Bulgaria has become the latest member to achieve PEFC endorsement of its national forest certification system. The PEFC General Assembly voted for the endorsement of the Bulgarian system in a postal ballot.
“We are very grateful to our friends from the other members of PEFC who, through their vote, have endorsed the Bulgarian standard,” said Antony Stefanov, Chairman of the Council for Sustainable Forest Management and Certification in Bulgaria, our national member for Bulgaria.
“We have already given first trainings to inform about the advantages of the Bulgarian system. By the end of the year, we will conduct trainings for auditors and other stakeholders around the country,” Mr. Stefanov continued.
“We also want to thank the organizations and individuals actively involved in the development of our forestry standard, in particular: BULPROFOR, the Non-State Forest Owners Association - GOROVLADELETS, the Forest University, the Executive Forests Agency, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry and many more.”
A challenging process
To achieve PEFC endorsement, a national system goes through a rigorous assessment to confirm it was developed in line with our requirements. Through this process, we can ensure that national standards meet our globally accepted PEFC Sustainability Benchmarks.
Through the endorsement, the Bulgarian system becomes part of the PEFC umbrella. From now on, forest-based products certified to the Bulgarian national system can be sold as PEFC-certified anywhere in the world.
A successful collaboration
Bulgaria joined the PEFC alliance as a national member in May 2017. We have been supporting projects in the Balkans since the first Collaboration Fund in 2011, and we now use a regional approach to increase forest certification in the region.
Forests play an important societal and economic role in this region. More than half the population lives in rural areas and forests are a significant source of income, jobs and resources.