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Forestry

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 27th April 2006.

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Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker Liberal Democrat, Lewes

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in what circumstances the Central Point of Expertise on Timber would remove the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification scheme from its approved list of certifiers of sustainable timber.

Photo of Elliot Morley Elliot Morley Minister of State (Climate Change and Environment), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Central Point of Expertise on Timber (CPET) may assess a forest certification scheme as no longer meeting the Government's criteria for robust assurance of sustainable timber sources but it would be for the Government to decide what advice CPET should give to central departments as a result.

The circumstances under which a forest certification scheme would fail the test for credible assurance are explained in the CPET document—"Criteria for Evaluating Certification Schemes"—see CPET website at http://www.proforest.net/cpet. In essence, if a scheme were assessed as scoring zero on any one of the relevant assessment criteria or scoring less than 75 per cent. of the total possible score on the relevant criteria then it would fail the test. Any such failure would cause the Government to consider changing the status of that scheme in respect of the level of assurance it would accept.

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