Jia Yao becomes China’s second certified forestBeijing, China – WWF today applauds the Jia Yao Forestry Development Company for becoming the second forest farm in China to be granted the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Forest Management certification by the SmartWood Program of the Rainforest Alliance.
The Jia Yao Forestry Development Company in Guangdong province, a Hong Kong joint venture, comprises the 5,237 hectares assessed for certification. It is five times the size of China’s first certified forest, the Changhua Forest Farm (CFF) in Zhejiang province, which is 940 hectares and was certified in 2002. This certification adds to the more than 42 million hectares of forestlands in 62 countries that are certified according to FSC standards.
The Jia Yao Forestry Development Company is located in Jindu town, Gaoyoa city in Guangdong province. It has been in operation since the early 1990s. Jia Yao is a relatively rare company as it is China’s first company to comprise a forest plantation, wood processing unit, and to undertake marketing of its own products.
Jia Yao became aware of FSC certification after it found that forest certification would bring increased opportunities in terms of expanding its international market, where retailers such as The Home Depot and B&Q are increasingly stocking FSC products.
Due to dramatically reduced amounts of harvested wood available in China following national restrictions imposed in the late 1990s, harvests from well-managed operations such as Jia Yao are important contributors to China's self-reliance in meeting domestic sustainable wood supplies. China has also become the world's largest furniture producer and the second largest producer of plywood (source: 6th International Forestry & Woodworking Machinery and Supplies Exhibition, Shanghai).
To earn SmartWood certification, Jai Yao underwent an on-site field assessment conducted by a team of specialists representing the Smartwood Program of the Rainforest Alliance. The purpose of the assessment was to evaluate the ecological, social and economic sustainability of Jia Yao Forestry Development Company’s forest management.
"WWF introduced the concept of FSC certification in China in 2000 with the establishment of a working group on forest certification comprised of different stakeholders from government agencies, forestry enterprises, forest industries, traders, research institutions, NGOs and media," said Dr Zhu Chunquan, WWF China Forest Program Officer. "The working group has held training workshops to promote FSC in China over the past 4 years. More and more Chinese businesses are becoming aware of the importance of sustainable forest management, and are actively improving their management capacity."
Currently, 60 companies in China have been granted FSC Chain of Custody (CoC) certification. WWF continues to promote forest certification in China.
For further information:
Forest Communications Coordinator, WWF-China
Tel: +86 10 6522 7100 ext 224
• SmartWood is the sustainable forestry program of the Rainforest Alliance, an international conservation organization that works to protect endangered ecosystems and the people and wildlife that live in them by transforming land use practices, business practices, and consumer behaviour. Established in 1989, SmartWood is the oldest, most extensive certification program in the world, and is accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council. SmartWood has eight regional offices and works with a worldwide network of certification partners. SmartWood is headquartered in Richmond, Vermont, USA.
• The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international non-profit organization founded to support environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests through independent forest management certification and marketplace labeling of certified forest products. FSC has operations in over forty countries worldwide, including a US office located in Washington D.C, and serves as formal accreditor of forest certification programs such as SmartWood, ensuring consistent performance. More than 42 million hectares of forestlands have been certified globally according to FSC standards.