Panevėžys State Forest Enterprise was awarded the FSC® forest management certificate for the first time in 2001. Certification was carried out by the experts of British company “SGS United Kingdom Ltd”, accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) and conducting the certification according to “QUALIFOR” program.
Seeing as the certificate is valid for 5 years, in 2012 representatives of the Danish company NEPCon Peter Sprang and Justinas Janulaitis performed re-certification according to the FSC-accredited SmartWood certification program of the Rainforest Alliance and extended the validity of the international certificate.
On 6 February 2012, State Forest Enterprise was issued a SmartWood certificate that is valid until 5 February 2017.
According to the requirements of FSC, annual audits will be carried out in the State Forest Enterprise to inspect how the enterprise adheres by the applied requirements.
Currently, all forest products derived from the state forests of Panevėžys State Forest Enterprise have been validated as originating from forests managed in accordance with international principles and criteria of FSC applied to forest certification and assessed by the independent experts.
The purpose of certification is to achieve that the forests are managed and used in accordance with responsible forest management principles, i.e., without damaging the ecologic, social and economic functions of forests.
FSC-certified area of forests in Panevėžys State Forest Enterprise comprises 37952 ha.
Forest Stewardship Council
FSC was officially established in 1993, in Toronto, to establish global standards of suitably managed forests and promote the use of certified products, marked with the exceptional symbol. FSC is headquartered in Bonn, Germany. It is run by the elected board, including representatives of industry, environment protection, indigenous people and members of other forestry sectors. FSC operates as a central institution supervising and approving national and regional FSC standards. Seeking to define environmentally responsible and economically beneficial forest management, FSC developed general principles and criteria of forest management, valid all over the world and encompassing the rights of indigenous people, long-term economic viability, preservation of old natural forests and constant monitoring. FSC is entitled to accredit independent certification institutions, which may issue FSC certificates.
Regarding the observation of principles and criteria of FSC forest certification system
Forest Stewardship Council, acting as international non-governmental organization, has created an international forest certification scheme. All FSC sign-marked products from forests, which are managed in accordance with internationally-recognized principles and criteria of FSC forest certification scheme, are certified by independent experts. Following the FSC scheme, tropical, temperate and boreal forests are certified according to the same ten principles of FSC, each one of which is elaborated by individual criteria. Nine forest management principles and criteria were approved in September 1994 by the founding members of FSC and the Board of Directors, and the tenth – by the members of FSC and the Board of Directors in February 1996. All principles and criteria are subject to periodical revisions and corrections (the FSC principles and criteria were last revised in February 2000). This document (FSC principles and criteria) comprises the basis for evaluation when seeking to determine if the management of forests of the state, company or individual complies with the requirements of sustainable and balanced forest management.
In Lithuania, certification of state forests started in 2000, seeking to demonstrate on an international level that the Lithuanian forests are managed and used observing the sustainable and balanced principles of forest management as well as seeking to ensure the supply of certified forest products from Lithuania in the market. Panevėžys Forest Enterprise was first certified according to the requirements of the FSC forest certification scheme in 2001.
When carrying out the management and operations of allocated state forests, SE Panevėžys Forest Enterprise undertakes to observe the principles and criteria (PDF) of FSC forest certification scheme listed below.
More information on principles and criteria of FSC can be found on the official website of FSC at www.fsc.org