News  |  20.05.2021

Extension of the project "Implementation of a regional approach for the development of PAFC certification systems"

Initially scheduled for June 2021, the end of the project "Implementation of a regional approach for the development of PAFC certification systems" is postponed until the end of June 2022.

Extension of the project "Implementation of a regional approach for the development of PAFC certification systems"

On December 22, 2020, the ATIBT submitted to the PEFC Council the application for the endorsement of the PAFC Congo Basin regional forest certification scheme. This marked the end of the development process of the said regional certification scheme after 18 months of work with the various stakeholders in forest management in the Congo Basin.

Initially scheduled for June / July 2020, this submission occurred 6 months later. This delay is mainly due to the restrictions imposed from March 2020 in the frame of the management of the covid-19 pandemic which caused the postponement and the delay in time, of the implementation of certain activities of the project programmed during 2020.

In addition to this lag in the implementation of certain activities, it appeared necessary to integrate and carry out new activities with a view to a harmonious and effective operationalization of the PAFC Congo Basin (PAFC CB) certification scheme once endorsed by PEFC.

Considering the impacts of this 6-month delay in the timing of the implementation of the remaining activities as well as the duration of the process of evaluation and endorsement of the PAFC Congo Basin scheme by the PEFC Council which should end in November 2021 with the endorsement of said scheme through the general assembly of the PEFC Council, the project leader (ATIBT) and the PPECF (main donor) discussed the possibilities to prolong the project.

The two parties agreed at the end of this exchange on the need to extend the duration of the project activities to ensure a good end of the project.

Thus, initially scheduled for June 2021, the end of the project "Implementation of a regional approach for the development of PAFC certification systems" is postponed until the end of June 2022.

Regarding the recognition of the PAFC CB scheme, the conformity assessment process of the submitted scheme goes through:

  • Verification of the conformity of the documents submitted;
  • Presentation of the standard development process and the components of the certification scheme;
  • The conformity assessment of the submitted scheme by an independent external assessor commissioned by PEFC international.

 After successfully passing the step of verifying the compliance of the submitted file documents, the PEFC Council organized a webinar with the PAFC CB project team. The objective of this Webinar held on February 01, 2021 was to present to PEFC the forest management standard development process conducted, the tools of the PAFC CB certification scheme and the actors concerned with the management of the future PAFC CB certification scheme management system.

Given the operationalization of the PAFC CB scheme, once endorsed by the PEFC Council, a few preparatory activities are underway or are planned.

The assessment body selected to assess the conformity of the standard development process and the tools of the PAFC BC scheme is Form. The assessment process has recently started.

Among the activities being carried out are:

  • the development of national interpretation guides for the standard for Cameroon, Congo and Gabon;
  • follow-up and discussions with the team of external evaluators for the finalization of the pattern recognition process;
  • the development of the management structure of the PAFC CB scheme with the national PAFCs;

The other programmed activities relate to:

  • company training;
  • auditor training;
  • capacity building of the national PAFCs concerned;
  • advocacy with certain institutional actors;
  • carrying out a PAFC CB pre-audit