Cloudy Bay wins full Forestry Stewardship Council certification


Cloudy Bay Sustainable Forestry Ltd has achieved another milestone in its drive for sustainable development with the certification by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for responsible forestry management.

A flat packed bed at Cloudy Bay's wood processing centre at 9 Mile in Port Moresby.

A flat packed bed at Cloudy Bay’s wood processing centre at 9 Mile, Port Moresby.

The company, which is wholly owned by Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Program Ltd, had previously received certification for controlled wood and chain of custody in 2011.

‘This certification proves that it is possible in PNG to harvest natural forests responsibly and sustainably and supports the Government policy of 100 percent downstream processing,’ said Cloudy Bay Chairman Rob de Fégely.

The world needs to understand that sustainable forest management is not a cheap system.

Since 2006, the company has been developing a Forest Management Area in the Cloudy Bay region, 250 kilometres south-east of Port Moresby. It was awarded the country’s first 100%-downstream processing license by the PNG Forest Authority (PNGFA), covering 148,900 hectares.

Cut in yield

De Fégely said that the FSC auditors had accepted Cloudy Bay’s reduced assessment of sustainable yield, which it has cut to 48,000 cubic metres of logs per year from an earlier figure of 60,000 cubic meters per year.

New European Union regulations ban the importation of illegally harvested and produced timber products and, following similar laws in Australia and the United States, are expected to effectively put an end to the market for illegally logged product.

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The peak industry body, the Papua New Guinea Forest Industries Association, estimates that 50-60% of processed timber exports—which go mostly to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific—are produced by companies that have adopted FSC, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification regulatory and traceability standards or the (Swiss company) SGS system for certification.

Not a cheap system

Cloudy Bay’s de Fégely said that plans to add value to 100% of the harvest in Papua New Guinea and to implement sustainable practices would take time, money and training.

‘The world needs to understand that sustainable forest management is not a cheap system but it is a renewable and sustainable one and therefore the wood and other forest values need to be priced accordingly,’ he said.