Wednesday, 29 August 2012
Future is bright for FSC certification in China thanks to productive relationship with Chinese authorities
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which has been certifying businesses in China for fourteen years, is growing rapidly and together with the SFA, CNCA, and industry associations has made significant achievements in terms of fostering responsible forest management in China.
FSC certification covers nearly 2.7 million hectares of forest in China, with over 2,100 Chinese companies having gained FSC chain of custody certification. By 2011, seven out of ten major paper companies in China were FSC certified. Further, out of twenty-three “vice president level” members of the China National Forest Product Industry Association, twelve are FSC certified.
According to FSC Asia-Pacific Director Alistair Monument, “FSC is actively looking for opportunities to work to together with CFCC and PEFC to promote responsible forest management in China, fully in line with the Chinese authorities and Chinese laws and regulations.”
By 2012, eight FSC accredited certification bodies were registered by the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CNCA), and their FSC certification operations seen to be in compliance with Chinese laws and regulations. Further, FSC and the China State Forestry Administration (SFA) have collaborated extensively on information-sharing and projects. For instance, FSC was invited by SFA to attend the Second Asia-Pacific Forest Week and organise a side-event on ‘FSC and the Green Forest Economy’.
Ma Lichao, FSC’s representative in China, is confident that forest certification systems can work together with the Chinese Authorities in clarifying legality issues, “In view of the positive feedback, compliance with relevant laws and regulations, and the constructive collaboration with related authorities, we believe that FSC certification agencies are not involved in any illegal operations. Responsible forest management systems like FSC are good for China’s forests and good for Chinese businesses and we are eager to work with the Chinese authorities to develop the FSC system in China.”