Frequently Asked Questions by vmarcelo


									                         Central Point of Expertise on Timber (CPET) - Frequently Asked Questions

Question                  Draft response

1. What is the CPET       The Central Point of Expertise on Timber Procurement (CPET) is the mechanism established to develop the UK
process?                  Government’s timber procurement policy. It was established by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
                          (DEFRA), and is operated by ProForest (see for further information). DEFRA and ProForest are
                          advised by a Reference Board.

2. Who sits on the        There are two representatives from industry on the CPET Reference Board:
CPET Reference
Board?                    Andy Roby, Timber Trade Federation ( and Martin Gale, CONFOR (

                          and two from the conservation sector

                          Saskia Ozinga, FERN ( and Beatrix Richards, WWF UK (

3. Why was CPET           The UK government responded to increasing concerns about origins of the timber used in government contracts by
established?              developing a procurement policy on timber and timber products. This policy requires all Government departments and their
                          agencies to actively seek to buy timber and paper products from legal and sustainable sources.

4. When did the CPET      In autumn 2004, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) commissioned an assessment of five
process begin and         forest certification systems against its new criteria for forest certification schemes to be eligible under the UK
what is the history of    Government Timber Procurement Policy. The results of this initial assessment, which were announced in November
PEFC’s involvement?       2004, demonstrated that PEFC met all Government thresholds for legality and for sustainable forest management standards.

                          On three procedural elements, namely the decision-making process at national level, having a public consultation for
                          each individual forest certification and making a summary of certification audit reports publicly available, PEFC did not
                          obtain the necessary score. With the announcement of the initial results, the then DEFRA Minister Elliot Morley set a
                          six months transition period for certification systems to adapt to the new requirements and a six months deadline
                          before Government departments would begin to differentiate between schemes.

                          In the months following the announcement, the PEFC Council worked closely with DEFRA, its advisors and the UK
                          Central Point of Expertise on Timber (CPET), to identify and implement the necessary changes. The PEFC Council
                          member countries, in an extraordinary General Assembly vote, approved the new requirements, which were
                          submitted to DEFRA in April 2005 for reassessment, a month before the deadline (see PEFC Council Press Release
                          at > News > 2005/04/12 PEFC demonstrates customer commitment).

In June 2005, Minister Morley praised PEFC for the speed with which the changes had been made. He announced that
the results of the reassessment would be published at the earliest opportunity but that Government officials would meet
with representatives of UK Environmental Non Governmental Organisations (ENGOs) to explain how the results were
arrived at prior to the official announcement. In the meantime, Government buyers would continue to accept all
forest certification schemes as assurance of legal and sustainable timber sources. See DEFRA Press
Release at 10 June 2005 Forest Certification Schemes: Minister gives reassurance
on publication of reassessment.

In August 2005, Minister Morley announced that based on the new PEFC Council documentation, DEFRA had officially
rated PEFC certified products as both legal and sustainable (see DEFRA Press Release 11 August 2005
Progress on forest certification schemes). At the same time, Minister Morley announced that the UK Government would
review whether the national PEFC endorsed certification systems had successfully implemented the agreed changes at
the end of 2005. The government’s decision in August to include PEFC in the UK Public Timber Procurement Policy had
been welcomed both by timber traders and PEFC stakeholders in the UK and globally
(see > News > 2005/08/11 UK Government rates all PEFC certified timber as “legal and sustainable”).

In January 2006, the PEFC Council submitted evidence on its verification regarding implementation by its national members
to DEFRA (see > General News > 2006/01/16 Evidence on implementation submitted to CPET/DEFRA).
At the end of March 2006, Minister Morley announced that all forest certification systems will be assessed later in 2006.
While he confirmed PEFC’s rating as “legal and sustainable”, he said that the findings on the evidence submitted by a few
national PEFC systems would be further scrutinised before announcing a final decision on PEFC (see - 30 March
2006 PEFC Forest Certification Scheme still on probation as checks reveal outstanding issues).

In June 2006, DEFRA announced that a review of the five forest certification (CSA, FSC, PEFC, MTCC, SFI) would begin on
24 June 2006 (see - 7 June 2006 Defra announces review to assure legal and
sustainable timber procurement).

Although in August 2005, PEFC Council’s documentation had been judged as meeting all UK government requirements to
assure “legality and sustainability” and despite the Minister’s confirmation of March 2006 and his announcement to merely
verify implementation at national level, the Ministry in autumn of 2006 made additional requirements of PEFC before it
would lift its probationary status. Once again, the PEFC Council and its members fully co-operated with DEFRA and
CPET and at their General Assembly in October 2006 launched a new Guideline and implemented additional requirements
to accommodate DEFRA’s supplementary requirements on consensus and standard setting (see > News >
2006/10/26 Recent Board of Directors decisions on assessment processes) and the new Guideline GL 5/2006: Interpretation
of the PEFC Council Requirements for Consensus in the Standard Setting Process at > Technical
Documentation > PEFCC Guidelines.

5. Which sustainable      The following sustainable forest management certification schemes have been assessed by CPET:
  forest management
  certification schemes   Canadian Standards Association - CSA (
  have been assessed      Forest Stewardship Council - FSC (
  in the CPET             Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes – PEFC (
  process?                Malaysian Timber Certification Council - MTCC (
                          Sustainable Forestry Initiative – SFI (

6. What are the social    It is estimated that around 40% of UK timber imports are used in public sector contracts. CPET advice is therefore not only a
  and economic            major influencer on the public sector, but also increasingly influences the procurement policies of those in the private sector.
  impacts of the CPET

7. When did the 2006      The 2006 CPET rigorous review process took place in June-July 2006. All five of the leading timber certification schemes
review take place?        (see question 5) were assessed against the CPET criteria and wide stakeholder input was sought.

8. When will the next     DEFRA have indicated that the review process will now take place every two years, so the next full review of schemes will
  review of sustainable   begin in May 2008.
  forest management
  schemes take

9. Who can I contact      PEFC Council – contact Oliver Scholz
  for further             E-mail:
  information?            Tel : +352 (26) 25 9059

                          PEFC UK Ltd – contact Hilary Khawam
                          Tel: +44 (0)1689 819902
                          Mobile : +44 (0) 781 844 2306


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