The Finnish PEFC standard near to completion


The Finnish PEFC Sustainable Forest Management Standard near to completion

Press release 20th of April 2021


A two-year revision of the PEFC forest certification requirements is nearing completion. The revised standard is being signed by the organizations that have worked in the Standard Setting Working Group. The Standard Setting Working Group is expected to submit the standard and the documentation concerning its revision to PEFC Finland in May 2021, when the standard will also be published.

“In this revision period, the Standard Setting Working Group has been record-breaking with its over 60 participants and extensive expertise covering the ecological, social and economic aspects of sustainable forest management. The revised PEFC standard for forest management responds to the identified sustainability challenges even better than before. Significant changes were made, especially with regard to safeguarding biodiversity and water protection”, says Auvo Kaivola, Secretary General of PEFC Finland.

The environmental division of The Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres) and the Finnish Environment Institute (Syke), which served in the Standard Setting Working Group, have announced that they will not sign the standard and will no longer participate in this revision work.

“We thank the representatives of the ELY Centres and Syke for their contribution to the review work, which is clearly reflected in the final result. The ELY Centres have stated that the changes in water protection are significant, and positive progress has covered among other things the effectiveness of retention trees. We are pleased with the growing interest in PEFC certification and extensive participation in the work of the Working Group,” praises Kaivola. “The work, now being completed, will lay basis for the next review of forest management requirements, which will begin in about five years’ time. We wish that also then the range of participants is as wide as possible.”

Each of the stakeholders involved in the work brought their own goals and expectations, which were reconciled through consultation in order to reach a consensus. The activities of the Standard Setting Working Group were based on the expertise of the members of the Working Group on the topics of the standard, members’ contributions and written presentations related to the revision work, as well as materials on research data submitted to the Working Group.

“We understand that, for example, ELY Centres were not able to include in the standard all their wishes. The setting of the standard is based on the reconciliation of different aspects and perspectives of sustainability. Also all the other participants of the Standard Setting Working Group faced similar situation. However, it is unfortunate that the ELY Centres and Syke ended up not signing the final result,” Kaivola regrets.

“The background memo of the ELY Centres, published shortly after their retreat from signing process raises questions. The publicly available minutes of the Working Group meetings do not support the views expressed in the ELY memo. The ELY memo also contains descriptions of many issues that were not included in the terms of reference of the Standard Setting Working Group. We will address also these views as part of our development work of PEFC forest certification,” comments Kaivola.


PEFC Finland – Finnish Forest Certification Council

Auvo Kaivola, Secretary General

email:, tel: +358 40 076 5437

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