The PEFC council (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes) is an independent, non profit, non-governmental organisation, founded in 1999 which promotes sustainably managed forests through independent third party certification. The PEFC provides an assurance mechanism to purchasers of wood and paper products that they are promoting the sustainable management of forests. PEFC is a global umbrella organisation for the assessment of and mutual recognition of national forest certification schemes developed in a multi-stakeholder process. These national schemes build upon the inter-governmental processes for the promotion of sustainable forest management, a series of on-going mechanisms supported by 149 governments in the world covering 85% of the worlds forest area. The PEFC schemes account for over 126 million hectares of certified forests producing millions of tonnes of certified timber to the market place making PEFC the worlds largest certification scheme.