Willagri-Forêts: FSC certification legally instituted in Gabon
The President of Gabon, Ali Bongo, announced on September 26, during a visit to a Rougier-owned sawmill, that all logging concessions in Gabon would be required to get FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. There are close to forty active concessions in Gabon, covering nearly 16 million hectares. FSC is considered the world’s most stringent forest management label.
Launched with the active support of WWF in 1993, this "responsible forest management" certification makes the case for exploiting the forest without destroying it, and for reconciling the three pillars of sustainable development namely the ecological, social and economic dimensions, Considered closer to NGOs than industrial loggers, it has a "global" competitor, the PEFC (Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification), launched with the support of the European timber industry. The PEFC was designed to better suit the fragmented structure of small European forest ownership (it was originally named the Pan European Forest Certification), before growing into a global program of mutual recognition of national or regional certifications, often viewed as a less rigorous system.