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Forest Certification Introduction and Current Trends Global Forestry Forum April 2005. What is Forest Certification?. Market-based instrument for differentiating sustainable managed forest products (voluntary green label) Consistent with ISO 14001 but goes further

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Forest Certification

Introduction and Current Trends

Global Forestry Forum

April 2005


What is Forest Certification?

  • Market-based instrument for differentiating sustainable managed forest products (voluntary green label)

  • Consistent with ISO 14001 but goes further

  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification was initiated in 1992 after the Rio world environmental summit in lieu of an international forestry convention such as UNFCC (climate change), CBD (biodiversity), etc.

  • Multiple schemes evolved: SFI, PEFC, CSA, ATO, national in Indonesia, Brazil, Malaysia


FSC System and Process

  • 9 principles; 32 standards and criteria

  • FM (forest managment) COC (chain of custody) are two types of certificates

  • national standards based on national initiatives through working groups

  • third-party certification and audits

  • accredited certification bodies under FSC - SGS, Smartwood,

  • strong on balance of social, environmental and economic elements (Credibility)


Other Schemes

  • USA: Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI)

  • Canada: Canadian Standards (CSA)

  • Europe: Pan- European Forest Certification (PEFC) (many smallholders and cooperatives)

  • National initiatives and standards (under FSC or independently)


Certification: A Changing Standard in the Marketplace

  • A growing world phenomenon

  • Promoted by DIY and others to consumer: supply of 50% of market in USA..

  • Buyers groups in 17 countries; 12 producers groups and expanding

  • 20 Chain of Custody certifications in China

FSC Area Certified Annually and Cumulative


How much World Area is Certified?

  • 176 M Hectares of Forest all schemes

    (growth in Canada is most recent trend)

  • 39 M Hectares FSC certified

  • 1 M Hectares community enterprises or CFEs



A Number of Challenges

  • Plantations competing with NFs

  • Market does not usually pay a premium

  • FSC can become gold standard--how high?

  • Hard to advance in tropical forest countries

  • Complexity: Non-timber and ecosystem services and cultural values

  • Equity: Few communities find certification in their reach

  • What is the role of government--not currently in FSC but is often a big forest land owner


Forest Trends Series on Forest Certification

  • Forest Certification and Communities: Looking forward to the Next Decade

  • Forest Certification in Complex Socio-Political Settings: Looking forward to the Next Decade

  • Forest Certification and Governments: The Real and Potential Influence on Regulatory Frameworks and Forest Policies

  • Forest Certification and Small Forest Enterprises: Key Trends and Impacts – Benefits and Barriers

  • Beyond Timber: Certification of Non-Timber Forest Products

  • Forest Certification and Ecosystem Services


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