Eocafe: A chat with PEFC: forest certification, Earth Observation and the EUDR






– Organiser: EARSC
– Language: English
– Virtual or in-person: Virtual

In our next EOcafe, coinciding with the International Day of Forests, our host Geoff Sawyer (EARSC Strategic Advisor and former Secretary General) will sit down with Rob Shaw (Senior Integrity Manager, PEFC International) and Lucian Filigean (Executive President, PEFC Romania) to discuss all things forest certification related, how the EU’s Deforestation-free products Regulation (EUDR) is impacting the PEFC’s certification process, and how Earth Observation can help address existing and new certification needs.

The PEFC is one of the world’s leading forest certification organisations (you have likely seen their labels on many products before). But what is forest certification? It is a mechanism that is used to ensure the sustainable (environmental, economic, and social) management and exploitation of forests. It showcases that forest-based products reaching the marketplace have been sourced from sustainably managed forests, thus helping forest owners demonstrate their sustainable practices and empowering consumers to make responsible choices.

What is the Regulation on Deforestation-free products (EUDR in short)? Since its introduction, in 2022, forest owners, forest certification organisations, and many other stakeholders, have been scrambling to understand how the regulation affects them and how to comply with its obligations by the end of 2024. The EUDR aims to guarantee that products produced or imported into the EU do not contribute to deforestation or forest degradation worldwide.

The “content” and due-diligence obligations of the EUDR will require forest certification organisations, such as the PEFC, to rework their standards and use new technologies and sources of data for verification and monitoring. For example, by adding “not contributing to forest degradation” to the obligations, the EUDR is creating a need to understand and monitor the quality of the forest and canopy, not just whether deforestation has occurred.

Earth Observation and satellite-derived data and services are already providing the information needed to answer these new needs (e.g., geolocation of plots of land, quality of canopy, etc.). They can, and will, be key in supporting forest certification organisation, as well as many other stakeholders, implement the EUDR.

Questions that could be addressed during this EOcafe include:

  • What is forest certification and what do EO companies need to understand about it?
  • What does the PEFC do and how is it structured?
  • How is the EUDR affecting the forest certification procedure/standards? Where can EO companies help implement these new obligations?
  • How can EO companies collaborate with forest certification organisations such as the PEFC and how should they go about it?
  • What do EARSC members and EO companies need to be aware of?

Registration: The webinar is open to all. Registration is free but compulsory.

Registration link

Please note this is a virtual event!

EOcafe is part of a series of EARSC meetings that offer timely, relevant, and practical information on a broad variety of topics related to the EO sector. Join us every two weeks to discuss and network while enjoying a cup of coffee with friends.


  • The use of a video camera is not mandatory but is encouraged to facilitate better interaction between the attendees and the guest speaker(s).
  • The EOcafe will stay open after 17:00 in case our guests want to continue the discussion.
  • By registering for this event, you accept the terms and conditions (https://earsc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/EARSC_Events_GDPR.pdf).

If you have any questions, and/or you want to know more about the EOcafe, and/or you want to share an idea about a future EOcafe, please contact Tanya Walker (tanya.walker@earsc.org).