German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Profile: PEFC international

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)
Established 1999


PEFC membership is open to national forest certification organizations and international stakeholders. There are three types of membership: National members (or ‘national governing bodies’), international stakeholder members and extraordinary members. National members are independent, national organizations established to develop and implement a PEFC system within their country. International Stakeholder membership is open to entities operating in two or more countries, or legally registered as international organizations, and whose princi-ples and objectives are supportive of PEFC. 35 national PEFC governing bodies are members of the PEFC Council. Alongside 25 European countries, PEFCC members include Argentina (CerFoAR), Australia (AFS), Brazil (CERFLOR), Gabon (PAFC), Chile (CERTFOR), Cam-eroon (PAFC), Canada (CSA), Malaysia (MTCC), Uruguay (SPF), and the USA (SFI and ATFS). PEFC endorses national certification systems that are in compliance with its interna-tional standards. To date, 30 national certification systems have successfully completed the PECF endorsement process.


PEFC aims to document and improve sustainable forest management with due respect for environmental, economic and social standards. PEFC also serves as an effective marketing instrument for the image of the forestry sector and its market partners.


PEFC is open to the endorsement of other forestry certification schemes. All schemes must comply with PEFCC standards. These include conformity with international conventions and national law, participation of all stakeholder groups in standard setting, application of uniform guidelines for sustainable forest management and for accreditation of certification bodies. Once a system has been endorsed by PEFC, all PEFCC requirements and standards are bind-ing in their current form and are implemented and verified in the applicable revision processes (every five years).

National PEFC governing bodies are members of and can vote in the General Assembly, the highest decision-making body of PECF International. Countries with little forest have one vote, while countries with large, productive forests have five (Germany has three). To give a say to stakeholders outside of national PEFC governing bodies, stakeholder membership is open to international institutions, environmental organisations and unions, international forest and land owners’ associations, the timber industry, and multinational enterprises in the for-estry, timber and paper industries.

At international level, PEFC is funded almost entirely out of membership fees and donations.


PEFC International
10, Route de l’Aéroport
Case Postale 636
1215 Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: +41 (22) 799 4540
Fax: +41 (22) 799 4550

Further information

PEFC website

Website of PEFC Germany (in German)


Last Change: 01/06/2012