PEFC Council and PEFC Norway is 10 years old. PEFC Council, the international umbrella and hub in the whole PEFC system, was formally launched in a meeting in Paris 30th June 1999, when the statues of the organisation was endorsed.
Representatives from eleven officially constituted national PEFC governing bodies participated in the meeting and took the formal decisions. The representatives were supported by forest owners associations, representing 16 million woodland owners, and many international industry and trade organisations.
Representatives from Norwegian forestry, industry and trade unions participated actively in the development of the PEFC system. The process took about two years. The Norwegian PEFC organisation was established 21st June, and PEFC Norway was among the founding members at the Paris meeting a week later. The 11 national governing bodies officially represented were Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
In 1999, the PEFC system was launched as the “Pan European Forest Certification” and included forest certification schemes in European countries. From 2002, systems outside Europe joined in, and PEFC has now members all over the world. The letters PEFC is kept, but now PEFC is the abbreviation for “Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification” schemes.
Since the launch, PEFC’s membership has increased - currently 34 member countries- and broadened. It has become the largest forest certification umbrella organisation covering national schemes from all over the world - Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Oceania- delivering hundreds of millions of tonnes of wood to the processing industry.