" --IANS"
New Delhi, Jan 13 - The Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF), in association with the Indian government, released the country's internationally benchmarked Forest Management Certification Standard here on Saturday.

It was launched at the National Conference on Forest Certification organised by NCCF, which also saw the launch of National Certification Scheme for Sustainable Forest Management, which is expected to bring a major shift towards responsible utilisation of natural resources and trade of forest products in India.

The standard (certification) provides flexibility in addressing variability in forests and biodiversity, provides traceability and legality mechanism thus control in illegal felling, ensures responsible trade both from buyer side and supplier side, adds value - allows non-tariff entry barriers and access to new markets, enables pro-active risk management, and ensures biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of natural resources, said NCCF Chairman Vijai Sharma.

According to NCCF Secretary Suneel Pandey, the State Forest Development Corporations and State Forest Departments have an immense scope of entering the certified products market and get a premium value for their produce.

The total supply of certified wood in India is less than 10 per cent of the total demand. The cost of certification can easily be offset by the premium that can be charged for certified produce. Not to forget the goodwill earned owing to higher level of social compliance and commitment to the environment conservation.

Sachin Raj Jain, Convener of NCCF, said that NCCF is also developing certification standards for Trees outside Forests, Protected Areas and Wetlands, and Non-Wood Forest Products.

--IANS

nkh/vd


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