Media News Bulletin from PEFC Asia Pacific May 2021

Regenerative Fashion: Sustainable, Innovative Apparel & Textiles
Regenerative fashion means garments manufactured from fibres produced through sustainable agriculture, or organic farming practices, can reverse climate change by replenishing the plants and the soil. On 27 April, the Innovation Forum Sustainable Apparel and Textiles Conference, discussed how apparel brands can adapt practices to deliver on growing stakeholder expectation. PEFC International Board member Eduardo Rojas Briales spoke on "Regenerative vs sustainable: How are standards for sustainable apparel and fashion evolving?" In highlighting the vital regenerative functions of forests, he said that wood and forest-based fibres are renewable raw materials, which can support the fashion industry in sourcing garments from regenerative sources. Read all about it.
Cheers! Beer Cans with PEFC-certified Cardboard Rings
Put a ring around this when you next go for a beer. Estrella Damm has moved way from plastic by producing beverage cans with rings made of 100% biodegradable, PEFC-certified cardboard. This has also been used to replace the plastic packaging around beverage can packs by the leading Spanish beverage producer, With these initiatives, Estrella Damm will save around 360 tons of plastic per year in favour of a natural, renewable and recyclable material. Recognised for its leading sustainability strategies, Estrella is committed to eliminate plastic from its products and replacing them with materials from sustainably managed forests. Cheers for more of this!
Protect the Planet: Buy Local & Certified Timber Goods
As Australian builders declare a climate and biodiversity emergency, material selection plays an all-important role in protecting the planet. In the latest Builders Declare webinar. Mark Thomson, acclaimed eco-architect and director of Responsible Wood, outlined the case for buying locally and supporting timber that is certified under a recognised forest certification scheme. He highlighted the importance of 3rd party validation in the building and development sectors. The Responsible Wood Forest Certification Scheme is one of some 39 national schemes endorsed by PEFC. Responsible Wood is also the national governing body for PEFC in Australia. Read more.
Making PEFC FOR-TRADE Practical for Smallholders
To present the project and initiate the dialogue with local stakeholders, PEFC and its partners in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, have held four national inception workshops since March for the PEFC FOR-TRADE programme.  Taking place in each of the four partner countries, some workshops were held with a physical and remote audience, while others took place completely remotely, respecting the national regulations. In a next step, national action plans will be implemented under the project scope, including training on PEFC endorsed national standards, and a pilot project to make national systems more practical for smallholder forest owners. There's more.
India Furniture Exporters Try Canadian Wood for Success
Vamani Overseas is one of many Indian manufacturers shifting its focus towards exporting finished products to western countries. Since many international markets require wood to be sustainably sourced, this presents further opportunities for British Columbia's certified forest products in India, as the country becomes a global furniture manufacturing hub. Successes such as this are an important factor in continuing to expand awareness of imported timber species across India. Through the ‘Try Canadian Wood’ programme, Forestry Innovation Investment (FII) continues to forge relationships with local manufacturers and grow knowledge around the wood's favourable properties within furniture applications. Go here for more.
Certified for Access to International Markets from Indonesia
A regional webinar last month focussed on the importance of managing forests sustainably to leverage the growth of PEFC certification and, at the same time, provided tips on how to access international markets and major projects. It was attended by more than 100 delegates in the region. Led by Darren Thomas of Double Helix Tracking Technologies, it was managed by AJA Europe - PT. AJA Sertifikasi IndonesiaIFCC KSK and PEFC International. Richard Laity of PEFC Southeast Asia pointed out the benefits of Chain of Custody certification in helping to meet customer expectations and legality requirements at home and aboard. It also meets private and public sector procurement requirements and provides traceability solutions for wood-based materials. Go here for the recording of the webinar.
Vietnam Trains for International & Local Certification Bodies
The online training course took place in Vietnam in April with enthusiastic participation from more than 60 participants, with 20 Certification Bodies (CBs), including international and national auditors/certifiers. During this event, experts from the Forest Certification Office (VFCO) and PEFC provided a lot of detailed information about the two latest versions of Sustainable Forest Management standards VFCS / PEFC FM and PEFC CoC2020.  At the same time, they came to understand more about difficulties faced by assessment units and market challenges in Vietnam. Read More.
Penguins Parade in Award Winning Timber Visitor Centre
The most-visited tourism destination of the Australian state of Victoria has a new award-winning visitor centre which uses certified timber to achieve a delicate balance between landscape and built form, and between people and wildlife habitat. Achieving this balance was a challenge facing Terroir Architects when designing the new Penguin Parade Visitor Centre on Victoria’s Phillip Island. Low carbon building materials were used throughout the centre’s construction, notably PEFC/Responsible Wood-certified laminated Victorian Ash hardwood used for the exposed beams. The choice of timber beams and plywood panelling, which are self-finished and offer a carefully selected colour and texture, were integral in achieving the centre’s robust appearance. Read all about it.
Capture the Heart of the Forest with your Camera
For the fifth time, PEFC is inviting professional and amateur photographers to submit their best forest photos, for the chance to become the 2021 PEFC Photographer of the Year. Colourful trees, forest landscapes, children playing, people working or animals living in the forest – share your photo and help us to escape to the wonderful world of forests in our imaginations! To enter your photo is simple, check out to see if there is a national contest in your country. Then head to Instagram and post your forest photo using the contest hashtag of your country – and that’s it, you’re done! The deadline for entries is 5 June – World Environment Day. There's more here.
PEFC Stars in First International Hybrid Studio Broadcast
A PEFC certified product was the star at the first book launch at Marina Bay Sands specially designed Hybrid Broadcast Studio, attended by 50 people in person and beamed to many hundreds more in 10 countries overseas. Special Guest and Speaker on the occasion was Genevieve Chua, CEO of OVOL, the company which supplied PEFC certified paper for the book, who also represents the Print and Media Association Singapore and is PEFC International's former Vice Chair and Board member. Author and publisher Ken Hickson said that he wanted the book to meet “clean and green” standards. This was achieved by sourcing suitable PEFC-certified paper from sustainably managed forests in Asia and using Times Printers, one of Singapore’s dedicated PEFC-certified printers. Read Floyd Cowan's report on Asian Journeys  
PEFC Issues Updated Guidance for Chain of Custody Audits
PEFC is very conscious that there are constraints imposed by the coronavirus pandemic which can have some impact on the certification and auditing processes around the world. Therefore guidance needs to be updated from time to time. This latest guidance - Version 8 - was released late last month (28 April). It enters into force and can be applied by certification bodies from the day of its publication and is applicable until PEFC Council revokes the guidance. Due to the spread of COVID-19 worldwide, travel and medical restrictions are affecting auditing activities. The main methods to ease the consequences of travel restrictions are the implementation of remote audits, and where this is not sufficient, the extension of time periods affecting issuing of the certificates. There's more here.