IAM Woodworkers Department GLR William Street has become the first union official ever elected to serve as chairman of the board of directors of the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), the largest forest certification organization in the world.
“Having a union leader as board chair signals the beginning of the next phase in the global development of forest certification,” said Ben Gunneberg, Director General of PEFC. “I would expect to see us expand our efforts to protect forests and families in the global south, building on our successes doing so in the global north.”
Illegal deforestation in the southern hemisphere is high among the issues Street plans to address as chairman.
“It is absolutely critical that over the next three years that PEFC maintains its leadership position as a force to protect forest dependent families and communities,” said Street. “As we all know, the best way to reduce deforestation and to decrease the conversion of forests to agricultural uses is to ensure that tropical forests are managed in a way that are economically viable, environmental sound and socially just.”