Growth in Certified Forest Area: 2001 – 2016
Data gathered from the FAO, FSC and PEFC show a continued increase of global forest area under certification from 2001 to 2016.
Using the figures from the FAO’s Certification highlights of the Forest Products Annual Market Review 2014-2015 and recently published figures from FSC and PEFC we have adapted the following graph to include the 2016 figures:
From this graph, it is possible to see the steep increase in certification area for both schemes, particularly PEFC from 2005 onwards as it endorsed/absorbed the individual national certification schemes Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), American Tree Farm System (ATFS) and Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS).
At the end of 2016, FSC reported a total certified area of 196 million hectares and PEFC of 301 million hectares, for a combined area of 497 million hectares.
This graph however, does not take into account any forest area that is double certified under both schemes and therefore the total certified figures is slightly inflated. Now however, FSC and PEFC – the two largest forest certification schemes – have agreed to jointly collect and publish data on double certification, starting from 2016 onwards.
More than 69 million hectares (or 16%) of all certified forests globally are double certified to both PEFC and FSC. This is an increase of 30 million hectares compared to data collected by PEFC in 2012. This means that total global certified area is, in fact, 429 million ha.
Double certification exists because foresters in different parts of the world have chosen to use both PEFC and FSC certification for their forest management units to prove their sustainable forest management practices. As their respective certified forest area appears in both the PEFC and the FSC statistics, this has led to inflated numbers of the total global certified area.
PEFC and FSC therefore decided to work together to provide a more accurate and mutually agreed estimate for the total global certified area. Read more here.