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Metsäliitto Begins Testing of New Finnish FSC Standard

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Metsäliitto Group, Finland, reported this week that it has begun testing of Finland's new FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification standard in part of its own forests. The Group's forests have already been certified according to the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) standard. In the future, the FSC standard will be applied in these forests as well.

The project covers the forests owned by Metsä-Botnia and Metsäliitto Cooperative, both part of the Metsäliitto Group. The total surface area of the forests is approximately 35,000 hectares. Metsäliitto expects to get the FSC certificate by the end of 2012, and will then offer its members who have forest management service agreement the option to join Metsäliitto's FSC group certificate. Metsäliitto already offers a similar PEFC group certification to its members who have forest management service agreements.

"Forest certification is all about the sustainable use and management of forests. Certification systems are voluntary and support the well-being of forest and confirm the legal origin of the wood. Metsäliitto supports both of the current certification systems. With the new FSC certification, Metsäliitto members will have more choice in their forest certification process," says Juha Mäntylä, Group EVPt.

"We aim at a continuous increase in the volume of certified products," Mäntylä says, adding that "at the moment, approximately 80% of the wood used by Metsäliitto is PEFC or FSC certified, and we wish to promote forest certification in all our areas of operation."

The PEFC standard is the predominant certification system in Finland. Currently, approximately 95% of Finnish forests have been certified according to PEFC. Finland's new FSC standard was approved in May 2011, and 2% of the Finnish forests have been certified according to FSC. Only approximately 7% of the world's forests have been certified, two-thirds of that amount using the PEFC system


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