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Climate change is now affecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives, costing people, communities and countries dearly today and even more tomorrow. Weather patterns are changing, sea levels are rising, weather events are becoming more extreme and greenhouse gas emissions are now at their highest levels in history. Without action, the world’s average surface temperature is likely to surpass 3 degrees centigrade this century.


Forests & Climate Action

- The world’s forests absorb almost 40% of man-made CO2 - (NASA)

Forests are essential to both mitigating and adapting to climate change and to limit the damaging consequences of climate change.

Forests play a crucial role in climate regulation by determining the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, as they absorb roughly 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent each year. As such, deforestation accounts for 18% of global carbon emissions atmosphere and is therefore a leading cause of climate change.

Forests and trees provide a wide range of goods and ecosystem services that are threatened by climate change. Disasters have the potential to destroy critical forest assets and infrastructure and cause serious losses in production. This would have environmental, social and economic implications, particularly for communities that depend on forests for their livelihoods and food security.

Forests and trees have an important role in providing protection from, preventing, and/or lessening the impacts of natural disasters such as avalanches and landslides in mountain areas and tsunamis and cyclones in coastal areas.


PEFC’s contribution to SDG #13

- Sustainably managed forests play an essential role in climate change mitigation and adaptation -

In PEFC-certified forest, the forest is maintained and its harvest and growth are in balance. This allows the forest to continue playing his crucial role as net remover of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Through the PEFC chain of custody certification, consumers also have the possibility to contribute to this mitigating effect of the forests on climate change by looking for a PEFC label when buying a wood-based product.


PEFC’s Sustainable Forest Management requirements contributing to SDG #13:

  • PEFC’s national sustainable forest management requirements
  • PEFC’s chain of custody standards
  • Awareness through PEFC labels
  • 8.1. Maintenance or appropriate enhancement of forest resources and their contribution to the global carbon cycle:
    • 8.1.2 The quantity and quality of the forest resources and the capacity of the forest to store and sequester carbon shall be safeguarded in the medium and long term by balancing harvesting and growth rates, using appropriate silvicultural measures and preferring techniques that minimize adverse impacts on forest resources.
    • 8.1.3 Climate positive practices in management operations, such as greenhouse gas emission reductions and efficient use of resources shall be encouraged.
    • 8.1.4 Forest conversion shall not occur unless in justified circumstances where the conversion: a) is in compliance with national and regional policy and legislation applicable for land use and forest management and is a result of national or regional land-use planning governed by a governmental or other official authority including consultation with affected stakeholders; and b) entails a small proportion (no greater than 5 %) of forest type within the certified area; and c) does not have negative impacts on ecologically important forest areas, culturally and socially significant areas, or other protected areas; and d) does not destroy areas of significantly high carbon stock; and e) makes a contribution to long-term conservation, economic, and social benefits
  • 8.5.1 Maintenance or appropriate enhancement of protective functions in forest management (notably soil and water):
    • 8.5.1 Protective functions of forests for society, such as their potential role in erosion control, flood prevention, water purification, climate regulation, carbon sequestration and other regulating or supporting ecosystem services shall be maintained or enhanced.


>> More about the SDGs on the UN website 

>> More about PEFC’s Sustainable Forest Management Requirements