On 21 December 2023, the Certification Commission held its last meeting of the year by videoconference.
The Commission opened with an assessment of certification in the Congo Basin, with particular mention of Alpicam-Grumcam obtaining FSC certification in Cameroon. A rise in FSC and CW/FM certification in Gabon was also noted.
Regarding PAFC / PEFC, around 890,000 ha are now certified PAFC sustainable management, in the Precious Woods and BSO concessions, which also hold a chain of custody certificate (as does CPL - TGI). Three companies, including IFO Interholco, are also involved in the audit process. Two certification bodies, Bureau Veritas and Control Union, are accredited. While the year 2023 was largely devoted to auditor and company training on the Chain of Custody standard, PEFC hopes to set up a cooperation group for natural tropical forests in 2024 and will continue its work on informing about the EUDR (a webinar on this subject will be held on 27 February). The partnership with ATIBT is also continuing, notably with work on a FAQ for auditors and companies.
About FSC, the Congo Basin team recently welcomed a new coordinator, Patrick Epie, based in Brazzaville, and a new project officer, Ida Oye. The FSC's work on the EUDR and Motion 23 was reviewed. Gabon was also at the centre of the discussions, particularly with regard to CW/FM certificates.
The Commission also gave an update on the progress of work on the EUDR, when a new FAQ from the European Commission has been published. Participants stressed the need for PEFC and FSC to communicate on the regulation to their members. The ATIBT reiterated its efforts to provide the sector with a better understanding of EUDR and representation of the sector at European level. An EUDR sub-group has been set up.
An article will be published shortly, as it is every year, to share the latest figures on certification in the Congo Basin.
The minutes and presentation of the meeting are available to ATIBT members on request.