustainable.
  • Believe that at a jurisdictional level it is possible to risk assess the system of governance and forest practices used in low intensity forestry management to determine whether there is inherent risk of unsustainable or illegal practices.
  • Believe that a jurisdictional risk assessment has potential to become a valuable tool to assess the legality and sustainability of low intensity hardwood forest management and log supply.
  • Conclude that a jurisdictional risk assessment process, using bespoke standards and a series of safeguards has the potential to become a viable, low cost and credible certification scheme for hardwoods produced through low intensity management by small forest operators, including private non-industrial owners, local communities and indigenous groups.

Therefore, we:

  • Support the Sustainable Hardwood Coalition in the development of Sustainable Hardwood Certification focused on low intensity hardwood production.
  • Support Sustainable Hardwood Coalition exploring low cost, innovative approaches to certification that allow market access for the many millions of low intensity non-industrial hardwood forest operators around the world.
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