RMK awarded another sustainable forest management certificate 02.12

RMK, the manager of state forests, has passed compliance assessment under PEFC’s sustainable forest management certification scheme. The certificate issued to RMK today, in confirmation of this, will bring added opportunities for the entire forestry sector in Estonia.

RMK has held the FSC sustainable forest management certificate since 2002. FSC and PEFC are both widely recognised global schemes for assessing sustainable forest management under which compliance with the set standards is confirmation that the forest is being managed in a balanced manner in environmental, social and economic terms. The preference for timber marked with either label depends on the market.

“For forest growers, the certificates provide recognition for work done, whereas for the public at large they are a clear indication that the growth and use of forest in Estonia’s state forest is sustainable in the long term,” Tiit Timberg, Member of RMK’s Management Board, commented.

The certificates for the state forest create significant added opportunities for Estonia’s forest and timber industry. Many of the clients buying timber from RMK comply with the standards of the FSC and/or PEFC scheme/s in their manufacturing cycle. “The outcome is certified products manufactured from timber from the state forest – sawn timber, milled timber, furniture etc. Products from certified timber are sought after in Europe, and our forest and timber industry – flexible and at a good technological level – nicely takes advantage of the synergy created in its capacity as an export engine,” Timberg explained.

Certification of the state forests, as per the internationally recognised Estonian PEFC forest standard, was conducted by AS Metrosert. “For RMK, as a major forest management operation, the awarding of the PEFC certificate is certainly of trail-blazing significance, and hopefully smaller forest owners, too, will sign up for the certification process,” said Ain Noormägi, Director of Metrosert AS.

The PEFC forest certification scheme was set up in Europe in 1999 to promote sustainable forest management and, above all, to get smaller forest owners involved. As a scheme that is better in taking the interests of forest owners into consideration, PEFC quickly spread in Scandinavia, in occasionally tense opposition to FSC, the certification scheme set up earlier. The FSC forest certification system was set up in the United States of America in 1993 and was aimed initially at the conservation of rainforests. As a trademark proving the sustainability of forest management, the certification scheme soon spread to European countries as well. The certification schemes impose standards on the forest manager that are somewhat higher than normal, that is, higher than the legislation in the country of its location, and monitor compliance with the sustainability standards in environmental, economic and social terms.

RMK is a profit-making state agency established under the Forestry Act, aimed at sustainable and efficient management of the state forest. RMK grows reforestation materials, organises forestry works, is engaged in the sale of forest and timber and organises game upkeep. In addition, RMK establishes opportunities for hiking in nature and forest recreation on recreational areas, in Estonia’s five national parks and 40 other protected areas, and shapes awareness of nature. RMK manages 38% of Estonia’s forests.

Further information: Tiit Timberg
Member, Management Board, RMK
Tel 676 7061, 504 5761
E-mail tiit.timberg@rmk.ee