On 14th June in Banja Luka, B&H was held a regional conference on forest certification in the countries of Western Balkans. The conference was organized by the local NGO Eco Zona from Sipovo. In the conference, many participants from the region were present: private forest owners organizations from the Republic of Srpska, Croatia and Macedonia, REFORD, representatives from Forestry Faculty in Sarajevo and Tirana, representatives from the state forest from Macedonia, Serbia and Republic of Srpska, Wood cluster from Croatia, Chamber of commerce of Slovenia and international organizations as FAO, CEPF, PEFC and SNV.
Many presentations were presented in the conference regarding forest certification issues in the countries where presenters are coming from. Experiences about the processes of forest certification implemented in some countries were presented as well as prospective of certification in the countries where it did not start yet. Organizing the conference is initiated from the EU Timber Regulation (No 995/2010) which supposes to start with implementation in March 2013. This regulation will have consequences on the wood products importers from EU (firewood, chips, pellet, round wood, processed wood, furniture, paper) and on the exporters also. According to regulation, every importer will need to implement due diligence system as a process to assure that imported wood products are harvested and produced in a legal way. Relations of the obligations from the Timber Regulation and international recognized forest certification schemes of FSC and PEFC were discussed. (For more visit www.fsc.org; www.pefc.org).
Representatives of PEFC had their presentation on the process of forest certification under PEFC scheme, procedures and experiences of PEFC certification in several countries.